Healthy pumpkin muffins, warmly spiced, a nutritional breakfast muffin that boosts immunity, supports weight loss, is low in sugar. And made in one bowl. Vegan, gluten-free and egg-free.
Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
A soft spicy healthy pumpkin muffin perfect for breakfast or even a snack and made easily in one bowl. These muffins are not only full of warm spices, but also rich in nutrients, low in sugar and full of metabolism-triggering goodness.
If you are going to have a muffin for breakfast, this one will contribute to your daily nutritional needs as well as your need for warm spicy fall goodness. Sounds like a win-win to me.
These pumpkin muffins specifically support weight-loss, eyes, immunity, skin and are low in sugar. Read on for the specific ways eating pumpkin is terrific for you.
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How Do Pumpkin Muffins Taste?
These healthy pumpkin muffins taste spicy and soft. They are:
- Full of warm spices and healthy pumpkin
- Easy to make in one bowl, in 20 minutes
- Vegan, gluten-free, egg-free, with an oil-free option
- A great healthy breakfast or snack
5 Healthy Benefits of Pumpkin
1. Pumpkin Supports Weight-loss: Rich in fiber so slows digestion, making you feel full longer. Also low calorie. Far lower in calories than butter that traditional pumpkin recipes include. [source]
2. Pumpkin Protects Eyes & Vision: The bright orange color of pumpkin indicates tons of beta-carotene, an element the body converts easily to vitamin A. And vitamin A helps your eye absorb and process light, and vitamin A and two antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin protect against eye disease. [source]
3. Pumpkin Boosts Immunity: That same vitamin A pumps power into your immune system to fight infections, viruses and disease. Pumpkin not only has vitamin C which is an immunity booster, its oil is a fungal fighter. [source]
4. Pumpkin Protects Skin: The same beta-carotene that produces vitamin A also protects your skin from the sun's UV rays and age-driven breakdowns. [source]
5. Pumpkin Balances Blood Sugar: Eating pumpkin has been shown to reduce blood glucose levels and improve glucose tolerance. That, combined with the low sugar levels of these muffins, make this muffin recipe ideal for a low sugar healthy breakfast or snack. [source]
Orange foods in general - not just pumpkin - are terrifically healthy and contain vitamin C to boost immunity and support skin and energy, potassium important for fluid balance and blood pressure, and folate, so important for cell repair and development.
So if you have to swap pumpkin in this recipe for sweet potato puree or butternut squash, your muffin will still be potently powerful.
Healthy Pumpkin Muffin Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy pumpkin recipe:
Flour – I use GF baking flour but all purpose flour would also work easily.
Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves – I use my homemade pumpkin spice recipe off my homemade spice recipe guide here - In this guide, I not only share a homemade pumpkin pie spice, also homemade gingerbread spice, homemade chia spice, and homemade apple pie spice.
Oil – If you don't want to use oil in this recipe, replace it with unsweetened apple sauce. I use extra-virgin olive oil which is heart-healthy and the least processed oil.
No eggs - instead use 3 tbsp of aquafaba or 1 flaxseed egg (3 tbsp water + 1 tbsp flaxseed).
Dairy-free milk activated with lemon juice – I add a tbsp of lemon juice to my almond milk to activate the baking soda to help the muffins rise. This is also called vegan buttermilk.
Organic cane sugar - There is only ½ cup of sugar in 12 muffins. That's only 8 grams of sugar per muffin. The average pumpkin muffin recipe typically has 30 grams of sugar. I find my muffins to be sweet enough, especially if you added a glaze or crumble.
Pumpkin puree – I use quality canned pumpkin puree. The only ingredient is pumpkin. So don't mistake pumpkin puree for pumpkin pie puree which has added sugars. Also, sweet potato puree or butternut squash puree works perfectly if you can't find pumpkin puree.
And then we have the baking essentials baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Now you’re ready to bake!
How to Make Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
Step #1: Mix up the wet ingredients in a large bowl. And sift or dump in the dry ingredients.
Step #2: Use a medium scoop (2 tbsp) to distribute batter between 12 muffin wells in a muffin pan lined with paper cupcake liners, either two 6-well pans or 1 12-well pan.
