PUMPKIN SPICE MUFFINS WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS & WALNUTS

Looks beautiful on this simple white plate, doesn't it? I just love anything muffin, but I especially like muffins when they're more on the guilt-free side. It makes me feel like I'm doing my body a favour, instead of packing it with more non-sense carb calories! I had bookmarked this recipe about a month ago, and just had it in my "I will eventually get to it" pile of recipes. What appealed to me was the use of pure pumpkin, whole wheat flour, grated carrots and of course chocolate chips (no duh there!). Pumpkin is of course loaded with beta-carotene, which helps the body protect itself from harmful cancers and diseases (thanks wikipedia!). I figured this would be a great way of getting my little girl and of course my whole family eating more nutrient packed foods like pumpkin. Hey, with kids anything "muffin" or "bread-form" will get them eating I think. Of course, for my little girl I omitted the nuts but if it were just me I stick in the walnuts. After I baked these babies up, I gobbled them up...really fast! These do not taste like they're good for you. I highly recommend giving these a try and giving all of the fussy eaters in your life a try of these too. Gobble these up folks!

Adapted from the "Pumpkin and Spice and Everything Nice" recipe, from The Looneyspoons Collection cookbook. By: Janet and Greta Podleski. (Copyright 2012).

Makes 12 muffins (if baking in muffin pan)
Makes 16 muffins (if baking in 9" square baking pan)

Preheat the oven to 375 Degrees F.

Baking time:
20-22 minutes (for a muffin pan)
45-50 minutes (for a 9" square baking pan)

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran or whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup or liquid honey
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted or extra virgin olive oil (I used this)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup carrots, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (can use pecans)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly spray or line with papercups/parchment paper, a 12-cup muffin pan or a 9" square baking pan. Set aside for now.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, wheat bran/whole wheat flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, yogurt, maple syrup, butter or olive oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the grated carrots. Add in the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir using a wooden spoon until just moist. Fold in the mini chocolate chips and walnuts. The batter will be a bit thick.

4. Divide the batter evenly among the 12-muffin cups or pour all of the batter into the square baking pan. Place it into the oven and bake it for 20-22 minutes for the muffin pan OR 45-50 minutes for the square baking pan. Insert a toothpick into the center of the baked muffin, and if it comes out clean then it's done! Cool completely, and slice if necessary. Enjoy!

Cook's Tip: Since this muffin has the addition of fresh vegetables, I find that these types of muffins spoil quickly. So keep these in an airtight container for no more than 2-3 days. Eat them fast!




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