I recently went to a MOPS activity (Mothers of Preschoolers–a great nation-wide group!) and was supposed to bring a breakfast bread item. Being new and not wanting to be too weird, I needed a healthy option I was willing to eat that was also very normal-tasting. I have been experimenting to come up with a recipe that meets all my criteria, and am so happy with the results! They are scrumptious.
I started with Cookie and Kate’s pumpkin muffins (her recipes are always amazing!) and followed all her optional adaptations (flax egg instead of real egg, applesauce instead of oil). I compared them to a batch made with coconut oil, hoping to say there was no noticeable difference, but the fat-free ones were significantly low-fat tasting and tough. A whole-foods approach avoids oil since it is not a whole food and is void of all nutrients. I try to avoid oil as much as possible in my cooking.
So I then subbed some of the whole wheat flour with almond flour, changed the spices to be a delicious pumpkin spice blend, and they are perfect! Moist, fluffy, perfectly sweet, tender, and not at all “healthy-tasting.” They even have better texture than the version made with oil!
Although I haven’t tried making these gluten free, I think gluten-free oat flour or gluten-free all purpose flour would work very well.
Some healthy muffins are a little too “healthy tasting” for average people, but these are not so. Can’t wait for you to try them!
It appears like a long ingredient list, but it’s mostly the spices. They come together quickly.
Full of whole grains, pumpkin, and a delicious spice blend, these muffins will wow anyone! See notes for gluten free version.
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (or sugar or honey)
- 2 TBSP ground flax seed mixed with 4 TBSP water
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup milk of choice
- 1 TBSP cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/4-1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips or chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 325. Prepare muffin pan.
Mix ground flax seed and water together and let sit while you combine the rest of the wet ingredients.
In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Stir all together. Batter will be thick.
Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Should make exactly 12 standard muffins, 18 mini muffins, or 4 mini loaves.
Bake standard muffins for 25-28 minutes. Mini muffins for 18-20 minutes, and mini loaves for about 35 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan before removing them, as they are too tender to remove when hot.
Store in the fridge in an air-tight container.
Note: These are lightly sweet. I think it's perfect, but you could add an additional 1/4 cup sweetener for sweeter muffins.
For gluten-free, use 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour and 1/2 cup oat flour instead of whole wheat flour. Delicious.
Adapted from the Cookie and Kate Healthy Pumpkin Muffin recipe.