I’m shaking my head at myself for even considering posting a recipe with pumpkin in it as the calendar pages sweep quickly into spring, but I had some canned pumpkin left in my pantry. It was either bake with it now, or bake with it in November after its been sitting in my pantry for a year. I chose now based on my admitted neuroses about expiration dates. Also, it’s hardly spring in other places. Winter weather is persistent and it’s possible there are readers out there who will still face a spring blizzard, or two. In that case, you’ll be happy to have pumpkin muffins in March, I believe.
Usually when I hear the word “muffin,” though, I run for the hills. Muffins are not good for you. Muffins are just a polite way to avoid admitting you had cake for breakfast. Muffins go straight to your hips and, frankly, I work out too hard to un-do it by eating muffins.
But these are not your ordinary muffins. These are healthy muffins: no butter or oil, minimal sugar, no egg yolks, no dairy. All the decadence and guilt of eating a muffin is replaced with applesauce and unsweetened almond milk. To be perfectly honest, even I was skeptical. But there is some brown sugar, and the applesauce and almond milk keep them plenty moist. I thought they had nice depth of flavor and were a satisfying snack after my morning gym workout. There are even some mini chocolate chips for those of you who don’t mind eating cake for breakfast.
If you’re working on modifying your diet, reducing processed sugar, adding more fiber, or lowering your cholesterol, this is a super recipe. Tuck it away for next fall. If you like cake for breakfast, you’ll probably react the way my husband did when I ticked off the list of ingredients: “So you’re saying they’re dry and grainy?” Not dry, but definitely grain-friendly. And heart-friendly, too! I think they should at least get bonus points for that. Enjoy!
Low-Fat Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins (recipe courtesy Monique of Ambitious Kitchen)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
- 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/3 cup unsweetened all-natural applesauce
- 1/2 ripe banana, mashed
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons
- Extra oatmeal, for sprinkling on muffins
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with paper cups or spray with nonstick spray. If you use muffin cups, make sure to spray the inside of the cups.
- In a large bowl mix flour, oatmeal, pumpkin pie spice baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a separate bowl combine pumpkin, mashed banana, brown sugar, almond milk, egg whites and applesauce. Add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
- Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full so that each is even. Sprinkle a tiny bit of oatmeal over each top of the muffins. Place into the oven and bake for 23-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffins comes out clean. Muffins are best served warm.
Baker’s Notes: Refrigerate whatever muffins aren’t eaten immediately. You can always give them a quick re-heat in the microwave if you prefer to eat them warm.