Pumpkin muffins made in a pinch with naturally sweet dates, bananas, and nutritious flax seed meal!
Pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin everything, is popping up everywhere this season. What better way to enjoy this popular food than at breakfast in the form of a healthy and wholesome muffin? I was inspired by a pumpkin muffin recipe I came across by the very talented food blogger, Kate from Cookie and Kate. Check out her pumpkin muffin recipe here.
Baking is still a scientific mystery to me. As I explore the culinary world in my small apartment kitchen, I tend to shy away from baking recipes, but I thought this would be a fun recipe to try for the season! There were also some lonely browning bananas on my counter, and decided to mix them in with pumpkin for a different breakfast take.
The Sweeter Alternative
Instead of sugar, I used date butter which I make often for my energy bars as a sweetener alternative. To make this date puree (butter) simply soak dates in water for 10 minutes to soften. Second, remove the pit, chop, and throw in a food processor or high speed blender. Add half the amount of water to your dates, for example, if you are using 1 cup of dates, add 1/2 cup of water. Lastly, blend until a smooth puree is formed and use a spatula or spoon to scoop out.
Try Adding Flaxseed!
For the flour portion, I wanted to include flaxseed meal that I had been planning to finally use for the first time. Flaxseed is an excellent source of good-for-you Omega-3 fatty acids and heart-healthy fiber. Most recipes call for reducing your flour contents by 25% if substituting flaxseed. Flaxseed is also very good as a replacer for oil and eggs, according to Bob’s Red Mill, you’ll want to use a 3:1 ratio (liquid to flaxseed).
Skipping Breakfast is a Big No-No
You’ve heard it before, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, it’s true! Not only are you missing out on the right nutrients your body needs for fueling in the morning, you’re also making yourself extra sluggish and hungry later on. This leads to a very likely chance of overeating and sneaking in excess calories your body doesn’t quite need. At breakfast, try to aim for a a healthy combination of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. For these muffins, I ended up spreading a tablespoon of nut butter on top and pairing it with a low sugar (less than 10 grams) Greek yogurt, or a healthy lower calorie smoothie as an addition to make a balanced meal. These pumpkin muffins also make a great snack or healthy dessert choice.
In this recipe, you’ll want to make the liquid ingredients portion in a separate bowl and then mix in the dry ingredients. I used the oats for a topping to the muffins and did not include them in the batter. Feel free to add in the oats, dried fruits and nuts of your choice as an additional topping at the end of the batter mixing. Keep covered on a countertop for a few days or up to a week in the refrigerator.
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (can also use butter or olive oil)
- 1/2 cup date butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 banana, mashed
- 1/4 cup milk of your choice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pie spice
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have a greased or non-stick muffin pan set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, date butter, and eggs until well blended. Then add the pumpkin, banana, and milk; whisk until smooth.
- Next add the baking soda, vanilla extract, spice blend, and salt.
- Slowly mix in the flour and flaxseed meal.
- Optional, mix in dried fruit or nuts; I added in 1/4 cup dried cranberries.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Test with a knife to make sure batter does not stick.
- Let the muffins cool before serving to prevent crumbling. Enjoy!!