If we lived in a world in which obesity, heart disease, and diabetes were not an issue or were somehow, magically and wonderfully, totally uncorrelated with diet, you’d probably find me chowing down on baked goods every morning. There’s nothing like starting the morning off with a muffin or scone and a cup of good coffee. Snapping back to reality, though, breakfast for me is usually a bowl of oatmeal at work, with a few craisins and sunflower seeds thrown in for good measure. Even on weekends, when I have the luxury of sitting down to eat at home rather than running out the door at the crack of dawn before the sun peeks above the horizon, you’ll typically find me snarfing down a bowl of cereal of the decidedly healthy Kashi variety.
Every now and then, you need a little reward, though, and with the autumn upon us, the food blogging world was rife with recipes for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Normally, I might star such items and think longingly about them while letting them slowly drift to the bottom of my list of things I might want to make one day. But last week I was very, very good. Hard workouts, single portions, and nothing more than a tiny piece of leftover Halloween candy for dessert each night made me think it was high time to reward myself with something fun for breakfast.
This recipe, posted here on Slashfood by Marissa McClellan, is the best of both worlds- a moist, delicious muffin that’s actually not so bad for you at all, as it turns out. Everything is relative, of course, and I wouldn’t exactly recommend any muffin as diet food, but should you find the urge to swap out your oatmeal now and then, these muffins had a mere 1/4 cup of oil for 12 of them and used only whole wheat flour. The pumpkin puree (from a can in my case) kept them moist for days without needing tons of oil. For me, including chocolate chips was non-negotiable, but if you really, really want to be a pinnacle of virtue, just omit them or substitute in chopped nuts or raisins. The blend of spices provides more than enough flavor should you decide to forgo add-ins. These muffins were a hit with everyone who tried them and I’ll definitely file the recipe away for future reference.
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (makes 12 standard-size muffins)
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (can use canned, but be sure to use the puree, not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I used regular whole wheat flour with no problem)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin tins or line with paper liners.
2. Mix sugar, oil, eggs in a large bowl (you can use a stand mixer here, if you have one). Add pumpkin and water. In different bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Add to wet mixture in batches to incorporate fully. Mix in chocolate chips.
3. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.