More fall treats coming atcha! Something happens to me in the fall where I turn into a baking addict… or maybe that’s always, but I feel like I have an excuse in the fall. Anywho, I have been playing around with creating a healthy pumpkin muffin recipe that dramatically reduces the less healthy ingredients (enriched flour, sugar, butter, etc.) that traditional pumpkin muffin recipes have while staying just as delicious. After filling our house with test muffins, I finally perfected a recipe that:
- Largely replaces processed sugar with fresh fall apples. As a result, this recipe boasts 13 less grams of sugar PER SERVING than the original recipe.
- Replaces half the butter with coconut oil (a healthier fat that is less inflammatory).
- Substitutes enriched white flour with fiberous grains like oat flour and/or whole wheat flour. Consequently, this recipe has 8 more grams of total protein and 17 more grams of total fiber than the original recipe (FYI: the nutrition label software did not accurately calculate the fiber on the label below).
Oh, and most importantly, I wanted to create pumpkin muffins that were moist (sorry, not sorry if this word makes you cringe ;)) and delectable because otherwise, what’s the point?!
Little Miss Highlights/Ideas for Getting Your Kids Involved & Chowing Down:
- Put out a few extra bowls and mixing spoons for your littles to hone their architectural talents and feel involved with the process when you’re on the more technical steps (what’s a couple more things to clean when kids are involved in baking?!).
- Let them measure and pour ingredients into bowls.
- Have them mix and taste ingredients as you go.
- Let them put the cupcake wrappers into the pan.
- And, of course, they should test the finished product and tell you about the flavors, textures, and their professional opinion 😉
- 1 cup oat flour (blended oats)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour; for the gluten free option use almond meal or almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce OR blend fresh apple slices with a splash of water
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 5 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a bowl; use a whisk to mix well and set aside.
- In large bowl of an electric mixer, at medium speed, beat butter, coconut oil, applesauce, and brown sugar until just blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating a few minutes. It's okay if the mixture looks curdled at this point.
- Beat in pumpkin.
- At low speed, beat in flour mixture until well combined.
- Spoon batter into muffin wrappers, dividing evenly, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out mostly clean. Allow 5-10 minutes to cool (if you can wait that long!).
- Muffins will last in an airtight container in the fridge for about one week or three months in the freezer; they are delicious served cold or reheated.
- Apple: Go organic! Apples are on the dirty dozen list and it is worth the extra money to reduce the toxic pesticides that you are ingesting.
- Eggs: Not all eggs are created equal. What chickens are fed and how they are raised impacts the final nutrient composition of their eggs. To help you decide what to buy, the following orders eggs from highest to lowest nutrient density: Pastured > Omega-3 > Organic > Free Range/Cage Free > Conventional. Conventional supermarket eggs are still a good choice if you can’t afford or access the others.
- Real maple syrup: The ONLY ingredient in maple syrup should be maple syrup. Fake syrup is chock-full of artificial ingredients. For example, Mrs. Butterworth's ingredients list reads as follows: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Water, Salt, Cellulose Gum, Molasses, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Polysorbate 60. These ingredients are addictive, cause inflammation in the body and can contribute to weight gain and a number of health issues.
To crazy messes in the kitchen (and hopes that dad will clean them up! ;)), Chris