Friday, October 1, 2010

Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater!

It all started with the Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream from Toft's Dairy in Sandusky. My obsession with pumpkin. The ice cream took me to Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks to pumpkin cheesecake to pumpkin donuts ... well, you get the picture.

These delicious, delicious things, though, were more than an occasional treat. I am fairly certain that I enjoyed Toft's ice cream more than once a week - as an ending to a fast-food dinner. When I recommitted myself to weight loss last year, I also committed myself to finding healthier alternatives to my favorite things.

Pumpkin fluff. Pumpkin lattes (or chai lattes) made with actual pumpkin - not sugar-laden syrups.

And this week, it was the pumpkin muffin. Or this week, the pumpkin muffin tried to be a healthier alternative.

I found a recipe on a diabetic recipe website, and I thought it might work well. Plus, it only made six muffins - just enough as Mark doesn't care for fall's glories.

To get started, gather your ingredients. You'll need:
  • 3/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I used 4 tablespoons Splenda Brown Sugar Blend)
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten (I used 1/4 cup egg substitute)
  • 1/2 cup fat free milk
  • 2 tablespoons margarine melted
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line six muffin tins with paper baking cups. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, egg, milk and margarine.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

Add the pumpkin mixture and mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling till almost full. I use a small ice cream scooper and count how many scoops per muffin so that I can ensure that each has about the same amount of calories.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.

Let the muffins cool. Do not try to taste them straight out of the oven ... just sayin'.

The verdict: These muffins taste good but taste healthy if you know what I mean. They are not overly sweet and feel a bit dense in the mouth. Next time, I'd use 1/2 cup all purpose flour and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour. I'd also use real brown sugar or 6 tablespoons of Splenda.

What's your favorite healthy way to eat pumpkin?

1 comment:

  1. Looks yummy. I like to make pumpkin cookies with raisins - I substitute most of the unhealthy ingredients with healthy ones - like apple sauce for oil. I'm sure they aren't overly great for you, but it's got to be better than delicious butter heavy chocolate chip cookies - right?!