Tag Archives: pumpkin

Pumpkin Apple Banana Muffins {vegan}

Packed with apple, pumpkin, banana and cinnamon, and free of refined sugar, these healthy vegan muffins make for a great autumn snack, small breakfast, or guilt-free dessert!

One of my favorite September activities is apple picking. But since it’s pretty warm and summery feeling in San Diego in September, sometimes I forget that the apple orchards are ready to be visited. A few years we’ve been too late in the apple picking game and either a.) go when the orchards are pretty picked over, or b.) miss apple picking all together (like last year!). BUT NOT THIS YEAR!


Nope, in 2016 I was on high apple picking alert! In the San Diego area, the best area to visit for apple picking is Julian – a cute little town I’ve talked about before. It’s about a 75-minute drive from my house, and it’s like a whole different world there.

It’s known for its farming, apple pies and boutique vineyards. It’s the kind of place where some of the local establishments don’t have websites. It’s country living still close to the wonderful city of San Diego, and it’s a fun little getaway spot.


So even though it seemed early for autumn to already be here, off we went to Julian last weekend for some local apples.


For all of you locals, the orchard I chose is called MJ Ranch – mainly because they’re organic growers, had their opening day last weekend so I knew they’d be stocked with fruit, and because they’re dog-friendly and I wanted to bring my pup along. The Visit Julian website has a good list of U-Pick orchards listed here.


It turned out to be the best year yet that we’ve had with apple picking! The trees were lush with a variety of apples, and the farm also grows pears as well.

As you can see in the picture above, Harley made some friends at the orchard and enjoyed eating fruit from the ground (and this little girl had Harley lick the apple she was actually eating – not too sure about that!). There were lots of people there with dogs, which was fun.


We came home with two full bags of apples ready to be eaten. It’s funny comparing local, organic apples to typical store-bought ones. They’re smaller, flawed and not perfectly shaped – just how apples were meant to be I think!


Naturally, I had to do some sort of baking with a couple of the apples that very day.


I had been thinking of making pumpkin banana muffins, so instead, I added some chopped apple to the mix to make it a very autumn-ish muffin recipe – using just a food processor as my mixing bowl!

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Currently Crushing On: Halloween Edition

Happy almost Halloween!

Anyone doing anything fun for it? Unfortunately I won’t be dressing up because we don’t have any Halloween obsessed friends that are throwing parties this year, but I love celebrating the holiday anyways. To me, Halloween kicks off the holiday season, which I always love (I know, too soon! Although Home Depot is already decked out for Christmas…).

I love seeing all of the cute kid costumes from our trick-or-treaters. But since I don’t have any kiddos to dress up, I’ll be making Harley wear her headless horsemen rider outfit probably all day today and tomorrow…

Headless Horseman costume

She hates it and it’s hilarious. When she runs, the headless horseman starts falling to the side, and then she turns around and tries to bite it off. It’s pretty entertaining (though it may be considered mildly torturous to her)!

Getting into the Halloween spirit, here are some other Halloween-ish things I’m diggin’ at the moment:

IG Halloween WOD-2

THIS spooky workout, which I first posted last Halloween. I love quick, butt-kicking workouts that get your heart pumping immediately!

Pumpkin carving, which A and I will be doing tonight! We have an annual contest each year.

pumpkin beer pretzels

Pumpkin Beer Soft Pretzels via Baking A Moment. Um, I think I need to try making these ASAP.

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Protein Smoothie + Puritan’s Pride Giveaway!

The following post is sponsored by Puritan’s Pride, but as always, all opinions expressed are genuinely my own.

Hello friends, and Happy Friday!

Today I’ve got a fun recipe and a giveaway to share with you guys! So we all know that smoothies are a great way to pack in lots of goodness into one delicious drink, but sometimes we all get into a rut of making the same ones over and over. Even though I like to get creative in the kitchen, heaven knows that I can get in the habit of making the same smoothie combo a gazillion times in a row!


That’s why I’m partnering with Puritan’s Pride, a maker of high-quality nutritional supplements and healthy foods, over the next three months to put some pizzazz in my smoothies. I’m using their protein powders and superfoods-based products to sneak in more goodness, making my smoothies more nutritious than ever. Each month, I’ll be sharing a superfood-packed smoothie and doing a giveaway of Puritan’s Pride goodies. And Puritan’s Pride and I would love to hear about the seasonal smoothie recipes you’re whipping up too!

