I’m going through a lot of muffins these days. They’re being packed into lunchboxes, eaten for an afterschool snack, and munched by the handful at 11:00 p.m. when a certain teenage boy comes home from hockey.
On average, they – the food-inhaling adolescents in our house – go through a dozen muffins in a day or so. I might have one for breakfast, or with my afternoon tea, and Rob usually sneaks one when he walks in the door after work, but other than that the boys take care of the whole batch themselves, a feat that still fascinates me.
I’ve tried boycotting the muffins, presenting hummus and fruit and other non-baked goods instead, and while those offerings do eventually get eaten, they’re usually met with the same amount of enthusiasm as the kids display when the Wi-Fi’s down. So now, instead of trying to beat them, I’m joining them and enabling their muffin-munching addiction, but there’s a catch: the muffins have to do something good for their body, not just their taste buds.
For a few months now, there’s been batches of chocolate chia oatmeal muffins and whole-grain banana bread muffins, but now that fall is in full swing I’m adding pumpkin muffins to the rotation. I developed this recipe a few years ago for SavvyMom and more than 1,ooo people have liked, shared, pinned and commented on the recipe. In other words, it’s seems as though it’s worth knowing about. Made with whole-wheat flour, oats, cooked quinoa, and Greek yogurt, there’s plenty of fibre, protein and healthy fats packed into these baked bundles. Naturally, there’s also sugar, but not too much, so they err on the side of being not too sweet.
I don’t actually cook quinoa specifically for this recipe, but rather I intentionally make extra and store the leftovers in the fridge or freezer so I have it available when the mood – or need - to make muffins strikes. I do the same with the pumpkin as well, measuring it into ¾ cup portions and freezing it in small ziptop baggies.
If your hungry kids are looking for a baked snack I highly recommend giving these a go. Maybe just don’t mention the quinoa, though. For some reason that word immediately puts up red flags, so we can just keep that part of the recipe a secret between you and me.
Spiced Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
- ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup canola, olive, or (melted) coconut oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ¾ cup pumpkin purée
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In a bowl, combine the flours, oats, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, honey, egg, yogurt, oil, and vanilla.
4. Stir in the pumpkin. Add the dry ingredients and the quinoa; mix until just combined.
5. Scoop batter into the prepared muffin tin filling the cups ⅔ full. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the centre is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Note: Muffins can be made in advance and stored in the freezer. To thaw, remove from the freeze and place in the fridge overnight. Warm in the microwave for 30 seconds prior to serving.