Fall is here and that means pumpkin. Every year it seems to start earlier and earlier, but I am not complaining. Definitely a lover all things fall and fall flavored. Baking up a batch of pumpkin muffins is a perfect way to celebrate that fall feeling in the air.
One request or question I get a lot, is how can I enjoy all the fall flavors, but have it be healthy…?? Well here is the answer, make it yourself. When you purchase all the pumpkin flavored, spiced fall concoctions most of those things have chemicals, loads of sugar, and added flavoring and coloring agents. The way to make something healthy is to keep it as natural as possible. Of course there is no plant that grows muffins, but using real ingredients makes the sweet treat, the holiday themed baked good healthy and good for you.
Using loads of sugar is not necessary. You want it to be enjoyable and sweet, but reduce your sugar intake. It doesn’t have to send you into a diabetic coma. Your baked good should just be sweet enough. Keep in mind you can reduce your tolerance for sugar by reducing you intake. That isn’t to say no more sugar, that just means reduce the quantity. Also don’t swap out the sugar for a zero calorie sugar. Zero calorie sugars are actually sweeter, which means you will want to keep adding more and more and more to reach your sweetness threshold. Keep the sugar real, reduce the amount, but know that some sugar is okay.
Your serving size is 1. Just because it is a treat, a dessert, something sweet that isn’t an invitation to have a half a dozen. Enjoy and savor your 1 pumpkin chocolate chip muffin. You went through the trouble to prepare it, bake it, and all the clean up. So sit down, and enjoy. Don’t rush out the door stuffing it in your face, because that won’t satisfy your craving for it. If you have a lot of extras, share them. Give them as little “happy fall” gifts to your co-workers, kids teachers, friends, neighbors, or family. It is okay to share what you make. Plus that means they are not all in the house calling your name to have one every afternoon. Have your serving and share the wealth.
Mother nature intended us to eat pumpkin during this time of year. Pumpkin is rich with vitamins and minerals to help support and boost your immune system. That means it’s okay to have a bit more than normal pumpkin serving this time of year. By adding in pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes… you are increasing your beta-carotene intake, your vitamin c, collagen production, and anti-oxidant support to help protect your cells.
So grab your apron and the ingredients and enjoy this seasonal recipe!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- 3/4 cup Rolled Oats optional to puree them slightly in a food processor
- 1 cup Pumpkin Puree no added sugar
- 1/2 cup 2% plain yogurt
- 2 TBLS Cane Sugar
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 2 cups All purpose flour or white whole wheat flour
- 1 TBLS Ground Cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp All spice
- 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Ground Clove optional
- 1.5 tsp Baking Powder
- 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 TBLS Butter melted and cooled
- 2 large Eggs
- 1/2 cup Milk or Plain Oat Milk
- 1/4 -1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips or Dark Chocolate Chunks save some to garnish on top
- 6 TBLS water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, pumpkin, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a third bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, and sugars. Stir in the oat mixture (water and oats), mixing until no large lumps remain. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 3 equal parts.) Gently fold in 2 ½ tablespoons of miniature chocolate chips.*don't use an electric mixture this will make the texture dense and gummy
- Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups. Gently press the remaining chocolate chips into the tops. Bake at 350°F for 26-29 minutes or until the top feels firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.Enjoy!