A Healthy Twist To Your Current Favorite

You Won’t Miss The Extra Calories

I am a sucker for anything pumpkin, and of course anything sweet. And lately, we’ve been kind of letting that sweet tooth win #bulkingseason? I like to have a happy medium for everything in life, especially my diet. However, this past weekend we unfortunately ate some not so great food. We normally have pizza on Friday night before the football game and have a date night/eat whatever on Saturday. Well, the pizza was soggy, our burgers were practically mooing, and indigestion was real – talk about wasted calories. When Sunday morning rolled around, I think we were both ready to get back to our normal eating regiments, but leave it to me to have cravings already.

I decided to take it back to my roots and try to create a healthy recipe for our current obsession: pumpkin everything! I absolutely love this time of year and I figure why not celebrate the season as much as possible? #Basic or not. I would love to indulge in a PSL and frosted, buttermilk pumpkin cookies around the clock, but we all know how that would turn out. Though nothing wrong with it every now and again, I wanted to make something that would satisfy our weeknight sweet tooth and keep things as healthy as possible.

I few months back I wrote about a nutrition class that I had recently taken and a few key takeaways that are so important when experimenting with recipes. It was probably my favorite nutrition class that I have taken yet, just because of these simple tips that work in every situation. When you’re looking to make a recipe ‘healthy,’ or even looking for the healthiest option, following these three rules will help you every time: reduce calories, add fiber, and use healthy fats.

Reduce Calories: Substituting out ingredients can greatly reduce the total amount of calories in a recipe. This should be the first overall goal for a recipe makeover. When you substitute things such as white flour for wheat flour, butter for oil, oil for apple sauce, or even whole milk for skim – you are reducing calories substantially without sacrificing the taste or flavor.

Add Fiber: Skip on the white, self rising flour and opt for whole wheat flour, brown rice flour, coconut flour, or even black beans! The list can go on and on, but the most important thing is that you are creating a recipe with purpose. White flour is enriched and processed, leaving very little nutrients that many other options have.

Healthy Fats: Like we said above, swapping butter for healthy oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil, and even coconut oil can not only reduce the overall calories of a dish but also add in some key vitamins and essential fatty acids.

After taking a look at popular ingredients lists like these delicious muffins on Pinterest, I made my adjustments by following my three simple rules and ta da! Healthy, enjoy another one, pumpkin muffins!

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What I Used:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups whole wheat flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. pumpkin spice (or 1/4 tsp. of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves), and a dash of salt.
  • 1 and 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and a dash of skim milk as needed.

* I used brown sugar and skim milk instead of white sugar and whole milk. Feel free to swap out the brown sugar and milk for alternatives such as coconut sugar or agave, and almond or soy milk. This is just what I had on hand/prefer.

This recipe will make about 15 muffins, 135 calories each 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin tin with either cooking spray or cupcake liners. Combine the dry ingredients and set aside. Beat together the pumpkin puree, applesauce, brown sugar, eggs, and milk. Mix in the dry ingredients and stir until a batter consistency forms. Fill in the muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes!

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I didn’t add in anything extra but incase you’re anything like me and think these could use some character, chocolate chips, pecans, and even raisins will work perfectly. Because I didn’t have anything on hand, I opted for some cinnamon sugar on top! I quickly mixed up an egg wash with one part skim milk, and one egg. I combined a few tablespoons of white sugar with cinnamon, dipped in the egg wash and then rolled in the sugar! I threw these back into the cooling oven for about five minutes to really combine everything together.

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