Step #3: Bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Allow them to cool 20 minutes in the pan. This will help the papers come off more cleanly.
Q&A About Pumpkin Muffins
Is Canned Pumpkin the Same as Pumpkin Puree?
Look at the ingredients before you buy. For this recipe, the ingredients need to be ONLY pumpkin. There is a product called "Pumpkin Pie Puree". This is not correct for this recipe as it has added sugars and spices and is more suitable for pumpkin pie.
The Best Way to Store Muffins
Muffins stored in a container will become moist after a few days. To combat this, add a paper towel to the bottom of the container, and lay a paper towel on top of the muffins as well. They should stay dry for about 4 days. Freeze them individually for long term storage. To have them ready for breakfast, put a frozen muffin in the refrigerator overnight so it is thawed by morning.
Test Your Baking Powder & Baking Soda
The number one reason baking recipes fail is dud baking powder or even baking soda. To test them, pour ¼ tsp baking powder in a glass of water and ¼ tsp of baking soda in a glass of white vinegar. Both should create fizzy bubbles if they are fresh. If not, toss them and buy new versions.
Substitutions for Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
Oil-free: Swap oil for applesauce.
Egg replacements: I used aquafaba but you can also use a flax seed egg. You'll need the equivalent of one egg for this recipe.
Milk: I used almond but any dairy-free milk works. I add the lemon juice to curdle the milk into a kind of buttermilk - this allows the baking soda to help with lift.
Flour: I used Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free 1 to 1 baking flour blend but his GF all purpose would also work. If you don't need the muffins to be gluten-free, regular all purpose flour would also work.
How to Make Pumpkin Bread
Make the same batter and pour into a parchment-lined loaf pan and bake 45 minutes. I have a detailed pumpkin bread recipe here.
Tips to Make Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
Tip#1: When making an egg-free recipe, it's important to add an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar to the milk to react with the baking soda and help the muffins rise.
Tip #2: There is not a ton of oil and butter in these muffins so to help them not stick to the papers, let them cool in the pan for 20 minutes then peel off paper carefully.
Tip #3: You can bake these in mini-muffin tins as well.
Other Healthy Bread & Muffin Recipes
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Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
- 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned Or sweet potato puree, or butternut squash puree - Farmers Market brand has both in cans
- ½ cup dairy-free milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (Or apple cider vinegar or white vinegar)
- 3 tbsp aquafaba, liquid from a can of chickpeas (Or 1 tbsp flaxseed mixed in 3 tbsp water)
- ½ cup organic cane sugar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (Or unsweetened apple sauce)
- 1 ¾ cup flour (I used GF baking flour, but all purpose will also work)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch salt
Spices to add to dry ingredients
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp cloves
Crumb top, optional
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2-6 tbsp butter sticks, chilled and chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Be sure your oven heats accurately. Use an oven thermometer to test it.
- Line cupcake pans with paper liners. Either 1 12 well pan or 2 6 well pans.
- Measure out aquafaba from a can of room temperature chickpeas or prepare flaxseed egg by mixing 1 tbsp flaxseeds into 3 tbsp of water and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Stir 1 tbsp of lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar) into the milk and allow it to curdle for 5 minutes.
Crumb Top, optional
- Combine ingredients with a fork. Allow texture to be chunky and put it in the freezer. The more chilled the crumb is, the more crumbly it stays through the baking. Sometimes I make it the night before and let is freeze overnight.
Make Pumpkin muffins
- Mix up the wet ingredients in a large bowl.
- Set a sifter over the bowl, and add the dry ingredients + spices to it. Then using a spoon to push the dry ingredients into the bowl on top of the wet ingredients.
- Or, alternatively, just stir up the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and dump that into the wet ingredients.
- Use a medium scoop or 2 tbsp scoop to fill each well. If you are using crumb top, add it to each muffin now.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes.
- Let muffins cool for 20 minutes in pan.
Store Pumpkin Muffins
- Store pumpkin muffins covered at room temperature for one day. After that, refrigerate for 4 days, again well covered but with paper towels in container.