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Pumpkin and spice and everything nice

Filled with pumpkin, nuts and chocolate, these hearty muffins are a favourite. The fat has been cut too--so no guilt if you have more than one!
healthy pumpkin muffins
Hearty and full of nuts, pumpkin and chocolate chips, these reduced-fat muffins make for a delicious snack. Photo: Kristel Cowley

Great West Newspaper's media sales specialist Kristel Cowley says that "if you feed these tasty pumpkin muffins to your family, they won't be plumpkin! That's because we've carved out the fatty ingredients and left in the yummy ones. No tricks. Just treats!"

 Pumpkin and Spice and Everything Nice muffins

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup wheat bran or whole wheat flour

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (see tip)

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup canned pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

½ cup plain yogurt

½ cup pure maple syrup or liquid honey

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup finely grated carrots (or zucchini)

½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)                                                  


  • Preheat oven to 375 degress F.  Spray 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine flour, wheat bran, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, yogurt, maple syrup, butter, egg and vanilla.  Stir in carrots.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir using a wooden spoon just until moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.  Batter will be thick.
  • Divide batter evenly among 12 muffin cups.  Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in the center of muffin comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.

TIP:  if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, use 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon plus ¼ tsp each of ground ginger and nutmeg.