Friday, October 23, 2009


Healthy eating doesn't mean you can't have the occasional treat. I'm finding that the treats themselves are better when packed with nutritionally rich additions, such as whole wheat flour and pumpkin, or sunflower seeds and oats. Moderation is key, of course. Both of these recipes freeze well, too.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Seriously, this is the best pumpkin muffin recipe I have in my epicurean arsenal...

1 and 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
2 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin or 1 cup fresh cooked (and cooled) mashed pumpkin
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup chocolate chips

Melt butter in the microwave, set aside to cool. Line muffin pans with 12 foil baking cups. Combine four, sugar, spices, soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir well. In another bowl, mix butter and pumpkin together, then add the eggs. Mix well. Add chocolate chips to the pumpkin mixture, stir to combine. Pour wet ingredients into the flour mixture, stir just to blend. Don't over blend - the batter should be lumpy. If you over mix quick breads, the gluten in the flour will lengthen and create chewy muffins. You don't want that! Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until the muffins, when pressed, spring back at the touch. These are great warm, but the spice flavor improves the second and third days (if they last that long).


1 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons almond OR vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups quick or old fashioned oats
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup white chocolate chips (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. Cream together sugars and butter, add extract and eggs. Beat until fluffy. Add flour mixture and blend well. Use a spoon to fold in oats, seeds, and coconut (and those chips if you're using them). Drop dough from teaspoons onto baking sheets. Bake 12 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

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