If you aren’t quite in the mood for fall just yet, this healthy pumpkin oatmeal muffin recipe is guaranteed to get you there quick. Here in Kansas, there’s definitively been a hint of fall in the air and that means time for all things pumpkin. Including recipes using this well-known and popular fruit (yes, botanically pumpkins are a fruit) associated with Halloween and favorite fall dishes.
So let’s talk first about pumpkins and why they are considered a fruit and not a vegetable. If you ask a botanist, they’ll tell you pumpkins are a fruit because it’s a product of the seed-bearing structure of flowering plants. Vegetables, on the other hand, are the edible portion of plants such as leaves, stems, roots, bulbs, flowers, and tubers. But, since we consider and associate fruits as tasting sweet, pumpkins, as we all know, are far less sweet and more savory from a culinary perspective. Therefore they get categorized as a vegetable.
Now, back to the recipe…if you’re looking for a simple and basic Pumpkin Oatmeal muffin recipe, this is it. The two main ingredients, of course, are canned pumpkin puree and rolled oats. No flour is used whatsoever. This means the final product will be more dense, but with just the right amount of a hint of sweetness from the brown sugar, without over doing it. These muffins are also amazingly moist, flavorful, and keep well whether refrigerated or frozen.
Nutritionally, this recipe is a very healthy choice. Pumpkins are low in calories, fat free, sodium free, high in vitamin A and a good source of vitamin K. Thanks to their nutritional profile, pumpkins help aid in lowering risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and enhance skin health.
Oatmeal is rich in fiber, both insoluble and soluble. The primary soluble fiber in oats is beta-glucan, which helps slow digestion and increases satiety which suppresses appetite. This same fiber also binds with cholesterol-rich bile acids helping transport them to the digestive tract and out of the body. This action helps lower cholesterol levels which may reduce heart disease risk. Oats also are a good source of phosphorous, thiamine, magnesium, and zinc. The rolled oats used in this recipe, also known as old-fashioned, are oat groats that have been steamed, rolled, and flattened into flakes, and then dried to remove moisture making them shelf-stable.
Muffins are always a treat and this recipe is especially suited for serving at breakfast or as a grab-and-go snack – whichever you prefer! Make these muffins and your family will ask for them again and again.
Photo by Cheryl Mussatto
Photo by Cheryl Mussatto
Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins – 12 servings
Nutrition information per serving: Calories: 180; Total Fat: 6 grams: Protein: 5 grams: Carbohydrates: 27 grams; Fiber: 4 grams; Sodium: 185 milligrams
3 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 ½ cups low-fat milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup light brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¾ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans pieces (optional)
¼ cup craisins (optional)
¼ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients – oats, milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and eggs. Mix until well blended.
- Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each almost to the top. If desired, sprinkle evenly with nuts, craisins, and/or mini chocolate chips
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
- Wrap airtight and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.