We have been eating a lot of sweets lately- cakes, cupcakes, and cookies- with my daughter’s birthday party and our Eid holiday just a few days after. So I needed to come up with a healthier way for us to enjoy my baked goods. My husband just loved the caramel pumpkin cake, but that butter and sugar- yikes! So I decided to make several adjustments to a regular pumpkin or carrot cake to create a perfectly tasty and dare I say, (kind of) healthy, pumpkin- carrot muffin!
I swapped out half the flour for whole wheat flour. I significantly cut down the sugar to 1/2 a cup and added honey and maple syrup instead. Then I added some oats. While I found pumpkin to be a great substitute for oil, I wanted to make sure this would be a nice moist muffin, so I added in some olive oil. Yes, olive oil! It has very wonderful health benefits, and would offer great moisturizing benefits to these lil treats as well. You cannot smell or taste the olive oil at all so do not worry!
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Baking is always a great way to keep the kids busy. You could let your kids pour, sift, and stir to allow them to feel some real ownership to the baked goods. I was in a hurry this time so I just gave my daughter her own mixing bowl and would pass her a spoon of flour, water, and oil as I went along and let her go to town. She loved it!
To be honest I was preparing to make a maple butter glaze for these guys because I was sure they would come out a little dry or too healthy tasting. But there is absolutely no need here. I suppose I could try it another time to make these more like dessert, but we gobbled up all the muffins before I even had a chance to store them! They were that good! The high fiber and vitamin A you get is not a bad deal either. So here it is!
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice ( 1/4 tsp of nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ginger, and 1/2 cinnamon)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (grade A amber)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup oats
- Sift together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the honey, maple syrup, and brown sugar until smooth. Blend in the pumpkin puree and shredded carrots. Whisk in the eggs with vanilla extract. Add the olive oil and stir until well blended.
- Slowly pour in the flour mixture and blend with a hand bender on low for about 30 seconds to a minute until well combined. Stir in the oats with a large spoon.
- Scoop into a muffin tin and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
- To have nice big muffin tops, do not hesitate to fill each muffin cavity with a full scoop of batter!
- These also taste great with raisins; add 3/4 a cup to the batter after the oats for the extra texture and flavor!