My college Freshman roommates and I all bonded over the best, easy-to-make muffins. The ingredients: spice cake mix, one small can of pumpkin puree, and a bag of chocolate chips. That's it! To this day, I know we ALL make them year round, but especially in the fall.
Now that my oldest has started Kindergarten and I need to pack her a snack each day, I'm finding myself making muffins waaaaaaay more than I ever have before. The school is nut-free, so my normal granola bars are out. Muffins are easy for little kids to transport, eat, and can be healthier than other easy-to-grab snacks. I usually grab one from the fridge and add some carrots or baby tomatoes. She loves them!
As much as I relish those pumpkin muffins from my college days, I don't want my daughter to crash and burn a half hour after eating her snack. I've made a lot of different muffins the past two months (zucchini, banana, carrot, etc.), but this one has been the surprise favorite.
I altered a few recipes into one here, and this final product uses way less refined sugar than most recipes I've seen and more wheat, too. They are just sweet enough, but fun enough to make them popular with all of my kids (and me, too!). This makes a rather big batch. I freeze most of them into two separate bags and put a bag in the fridge when we're ready to eat.
Get ready to love these!
Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Note: I have been using mini-chocolate chips more than big chips lately, but you can do normal-sized chocolate chips as well. I always have old-fashioned oats on had, so that's what I use; but I'm sure quick-oats work great, too. Additionally, I tend to use coconut oil (barely melted in the microwave), but you can also use grape seed or canola oil. I love white-wheat flour as the flavor is less strong, but regular wheat is fine if that's what you have! Finally, I spray the muffins liners with cooking spray to ensure they don't stick, as chocolate chips tend to be pulled out otherwise.
1 small can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup oil (see notes)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 cups wheat flour (see notes)
1/2 cup white flour
1/3 cup oats (see notes)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp clove
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 bag chocolate chips (see notes)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix puree, oil, vanilla, honey, sugar, eggs, and milk. In a separate bowl, sift the remaining ingredients, excluding the chocolate chips. Add almost all of the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until there are a few remaining streaks of flour. Pour chocolate chips into the dry bowl with the little bit of flour and toss the chips. Add the leftover flour and chocolate chips to the big bowl and fold them in until barely mixed, with no streaks remaining.
Divide batter into sprayed liners in muffin tins, filling up to 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 14-17 minutes. Makes approximately three dozen muffins.