My family's journey down the road less traveled....

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.....

Pumpkins are a very under-rated and under-utilized fruit.  Yes, fruit!!  To most people they're only good for jack-o-lanterns, pies and chucking.  I love incorporating pumpkin puree into tons of dishes.  Of course, it lends itself best to those of the baked variety but toss a few spoonfuls into your meatloaf, spaghetti sauce or chili.  It'll add a little sweetness and a ton, and I mean a ton of fiber goodness.  Tasty and good for you!!

Here is one of my kids' favorite recipes with pumpkins.  There are a tons of extras you can add into this to up the ante health wise, like wheat germ and I've listed healthier alternatives in the notes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 1/2 cup sugar (I use all brown sugar but you can mix and match with white sugar or sugar substitute)
1/2 c vegetable oil**
4 eggs
1 1/2 can pumpkin puree...NOT Pumpkin Pie Filling
1/2 cup water or juice
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I used 2 tsp for extra flavor)
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups flour (doesn't have to be white flour but I think all wheat might be a little too heavy for the recipe)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (if you can find the whole nuts and grind your own, it's even better!!)
1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips (could sub in any dried fruit)

Preheat oven to 400° and grease muffin tins, use paper liners or those silicone ones.

Mix sugar, oil, and eggs.  Add in pumpkin and water.  In separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.  Add in wet mixture and chocolate chips stirring well.  
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake 20-25 minutes.  

From the land of pumpkiny goodness..........Deborah

**in most baking recipes calling for oil you can substitute with a myriad of things: applesauce, fruit purees, fruit butters, juice, yogurt, other oils, or butter)

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