It's the dead of winter here in Chicago and I'm craving comfort foods. I like to fill up on healthy snacks but sometimes I need something, well, carb-y. Pumpkin is used a lot in the fall but I like to bake with it year round to add a healthy dose of vegetables to my treats. I've also incorporated almond meal and greek yogurt to bump up the protein content. At about 200 calories (630 in a Dunkin Donuts chocolate chip muffin), these muffins provide almost 6 grams of protein and 65% of your daily requirement of vitamin A.
I promise these muffins are so delicious, you won't miss the extra fat and calories. The recipe yields 6 muffins - just enough to get you through the better part of a week but it's easy enough to double if you want to share.
Get the recipe after the jump.
Best Ever Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c almond meal
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
2/3 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 t stevia
1/2 c pumpkin
1/4 c honey
2 T canola oil
2 T greek yogurt
1/4 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 6-cup muffin tin with muffin liners or grease with cooking spray.
2. Mix together dry ingredients.
3. Make a well in the center, add all wet ingredients and stir until well combined.
4. Stir in chocolate chips, if using.
5. Divide batter among the 6 muffin cups and bake for 20-22 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched.
Pumpkin is a very low-calorie vegetable that is high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. A great source of anti-oxidants, including high levels of vitamin A and poly-phenolic flavonoids. Pumpkin also contains anti-oxidant vitamins C and E, mood-stabilizing B-vitamins, and minerals copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
100% whole wheat flour maintains the bran and the germ of the wheat that is typically processed out of white flour. It is high in fiber, manganese, and magnesium. A diet that contains whole grains reduces your risk of metabolic syndrome and type-II diabetes.
Almond meal is simply ground almonds and contains the same health benefits. The nuts are high in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, and phytochemicals that protect against cardiovascular disease and even cancer. They are also an excellent source of calcium and magnesium which are essential for strong bones.
Eggs are a high protein, low calorie food.
Greek yogurt replaces half the oil in this recipe. It can contain twice as much protein and half the carbs of unstrained yogurt.
Stevia is a no carb, no calorie natural sweetener dervived from the sweetleaf plant. Some studies have shown that stevia can help reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It also has antibacterial properties.
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, a powerful anti-oxidant. In fact, cacoa has more of these cancer-fighting components than red wine or green tea. It’s also rich in magnesium which alleviates pre-menstral syndrome symptoms, cuts diabetes risk, and control blood pressure. Semi-sweet chips are a stretch here -- you are welcome to look for some with a higher cacoa content.by