Cinnamon-Glazed Pumpkin Muffins

Hello all! Welcome to my new blog. As the tagline states, this is a blog about balance. Seeking balance, to be more accurate, because I strive daily to achieve that balance amidst a myriad of competing needs, wants, and responsibilities. This web of shifting priorities has become more complex than ever now that I am a proud vegan mama, but there is beauty in the chaos.

I believe that writing about goals can help to make them more easily attainable. The first goal I intend to tackle in this blog is going to be losing my “activist weight.” I’ll talk more about what this is later. Today, I’ll say that I have already lost my “baby weight,” so it is now time to kick my former sedentary, adrenal-fatigue-plagued activist lifestyle to the curb and get moving on a new and healthier me–a “me” who has boundless energy to match my passion to fight for the voiceless, a “me” who will not burn out and lose effectiveness, a “me” who lives by example and serves as an excellent role model to my 19-month-old son, Zander.

I am hopeful that writing about this process will help me to gain clarity and maintain focus as I move closer to the dangling carrots of physical and emotional fitness and a balanced life. No matter what, I intend to savor every moment of this journey.

Because Zander and I both love to cook, this blog will also be a place for us to share yummy and toddler-friendly vegan recipes, as well as arts & craft projects we’ve enjoyed making together.

It seems strangely fitting that I would be writing my first-ever blog post after midnight when I have yet to add the cinnamon glaze to my freshly-baked vegan pumpkin muffins (recipe and photo below) or finish packing for tomorrow’s trip to Vancouver to meet my beautiful newborn niece. Given these competing priorities and the fact that my son will no doubt be awake with the sunrise, tonight’s blog will be brief.

Moving forward, you may expect to read about my progress, including things like weekly goals, menu plans, and fitness updates, as well as recipes, photos, and exercise notes. That’s the current plan, anyway, but as I am learning to abandon rigidity and embrace fluidity, I reserve the right to completely shift gears at any given moment…

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PUMPKIN MUFFINS

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup oil (I used canola)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips (optional)
or
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

(for this batch, I made half with raisins and half with chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin tin with liners.

In medium bowl, stir together pumpkin, oil, sugar, soy milk, and vanilla. Sift in flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir together with a fork–don’t overmix, or the batter will get gummy. Once well combined, fold in chocolate chips or raisins, if using.

Fill liners 2/3 full. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling rack and let fully cool before icing.

CINNAMON GLAZE

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp vegan margarine, melted (I used Earth Balance)
1 Tbsp soy milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Add margarine, soy milk, and vanilla. Stir with a fork until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use. The mixture should look opaque and honey brown. If it’s glistening or looks too liquid, add a little extra confectioner’s sugar.

If (like me) you don’t have a pastry bag and decorating tips, you can fill a small ziploc sandwich bag with the glaze, then cut a tiny hole in one corner and use that to drizzle your icing all over the muffins.

These keep well either at room temperature (if cool) or refrigerated.

CREDIT: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

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About Kim McCoy

Kim McCoy is a passionate animal and environmental advocate with a B.S. in Business Administration from UT Knoxville and a J.D. specializing in Animal and Environmental Law. She graduated with honors from Lewis & Clark Law School, where she served as Editor in Chief of the internationally acclaimed Animal Law Review and interned with the National Center for Animal Law and the International Environmental Law Project. Kim is a member of MENSA (the “high IQ society”) and previously worked for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in a variety of roles, including Executive Director, Director of Campaigns, and Director of Legal Affairs. Kim is also the former Executive Director of the One World One Ocean Foundation and the proud mother of a healthy, thriving son who has been vegan since conception. Currently serving as Executive Director of Big Life Foundation, which protects wildlife and wild lands in Eastern Africa, Kim remains deeply committed to the defense of animals worldwide.
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