>> Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I'm a mom on a mission. My mission is to get my kids to eat as healthy as possible while still enjoying their food. Snack time is often a challenge here. My kids can be picky and finicky, so I'm always looking for good, healthy snacks that will keep them interested in good food (in addition to trying to sway them to like fresh fruit and veggies). So, this is going to be a semi-regular feature here - healthy snacks that taste good. My kids are my jury here, but these snacks are just as good for adults.
My son came home from preschool a few weeks ago and asked if I would make him some pumpkin muffins. They made them a couple of times in their preschool class, and he loved them. Well, I put it off - for several weeks - because neither I nor his father care for pumpkin. Last week, I found a recipe that looked fairly easy and full of pumpkin at Smitten Kitchen. Both of my kids love these muffins! They consume them with a fervor that I can't quite translate into words.
I'm thrilled (and more than a little surprised) that my kids like pumpkin, and here's why. Pumpkin is loaded with the antioxidant beta-carotene. It's also low in fat and calories and high in potassium. Add in a fair amount of vitamin C, fiber, and other nutrients like calcium, iron, and vitamin E, and it's a shame that our main use for pumpkins is as a Halloween decoration!
I tweaked the recipe ever so slightly, so I'm going to go ahead and give you the version that I used, complete with pictures of my muffins. If you want to see the original recipe and gorgeous pictures of the final product, head on over to Smitten Kitchen. I chose to make mini-muffins for portion control (though it doesn't really help when they inhale 2-3 at a time). I'm sure that a better baker than I could substitute whole wheat flour for some of the all-purpose flour and decrease the sugar and still come out with a fine muffin.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cup packed pumpkin (from a 15-oz can - be careful not to get the pumpkin pie filling can!)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line mini-muffin pan with muffin cups.
Mix together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin-pie spice, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth. Mix together flour and baking powder and add to the pumpkin mixture. Mix until just combined.
Add batter to each muffin cup so that each cup is about 3/4 full. Bake until puffed and golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean, about 20 min.
Makes about 3 dozen mini-muffins.
Are you a picky eater? Would you like to be a little less picky? Then head on over to Kid Appeal and enter the Recovering Picky Eater Challenge! I know around here my kids are much less likely to try a new food if I don't like it. I'd hate to shut down good food options for them because of my pickiness. So, I'm going to work on my dislike of beans and fish - much to the joy of my husband, I'm sure.