I’ve been in the baking mood lately. I’m attributing it to the cooler temperatures keeping us inside, giving me the itch to fire up the oven for some warm and tasty treats! I’ll admit to having a sweet tooth, however this mama is also a health nut, so I love to find or create recipes that are not only delicious but nutritious for my family.
Along with introducing our son to all the festivities of Fall fun (which I’ll share in a post soon), I wanted to introduce him to the flavors of the season! Pumpkin is one of my favorites when it comes to holiday food and drinks! I mean, just hearing the words pumpkin spice latte makes my taste buds dance. Excuse me while I run out to grab one quick!
With pumpkin on my mind, I went on a Pinterest hunt for a kid-friendly recipe. That’s when I stumbled across some mini pumpkin muffin bites! Not only did they appear to be the perfect size for my tiny tot, they were packed with pumpkin puree goodness. And they seemed like a great breakfast option (snack or dessert too, of course) if I just tweaked the recipe a bit. So, I added a few substitutions, including applesauce and whole wheat flour, to make them more suitable for a morning meal. To make them even healthier, you could skip the frosting and serve them plain or with a dollop of peanut butter for extra protein.
Here’s my version of delicious and nutritious bite-sized pumpkin muffins:
Mini Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup applesauce
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray mini-muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and applesauce on medium speed. Add eggs one at a time and add pumpkin until well combined. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients and blend for 1 minute. Fill each muffin cup with 2 tsp of batter. Bake for 10-12 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in pumpkin bite comes out clean. Cool bites in pan for 1 minute, transfer onto wire rack to cool completely. Frost with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/8 cup butter, room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
*Mix together until smooth and fluffy. Spread on cooled muffins.
By the way, here are a few health benefits of consuming pumpkin puree, that will make you wanna reach for two tasty pumpkin treats:
1. Good source of vitamin A.
A 1-cup serving of pureed pumpkin contains more than seven times the daily value of 5,000 IU for vitamin A. This means it’s good for your eyes!
2. Good source of fiber.
A 1-cup serving contains 7 grams of fiber. Getting more fiber in your diet may help lower your risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol levels and it helps improve digestion.
3. High in iron.
A 1-cup serving contains 3.4 milligrams of iron. Iron plays a number of different roles in your body, but it’s primary function is to help make hemoglobin and transport oxygen throughout your body.
As for me and my house, we will savor the delicious and nutritious pumpkin Fall flavor!