After School Snack: Making Pumpkin Muffins with Clara
As parents, we cook what our picky children will eat. It’s not necessarily what you’re hoping they want to munch on, but I’ve found adding hidden ingredient to a recipe and cutting the sugar in half can result in a slight more nutritious version of the snacks they prefer.
Pumpkin baked goods are a favorite in our house. My daughter is enthralled with the fall offering of pumpkin muffins at Dunkin Donuts. Covered with sugar crumbles and icing, they’re absolutely delicious so I don’t blame her, but I’m hardly going to let her eat those with any regularity! I found a way to incorporate solid servings of Vitamins A and C, and some added protein via almond flour, into a healthy fresh pumpkin muffin and she’s none the wiser.
Her grandfather grows fresh sugar pumpkins in his garden (this variety is best for baking, not the traditional a jack-o-lanterns) so when I make these muffins using his delicious sugar pumpkin, it’s a nice way to utilize fresh, vitamin filled ingredients with a personal connection. You can use canned pumpkin as well if it’s all you have on hand. Feel free to add other items to the batter, like finely shredded zucchini, carrots, pecans, walnuts, coconut or raisins, for even more nutritious addition.
Below is an adaptation of the traditional recipe from the classic red and white Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. Doctor the recipe as you see fit, with additions and subtraction of sugar, and feel confident you’re baking a healthy snack. It’ll never be Dunkin Donuts, but hey, you’ll have fun making these treats together nonetheless.
- 1 1/2 Cups - Sugar
- 1 Cup - Oil
- 4 Eggs
- 2 Cups - Flour
- 1 1/3 Cups - Almond Flour
- 2 Teaspoons - Baking Soda
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons - Salt
- 1 Teaspoon - Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon - Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 Teaspoon - Ground Cloves
- 2/3 Cups - Water
- 15 Ounces - Mashed Pumpkin
- Preheat oven to 350˚ and grease muffin pans
- In a large bowl beat sugar and oil together then add eggs and beat well, set aside
- In a bowl combine flours, baking soda and spices
- Alternately add the dry ingredients and water to the large bowl of sugar, oil and eggs, stir until just combined
- Add pumpkin and any other choice ingredients (finely shredded zucchini, carrots, pecans, walnuts, coconut or raisins, etc.)
- Spoon in muffin tins and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until tops are golden brown
- Let cool and enjoy with your little one
Meghan’s four-year-old daughter, Clara, keeps her busy. They make a point to play, read, learn or explore something together everyday, often in their town of West Hartford, CT. Meghan has always loved to cook but now that she doesn’t have the time to prepare elaborate foods (or the energy for it after a day with Clara), simple and kid-friendly recipes like jams and breads have taken the place of the Indian, Asian-inspired or Italian culinary concoctions she’d whip up previously. Before she was “Mommy”, Meghan was the Marketing Director at a boutique investment firm in Boston and she still enjoys putting her marketing skills to work by volunteering at her daughter’s Montessori school and organizations like the Noah Webster House and Malta House of Care.