My friend Leslie is a rock star of healthful eating among many, many other things — a parent who has a true passion for eating well both in the flavor and nutritional sense. Whenever we stop by her house (even spur of the moment), there’s bound to be something homemade and yummy at hand. With the goal of making an even bigger impact, she recently got involved in her son’s school cafeteria program with the goal of getting healthier (but still kid-friendly) choices on the menu. Way to go Leslie!!!
Since I was a little girl and old enough to stand on a chair in the kitchen without falling, I have enjoyed baking with my Grandmother, Mother and Sister. Now that I am a Mom I found myself back in the kitchen this time with one or both of my boys standing on a chair next to me baking muffins and other delicious and healthy eats. I started making muffins for my first son. I found it so easy to make muffins in a mini muffin pan and wrap for storage in the freezer. It was very handy to reach into the freezer grab a muffin or two and toss them in my bag. By the time my son was ready for a snack the muffin had thawed! I laugh now as those 24 mini muffins last maybe 3 days with two boys in the house! I cannot remember the last time they actually made it into the freezer! One of my most popular muffins is made from pumpkin. These are a hit at school when I am in charge of bringing snacks!
I adapted this recipe from a Junior League Cookbook for Butterscotch Pumpkin muffins. I think what makes them so good is the combination of ginger, cinnamon, cloves and mace. As you read the recipe you will see the Butterscotch, refined sugar and majority of flour is either removed or improved. Muffins pair nicely for breakfast with a delicious smoothie!
- 1 ¾ Cup Flour. Use half whole wheat and half white flour or all whole wheat. Use what your tastes like or are used to.
- ½ Cup Maple Syrup (Grade B ) (Increase by 1/8 cup if you prefer a sweeter muffin)
- ½ Teaspoon Ginger
- ½ Teaspoon Mace
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
- 1 Teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ Teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 Cup pumpkin (I have used canned and puree from a sugar pumpkin, both were great)
- ½ Cup butter, melted. [Variation to omit butter: ½ cup milk, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 1/3 cup ricotta cheese.]
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix flour, ginger, mace, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Create a well in the middle of the mixture.
- In another bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin and butter (or other), and maple. Pour into well of dry ingredients.
- Fold together just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix (tough one if you have helpers…)
- Spoon batter evenly into mini muffin tins (or regular). Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Place on a rack to cool.
As I was making Leslie’s recipe, I took a minute to take a look at the nutritional facts on my can of pureed pumpkin. Pumpkin is very high in Vitamin A (a good source of the anti-oxidant beta carotene) and rich in fiber in case you needed another incentive to run out and make this recipe.