These savoury muffins make a great brunch or light lunch and can be eaten cold or reheated for snacks. The basic version just has pumpkin and feta cheese, but in this version I add in ham, Parmesan cheese for extra flavour and spinach to make them healthier.
Vegetarians, I can assure you that these are also delicious without any meat. However I wanted to publish the version of this recipe with just a little more kick in flavour that is great for parents trying to get their kids to eat healthy. Personally I feel that it is the Parmesan that makes all the difference in flavour. So feel free to drop the meat and enjoy these muffins.
Ingredients 3/4 cup of white self-raising flour
1/2 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
1 cup cooked and mashed pumpkin
1 cup of loosely packed chopped spinach (if you pack it down it will be less than half a cup)
100g fetta crumbled
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesean cheese
1 large egg
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup milk
3 slices of ham or cooked bacon
Optional: a little chilli powder to taste
Chop and boil the pumpkin until soft. When cooked, let it cool and then mash it. It is often hard to work out how much pumpkin you will need beforehand, so it is usually better to have a little left over. You can always use it for other pumpkin based recipes such as these sweet muffins or this pumpkin damper.
Combine all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Then add the pumpkin and stir thoroughly from the middle. Let this mixture rest for a little while so that the liquid from the pumpkin can be absorbed by the flour. If you don't do this then it can be hard to judge how much oil and milk to add to mixture.
Mix the egg, most of the milk and most of oil together. You need to reserve a little of the milk and oil to add later because you can't be certain how much liquid was in the pumpkin.
Add to the flour mixture.
Slice the ham. I prefer long streaky ham slices rather than finely chopped ham. But this is a matter of preference.
Combine the ham, cheeses and spinach into the bowl and mix thoroughly.
The mixture should be liquid enough to spoon, but not so runny that you would want to pour it. Add a little more milk or oil in proportion to get the mixture just right.
Spoon the mix into lightly greased muffin tins.
Bake at 180C for 20 minutes or until you can poke the muffins with a toothpick and it comes back dry.
Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes before turning out on a cooling rack.
Serve warm with a salad for lunch or brunch, or eat cold as a snack.