Last fall, we began experimenting with recipes to make with our pumpkins. Right before we carved our pumpkins, we saved the seeds and roasted them. The kids went nuts for them. This year it only seemed fitting that we explore making healthy pumpkin muffins!
I’ll be the first to admit that pumpkins can have a very distinct flavour that not everyone is super fond of. But with the right mix, we found a winner of a recipe.
Best of all it’s nut-free, sugar-free, dairy free, and gluten-free. And yes, it still manages to taste good and be kid approved! Super safe to pack in your little munchkin’s lunchbox. Did I mention they also freeze well? They do!
The Gluten Free Flour Blend
For the gluten-free flour, I learned an awesome combination while enrolled in the Culinary Nutrition Program. Now, my go to is to make a blend that I keep in a container at home in an airtight container and use this mix for everything from making gravy to these healthy pumpkin muffins of course!.
I mix a big batch of gluten-free flour and keep it on hand for when I need it most. You can feel free to add regular whole wheat flour if that’s what you have on hand.
My son’s teacher asked me to hop by his junior kindergarten classs (we call it la maternelle since he’s in an all French school) and bake these yummy muffins with all the students. I can’t wait to report back on what our most valuable critics had to say about these healthy pumpkin muffins!
Benefits of Pumpkin
You might be surprised to know that pumpkins pack a nutrition punch. Why not take advantage of them while they are in season. Really, they are around for maybe September and October. That’s it.
They are packed with beta-carotene which the body turns into Vitamin A and a great curse of Vitamin C, iron, Vitamin E, and folate. All of which are powerful antioxidants and help boost our immune system.
And with the cold and flu season creeping up, our kiddos can use all the immune support they can get from their foods.
How to Describe these Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard me talk about what to say to our kids during mealtimes. In order to use strategies like this one, it’s useful to teach our kids the vocabulary they need to describe the food to us form a sensory perspective (color, size, shape, taste, texture, temperature, consistency)
At mealtimes, instead of saying “just take one bite”, try saying these phrases to describe this awesome healthy pumpkin muffin:
“This muffin is brown”
“It’s pretty small and round”
“It has carob chips inside”
“We can squish it easily with our fingers”
“It tastes sweet”
“It’s not hot”
“It’s not cold either”
Most of all I hope you and your little munchkins enjoy them.
Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
These are nut-free, sugar-free, dairy free, and gluten-free. Yet still are kid approved and school safe with their sweetness and slight spice.
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or olive oil
- ½ cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- 1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour or regular whole wheat flour
- ⅓ cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup of carob chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). Line each 12 cups of your muffin pan with a cup liner.
If using coconut oil, place in a small saucepan and heat on low until melted.
In a large bowl, beat the oil and maple syrup or honey with a wisk.
Add the eggs, and whisk until all combined.
Mix in the pumpkin purée, vanilla extrac, and almond milk and whisk until combined.
Add in the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves and combine.
Add the flour and oats to the bowl and whisk together. You might need to switch to using a wooden spoon or spatula
Fold in the carob chips
Add the batter to the muffin cups in your muffin tray
Bake muffins for 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool.
Will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. They will keep in the freezer (in a freezer bag) around 3 months.