These muffins are delicious, easy to make and great for you. Enjoy them hot out of the oven and keep extra for lunchtime snacks for the kids (or you) during the week. Pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to vitamin A, beta carotene performs many important functions in overall health. Current studies link diets rich in foods with beta-carotene to reducing the risk of certain types of cancer and protection against heart disease.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. chia seeds, ground (use a coffee or spice grinder)
  • 1 cup whole wheat or whole grain flour
  • 1/2 cup white unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 can (16 ounces) organic pumpkin (make sure there is only pumpkin listed on the ingredient list)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup or 1/2 cup agave nectar or a combination of the two
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients.
  • Fold the wet ingredients (fold in nuts now if you are using them) into the dry ingredients and spoon into paper-lined muffin or greased muffin tins.
  • Bake for 25–30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

Notes:

  • Store completely cooled muffins in sealable plastic bags in the freezer.

Adapted from the cookbook Mom-A-Licious by Domenica Catelli