Sunday, November 22, 2015

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Mini Muffins

Once again I have taken a brief hiatus from blogging. Have I mentioned that my husband works full time and is also a full time student? I stay home with the babies, so things get hectic here from time to time...make that most of the time. I have the best of intentions! I make the food, sometimes even take the pictures, and I always have the words in my head, but actually taking the time to sit and type out the post is where I struggle...obviously! 

So when I last posted in September (oops!) I posted a new muffin I figured I'd start back here in November with...drumroll...another muffin recipe! Yes, I am quite original! These are pumpkin mini muffins, and they are delicious! I was making this recipe for the third time in the past month (Yes, they are that good!) and I told myself I needed to get it together and post about these little gems! This has become one of my new favorite breakfasts, and I hope you will give it at try! 

I have been searching for a pumpkin muffin recipe using whole wheat flour that was not too high in sugar and had a good amount of pumpkin. I want something I can eat for breakfast and that I can also not feel bad about giving my kids, and these totally fit the bill! I used I recipe I found on another blog (as I always do!) and changed it up a little to fit my needs...I would actually consider it a work in progress as I have made it slightly differently all 3 times with great results! 

Okay so here we go. Standard issue muffins here...dry ingredients in one bowl. So in this case that's flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. I used white whole wheat flour for all of the flour in this recipe. I'm sure you could use all-purpose flour if that's what you had on hand. I am not sure about any other flours though as I do not have experience using them. I do not keep pumpkin spice on hand because I always have the spices that go into pumpkin spice, so I just substitute a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice and it works just fine! 

Now it's time for the wet ingredients: pumpkin puree, 2 eggs, canola or coconut oil, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. The original recipe called for 1 1/3 cup sugar, which is more than I wanted to use in a recipe I was sharing with my kids. I was looking for a muffin recipe I could make regularly and not feel bad about eating, so I cut the sugar down and used brown sugar for part of it because I love the little bit of molasses flavor. I made this the first time with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar but found they were still quite sweet. So the second time I tried 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup brown sugar and they had just the right amount of sweetness for my taste and now there is less than a cup of sugar in the recipe which is what I like to see! I think you could still cut the sugar down to 1/4 cup of each if you so choose, but I do like a little sweetness, so I'm content to leave this where it is. Also, if you only have white sugar or brown sugar, feel free to just use whichever one you have! I'm all about using what you have on hand! I also reduced the oil from 1/3 cup to 1/4 cup. I have used both canola and coconut oil with great results. I did try further reducing the oil to 3 Tablespoons, but the muffins were noticeably a little dryer, so I would not recommend that without replacing that last Tablespoon (1/4 cups =4 Tbsp) with more moisture. ***Updated 12/27/2015 to say I made these with 3 Tablespoons of oil and 1 Tablespoon of plain yogurt, and they were perfectly moist and delicious!***

Now pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until they are just combined. I cannot say enough how important it is to not over mix quick breads and this includes muffins! As soon as you stop seeing huge streaks of flour, stop stirring. Your muffins will rise much better that way! 

Now for a little confession...I am terrible at filling muffin tins. Just terrible. It seems to me that I fill them evenly, but I often seem to get a different number of muffins from the recipe I am following. I usually get 30 mini muffins from this recipe. The original recipe states 24, so I suppose if you want yours puffed up very high, go ahead and fill 24 cups. I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but mine were filled pretty full, and I still got 30, and sometimes I even get 35, so I'd say fill them at least 2/3 full and see how many you get! 

Seems as though I forgot the flash on that previous picture! Oops! Did I mention that along with my blogging skills I am also working on my photography skills? Hopefully you can see how delicious this looks even with my mediocre pictures! 

See? They still puff up quite nicely even though I made more than 24. And now I have 6 extra muffins to's a win-win! 

I let mine cool in the pan pretty much until I can touch them...which is about 1-2 minutes. They are still very hot at this point, but I like to at least get a few out of the pan quickly because I usually have hungry toddlers at my feet demanding muffins. 

These pictures are from a couple of weeks ago when I made these last. I made them again yesterday, and it's a good thing because looking at these pictures makes me really want a muffin right now! 

I love pumpkin muffins, and I have noticed that they usually get more moist as they sit. These muffins are even better the next day and still good for a few days after that. My family usually devours the batch in 3-4 days so I can't say how long they would last beyond that point. I will say that since pumpkin is very moist I probably would not keep them outside of the freezer for longer than that or they might go bad, and no one wants that! 

I am sure these would freeze well...If I ever had any left over I would try it out and let you know! To freeze just place your muffins on a sheet pan and stick in the freezer for an hour or two. After they are completely frozen, remove them to a labeled freezer bag. Defrost in the microwave or on the counter the night before eating. 

The tiny little girl loves these! She loves all muffins actually. If she sees a large plastic container in the kitchen she starts saying, "Mummy" which means "muffin." 

The little boy loves them as well. He, of course, prefers his green muffins, but he happily eats the "orange pumpkin muffins." 

What the boy has not learned yet is that if you leave a muffin sitting on a plate with your one-year-old sister around, she will steal your muffin. Muffin thief caught red-handed! 

Here's the recipe. If you like pumpkin, I urge you to try these! They are a perfect fall breakfast for your kids or for yourself with a cup of coffee! 

Just one more thing...if you use a 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree, after the 1 1/3 cup used in this recipe, you will be left with 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree. You can freeze that and save it for future muffins, or you can try this Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancake recipe from Ambitious Kitchen that is healthy and delicious! 

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Mini Muffins
Adapted from Deliciously Declassified

1  1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ginger, pinch of cloves and allspice)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (this is in addition to the pumpkin pie spice!) 
1  1/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
3 Tbsp canola oil or coconut oil (melted and cooled)*
1 Tbsp yogurt (plain or vanilla, Greek or regular)*
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray mini muffin tin with nonstick spray. 
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice (or substitution). Set aside. 
In a separate large bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, oil, yogurt, eggs, sugars, and vanilla. 
Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over mix! 
Pour batter into greased mini muffin tins. 
Bake at 350°F for 13-15 minutes until muffins are puffed and spring back when you touch the tops lightly. A toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin should come out clean. 
Cool in the pan for a few minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. You can get anywhere from 24 to 32 mini muffins depending on how full you fill each cup. Enjoy! 
*If you don't have yogurt on hand, feel free to use 1/4 cup of oil total and no yogurt. Or substitute applesauce for the yogurt. 

For more great recipe ideas, follow me on Pinterest! It's where I get most of my ideas!