The Pumpkin Bunny just hopped into town, slid down my chimney, and left me with a basket of these delicious, healthy muffins. Okay, it wasn’t really a hare that cared, it was me – I made the muffins. I was just trying to pass blame on my seasonal food confusion; I mean, most people think pumpkin is for Thanksgiving and the cooler fall months. But, the Big Orange Gourd is honored every month of the year at my house, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin soup, pumpkin smoothies, baked pumpkin donuts and pumpkin ice cream. You get the idea! Today, it’s all about Pumped-Up Pumpkin Muffins.
The original version of this recipe has been in the family since I was in 4th grade and played a pilgrim at Curry Elementary School (shout out Tempe, AZ). My mom and I made these little moist muffins every year . . . that is, during Thanksgiving. Now I stock up on cans of pumpkin like some sort of insane survivalist at the end of November, so I can keep the pumpkin muffin love going on all year long.
I’ve tweaked this recipe every which way possible over the years. This version is perhaps the best, without sacrificing the taste I so fondly remember while costumed in a pint-sized Puritan outfit. One main thing is I’ve cut the sugar. I distinctly remember my granola mom always exclaiming, “Good grief, one and a half cups of sugar! We’ll just omit a little.” I swap out for an equivalent-measure sugar substitute (like Splenda) and I think it works just fine. I’ve also gone to egg whites and snuck in a little whole wheat flour. Oh, and the protein powder! That’s to keep my boys sustained a little longer into the morning. It’s a favorite breakfast to pack for after eldest son’s cross country practice.
Pumped-Up Pumpkin Muffins
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole-wheat flour
- 3/4 cup protein powder
- 1 cup sugar substitute (cup-for-cup baking type like Splenda)
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2/3 cup egg whites
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup pureed pumpkin (1/2 can)
In large bowl, mix together flour, protein powder, Splenda, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Next, beat in oil, egg whites, water and pumpkin until mixture well combined. Place paper or foil liners in muffin tins and fill each 2/3 full. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes in center rack of oven (or 15-20 minutes if using mini muffin tins). Makes 18 full-sized muffins.