Healthy Pumpkin Muffins

Happy first day of Fall!  I’m so excited it’s finally here!    I’m dreaming of boots, all things pumpkin, cozy sweaters, hot drinks, and fireside chats in our backyard. Not to mention the fact that my baby bump is thrilled for cooler temps.  In honor of Fall’s reappearance, I made pumpkin muffins / cupcakes today.  Here’s the super easy and healthful recipe…

Ingredients and Preparation:

1 3/4 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour

2/3 Cup Brown Sugar or Coconut Sugar

1 T. Baking Powder

1/2 t. Salt

1 1/2 t. Cinnamon

1/2 t. Ginger

1/2 t. Nutmeg (freshly grated is extra yummy)

1 15 oz can Pumpkin Puree

1/2 cup Milk

1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce

1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line or grease 12 muffin tins. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl, making sure to fully incorporate the egg.  Then pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir together.  Using a small ice cream scoop, fill the muffin cups to the top with batter. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  These are wonderful by themselves (more hearty than sweet) but if you really want to take them over the edge, add the cream cheese icing. Mmm-mmm.

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Icing Ingredients and Preparation:

8 oz. softened Cream Cheese

4 T. softened Butter

2 heaping cups of Powdered Sugar

1 t. Vanilla

Cream together the softened cream cheese and butter. Add in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition.  Cream in the vanilla extract and beat on high for about another minute to get the icing nice and fluffy.  Spread on cooled (or slightly warm) muffins.

Recipe Alternatives:

For a more decadent treat, replace the white whole wheat flour with all-purpose flour.  Use 1 full cup of brown or white sugar.  Replace the applesauce with oil or melted butter.  I have not tried this yet but I’m sure it would take the taste from a muffin to a cupcake.

ENJOY and HAPPY FALL!