These moist and delicious muffins pair perfectly with a crisp Autumn day and a mug of hot tea. You won’t even know you’ve just filled up on vitamins, minerals and antioxidants while keeping the sugar to a minimum. These light, but full-of-fiber muffins will leave you feeling like you’ve had a treat but left the guilt behind. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Carrot and Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or flour of your choice)
1/4 cup wheat germ (if you don’t have this just replace with flour)
1/2 cup wheat bran
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, plus 1/4 tsp each ground ginger and nutmeg)
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup canned pure pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree
1/2 cup plain yogurt (full fat is best)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup finely grated carrots
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with coconut cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl combine flour, wheat germ, wheat bran, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. If you are adding walnuts, toss with dry mixture to coat nuts so they don’t all fall to the bottom. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, yogurt, maple syrup, butter, egg and vanilla. Stir in carrots. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir, using a wooden spoon*just until moistened*.
Batter will be thick
I haven’t forgotten about the chocolate chips. They’re coming!
Using a spoon or, my favorite, a little ice cream scoop with the spring action handle, scoop half of the batter into each of the 12 muffin spots. **Onto each muffin sprinkle 4-5 chocolate chips. Scoop the other half of the batter on top of the chocolate chips in each muffin spot. Top each muffin with a chocolate chip. You do not have to use 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. Just use however many you want.
Bake on middle rack in oven for 20-22 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 12 muffins
*The secret to a really good muffin (or cake or cupcake) is to mix as little as possible. If you come out with tough muffins it’s because they’ve been over-mixed. I make sure both my wet ingredients and my dry ingredients are sufficiently mixed before I add them together. This way, I don’t accidentally over-mix because my egg wasn’t completely incorporated with the yogurt before I added them to the flour mixture.
**Please note that you can just fold the chocolate chips in at the end, or even toss with the dry ingredients along with the walnuts. The reason I do it this way is two-fold (1) It lessens the amount of chocolate chips I have to use without compromising taste. (2) My daughter loves to help and putting the chocolate chips in like this is big fun. Plus, she doesn’t have to figure out which muffin to eat because they all have the same amount of chocolate chips.