Friday, October 7, 2011

Healthy Pumpkin Muffins

These pumpkin muffins are the perfect way to start out your Autumn season (don't you think they would pair well with a pumpkin spiced latte? Check out a homemade version here ).  Be sure to try and find whole-wheat pastry flour since that will keep them moist and it won't feel like you are eating a bran muffin. :) You can either have them for a snack, or they would make a great breakfast meal on the go.

 The temperatures have finally gotten a little cooler in Sacramento, and there's nothing like wearing a scarf and dusting off my warm boots to get me into the season of Fall. One of my favorite things to do with the family during this season is pack a warm thermos of apple cider, go for a walk outside and go leaf collecting. When we've collected as many as we want, we come back to the house and place them carefully in a heavy book to flatten and dry them out. It's amazing how well they keep their color! These ones are from last year's escapade. 

Happy Fall!

**Adapted this recipe from SparkPeople recipes . Check out the original recipe here.

Muffin Recipe 
Serves: 12 Prep: 15 minutes  Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin spice (if you don't have pumpkin spice, try this recipe here)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup pumpkin, canned/pureed
1/2 cup agave syrup (see Change it Up for alternatives)
1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (plain is fine too...just add 1 tsp vanilla to wet ingredients)
1/4 cup applesauce
2 egg whites

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
old fashioned oats to sprinkle on top

 1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.
2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add wet ingredients. Add optional ingredients in at this time. Mix ingredients together until all of it is incorporated, but don't over mix.
 3. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle oats on top.
4. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. You can also make this into a loaf, just bake it for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Plan and Prep Ahead 

Here are some helpful techniques to make life a little easier once dinner time hits. These tips will especially help those that work full-time and don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner. 

 ~Make batter ahead of time and leave in fridge no longer than 24 hours. Bring to room temperature when ready to use. 


Who likes to CHANGE IT UP?
 ~Use half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose flour.
~Replace dried cranberries with raisins. 
~Chop up some walnuts instead of pecans. 
~Don't have agave syrup? Try honey, maple syrup, brown sugar or regular white sugar. The sky is the limit!


Gina said...

Yummy! I have pumpkin puree in the fridge waiting for me right now!

The Rhodes Family said...

These are one of my favorite Fall muffins Gina! Hope you and your family enjoyed them. :)


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