Pumpkin Pie Muffins

I’m always a little sad when the mornings are so cool that I can’t pretend that’s still summer.  However, I try to grateful for fall traditions and one of those is the annual appearance of pumpkin treats in my house.  It was a little harder to pull off this year as there seems to be a canned pumpkin shortage.  Just when I was about to give up my search, I scored a few cans of organic pumpkin at a local grocery store, just in time!

While muffins are basically an excuse to eat cake for breakfast, these Pumpkin Pie Muffins that I adapted from Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave are slightly more healthy than your average muffin.   Pumpkin is naturally very good for you, containing more potassium than a banana and more vitamin A than a cup of carrots and is so moist that you can dispense with most of the added fat.  To make these muffins even more healthy, the slight amount of fat that is used in this recipe is heart-healthy canola oil.   I also like to swap out the sugar in my muffins with the lower glycemic unrefined coconut palm sugar which has become my sugar of choice for morning baking.  A combination of pumpkin pie spices makes these muffins taste (and smell) fantastic and a sprinkling of raw pumpkin seeds on top completes the muffin and roast as the muffin bakes, making a delightfully crunchy pop when you eat the muffin.   Some mornings (ok, most) I also throw in a handful of chocolate chips into the batter to make them even better.  Chocolate has antioxidants, right?

 

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Pumpkin Pie Muffins
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Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Healthy pumpkin spice muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup unrefined coconut palm sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • 3 Tbsp. unsulfured molasses
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (NOT pie mix!)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup lowfat buttermilk
  • ¼ cup unsalted raw pumpkin seeds (optional, sometimes called pepitas)
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt and spices. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, molasses, oil and one of the eggs until combined. Add the other egg and whisk well. Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla. Stir in the flour in two batches alternating with the buttermilk, just until combined and then fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop the batter into the muffin pan and top with pumpkin seeds, filling each ⅔ full. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  3. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes and then remove muffins from the pan and enjoy! These muffins are moist enough that they will keep for a couple of days. They also freeze well.

 

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