Tuesday, September 17, 2013

baby steps: healthier pumpkin muffins

My friend asked me a good question yesterday. Do you call something healthy if it has sugar in it? She was referring to some cookies she makes with ground almonds and coconut. They sounded pretty healthy to me. We decided that they were healthier than the average cookie and even better than most granola bars or trail mixes, but they are probably not as good for you as kale or an apple. But then again are you really going to reach for a piece of mid-afternoon kale? I'm not!

These muffins aren't as good for you as my friend's cookies and they definitely aren't as good for you as a banana, but they are healthier than the pumpkin muffins I normally make, and thus the moniker "healthier pumpkin muffins."

I still need to address the sugar content. Another friend suggested Turbinado sugar (and she is a yoga teacher -- can't get much healthier than that!), but alas all I had was regular ol' sugar. I'll work on it. She also mentioned adding greek yogurt. I'm going to attempt that too. Okay, are you beginning to wonder if I did anything healthy with these bad boys?  I did! I switched up the white flour for its whole wheat counterpart, reduced the sugar, cut out the salt and replaced the oil with unsweetened apple sauce.

Jeff and Violet still gobbled them up.

Here is the recipe for "healthier pumpkin muffins". Don't stop eating your greens, but maybe sub in a few of these instead of you afternoon pumpkin spice latte (that last directive is written with me in mind!).

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Pumpkin Muffins


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup of apple sauce
2 large eggs (the ones from the Mennonites at the market are delicious, and the cheapest free range we've found to date)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 cup sugar (yikes, I know)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

A little extra sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling


Preheat your oven to 350 and line muffin tin (that is Violet's job)

Mix pumpkin, apple sauce, eggs, spices, sugar and baking soda together. I like one bowl muffins so I just add the flour and the baking powder right into the mix, but I try to stir in the powder a little, so you don't get those gross white powdery bits in your muffin. Mix and then scoop evenly into lined tin. I use my ice-cream scoop for perfectly shaped muffins, but then again, things like that float my boat. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and sugar, because what these muffins need is more sugar...Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let them cool, or like most muffins, half of the base will get stuck to the wrapper. It happens every time.




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