Is this a healthy muffin? Is there such a thing as a healthy muffin if it contains sugar?
I mean sure, you can make all sorts of paleo “blah-blah-naturally-sweetened-with-bananas” type things… but those aren’t reeaaallly muffins. Muffins are fluffy, slightly sweet, with a delicious crusty top. They’re basically cupcakes without the frosting, if we’re being honest with ourselves. They’re cupcakes we can feel better about eating.
Buuut, if there was such a thing as a healthy muffin – this would be it! It does contain sugar, but also has pumpkin purée, apple, carrot, and zucchini (courgette) inside. Not to mention pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
It might not seem like the kind of recipe for the beautiful sunny weather we’ve been having, but I think it works. The flavours may feel like fall (with the pumpkin, cinnamon, and cloves) but the fact that it’s healthy makes it feel like summer to me! I can’t be the only one who craves salad and other healthy foods once the weather heats up? Goodbye hearty and rich stews – hello BBQ!
In my humble opinion, if carrot cake is acceptable all year round, why not these?
So if you’d like a morning treat, or something to bring the office, and are looking for healthier options – why not try these? I can guarantee you that you won’t be disappointed.
- 450g all-purpose flour
- 300g whole-wheat flour
- 14g baking soda (bicarbonate)
- 26g baking powder
- 10g ground cinnamon (plus extra for sprinkling)
- 6g ground ginger
- 6g salt
- large pinch all-spice
- large pinch ground cloves
- pinch ground cardamon (optional)
- 74g sunflower seeds
- 74g pumpkin seeds (plus extra for topping)
- 450g sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
- 284g pumpkin purée
- 224ml neutral oil (sunflower)
- 116ml apple juice
- 6ml vanilla extract
- 134g grated zucchini (courgette)
- 100g grated carrot
- 92g grated apple
- Preheat oven to 170°C convection (340°F). Line 2 muffins trays with paper cases (24 total).
- In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients except for the sugar, and seeds. Mix in the seeds, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, along with all the wet ingredients. Stir in the grated veggies and fruit.
- Mix the wet into the dry, until no flour remains. (The mixture will be thick)
- Mix together a tablespoon of extra sugar with a sprinkling of cinnamon to dust the muffins with.
- Spoon the mixture evenly into 24 muffin cases, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and top with a few extra pumpkin seeds.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30+ minutes, turning partway through. Check with a toothpick to see if done.
- Cool on baking racks, then store in an airtight container.
If you are using the larger tulip paper cases, then you'll only get about 18-20 muffins, and may have to bake longer.