The other day I posted a photo of these delicious little mini pumpkin muffins that I made, and both my Facebook and my Instagram accounts went crazy with people wanting the recipe. Well, okay not “crazy”… but more activity than I usually see (don’t you love the modesty? haha). Besides the fact that they are amazing little bites of awesomeness, they are actually quite healthy, so bonus! Why would I not share?!
I cannot take credit for the recipe. I signed up for a free 3-day meal plan through Happy Herbivore a while back, and one of the recipes was for a Pumpkin Muffin. And by, “a Pumpkin Muffin”, I mean exactly that – one muffin.
Okay, can I stop for a second and ask – who bakes ONE muffin?! Seriously.
After taking the time to try to edit the recipe up to a more realistic volume, I ended up losing the whole paper anyway. That, or my daughter squirreled it away in one of her secret hiding places that I can’t seem to find. Anyway, I ended up finding another recipe by the same gal that seemed to have most of the same ingredients but were called “Maple Muffins” – even though they still taste pretty pumpkin-y to me. I did edit it a tad, and after the recipe I will go into more detail on the ingredients I used and how you could alter it further, if you wish. So, without further ado-
Heavenly Pumpkin Muffins
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
Mix dry ingredients. Mix in wet ingredients. Pour into greased muffin tin (I greased with coconut oil) or cupcake liners and bake at 350*F for about 18 minutes (depending on your oven).
These muffins are great for breakfast for a quick snack on the go. I loved making them as minis because they were perfect size for my toddler’s hands. I think she ate about six that first day! Great for parents who want to experiment with baby-led weaning.
The original recipe called for brown sugar, but honestly, I don’t think it needed it! It’s very pumpkin-y and still somewhat sweet. I’m actually thinking of using the recipe as my daughter’s birthday cake this year. I think it would also taste delicious with some cream cheese frosting (I make my own with cream cheese and some maple syrup, to taste).
The original recipe called for pastry flour, but I’m really not a chef and I’m not sure what exactly that is lol. But we had whole-wheat flour in the cupboard, so I just used that. You could also substitute a gluten-free option (such as coconut or almond flour) as well. I know “gluten-free” is a huge buzz word right now, but honestly I haven’t had the time to research into it yet.
If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you could make your own if you already have the single spices (which is what I did). This simple recipe includes cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.
We only use pure maple syrup – none of that fake high fructose corn syrup and food coloring junk. Yes, there is still some “sugar” value, but real maple syrup is relatively unprocessed and still contains some trace minerals, while cane sugar (or artificial sugar, like aspartame) has gone through a rigorous chemical processing routine. If we ever are needing a sweetener, we use syrup or raw, local honey (I haven’t looked into stevia or agave yet to decide if either of those are viable options for us). Livestrong had some good information about the differences between cane sugar and maple syrup. And seriously – if you have “fake” maple syrup in your cupboard, throw it out – NOW!
Pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors. I’ve used it in granola bars, soups, and various other recipes. You can make your own puree (I blogged about purees a while ago) or, if it’s out of season, we buy this brand at Hy-Vee in the organic section. The great thing about making your own is that you get a double whammy – you can also roast the seeds and make two treats!
Pumpkin has a whole mess of health benefits, which is why it makes me so sad to see them gutted and trashed around Halloween. Any produce with a bright color is going to be high in antioxidants, which are amazing (and necessary) for all-over body health. Pumpkin has been shown to help in certain kinds of cancers, blood pressure, eye health, and even fertility! Medical News Today had a great article about the benefits of pumpkins, as well as a couple of ideas of how to incorporate them into your diet. It’s really amazing how our bodies react when we feed them real food.
I also thought, instead of pumpkin, you could use sweet potato puree, banana, or a combination of all three. I even though grated zucchini or dark chocolate chips would be an amazing addition! The great thing about this recipe is that it’s so simple, if you wanted to experiment with flavors, it would be super easy. (I may even update this blog with my trials, soon, as our muffins are already gone!)
And finally, applesauce. Again, we buy organic, especially since apples are one of the “dirty dozen” foods laced with pesticides (and who knows about GMOs?!). Our Hy-Vee carries this brand. Really, there’s no reason to buy sweetened applesauce (and again, most brands use HFCS). Applesauce is a great way to avoid adding oil to most recipes; we use it a lot in pancake mix! I really want to try making my own applesauce this summer, as well.
This recipe made about 32 mini muffins and six regular-sized muffins, which lasted all about a day and a half.
I hope you guys love them as much as we do, and I would love to hear your experiences! Bon appetit!