We’re kicking off October with the theme of – what else? – pumpkin! Pumpkin is a superfood partly because it’s high in Vitamin A and potassium. This is the time of the year when pumpkin obsession is in full swing for food lovers all over, and I’m certainly not complaining since I can’t get enough pumpkin lately either. So why not incorporate some of this fall favorite into a smoothie?

choc pumpkin smoothie-1

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Pumpkin Pie Spice Date Balls

Happy Fridayyyy! I am super excited for the weekend, because tomorrow I’m flying out to New Jersey and will be there spending a few weeks there with my family and friends. I’m always a last minute packer, so I’ve got a lot of packing to do, some work to get done, a workout to fit in, and early Christmas presents to exchange with my hubby tonight… but first, let’s talk dessert, shall we?

With all of the sweets that surround the holidays – from baking Christmas cookies to holiday parties full of goodies – I find myself just in the mood for a little something sweet. Who am I kidding, I usually am craving something sweet anyways, but even more so lately.

There were cupcakes last weekend, and last night I baked these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (<–post from the beginning of my blogging days!) for dessert:

pump choc cookies

I only made half a dozen on purpose (as with my original recipe) so that my hubby and I didn’t have to test our self control. I had 2, he ate 4 — sweet tooth satisfied in moderation! 😉

And earlier this week I whipped up these babies one night….

pump balls-2

The ingredient list is simple.

pumpkin balls-1

Dates. honey. pecans. pumpkin pie spice. vanilla extract. a pinch of salt. And that is all my friends! Throw it all in a food processor, pulse until well combined, then roll into balls and enjoy.

It’s an easy and delicious dessert that can also be a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. And if you’re trying to resist unhealthy holiday work temptations, I say that you should just throw a few of these in a baby-sized tupperware to enjoy instead – without any guilt! 😉

Pumpkin Pie Spice Date Balls
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 7
  • 12 dates
  • ½ cup pecan chips
  • ½ TSP vanilla extract
  • 1½ TBSP honey
  • ½ TSP pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined. You may need to scrap the batter off the sides of the food processor and pulse a few times more.
  2. Roll into 7 balls. Chill in the fridge for a bit before enjoying.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 ball, Calories: 102, Fat: 6 g, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Sugar: 12 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 1 g


The next time I’ll be blogging will be on the East coast! I heard that a snow storm is moving into Jersey this weekend, so here’s to hoping for a smooth, uneventful day of travel for me tomorrow, and a wonderful weekend for you all!

Banana Pumpkin Muffins with a Cinnamon Brown Sugar Topping

Hi everyone, happy Sunday!

I have a few updates for you all on the blog front. I’ve updated my recipe pages to include all of my latest kitchen creations. I also updated my workout page, which now includes a new section for my hiking spot posts. Lastly, I added a ‘travel & fun’ page so that all of my travel posts, restaurant and winery experiences, as well as random adventures are in one place. Fun stuff! And now onto food – banana pumpkin muffins to be precise…

ban pumpkin muffins-4

After a morning yoga session, running errands, and going hiking with my hubby and puppy yesterday, I came home and decided that a bit of baking was in order.

ban pumpkin muffins-1

Since I had an open can of pumpkin and some ripe bananas ready to be eaten in my fruit basket, and I’ve been loving muffins lately, I whipped up some tasty banana pumpkin muffins.

ban pumpkin muffins-2

As usual, Harley “helped” me by being underneath my feet the entire time in hopes of catching a good bite of something. 😉


Pumpkin & banana really compliment each other well. I sprinkled a cinnamon & brown sugar topping onto the muffin batter to give it that extra flavor oomph. At only 135 calories per muffin, these babies are perfect as a snack or part of breakfast or lunch.

ban pumpkin muffins-3

Banana Pumpkin Muffins with a Cinnamon Brown Sugar Topping
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 cup whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • ½ cup vanilla almond milk
  • 2 TBSP light brown sugar
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract
  • 2 TSP cinnamon
  • 1 TSP salt
  • ½ TBSP baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 muffin pan tin with muffin cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flours, 1 TSP cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another bowl, beat the banana, pumpkin, vanilla extract, honey, butter and almond milk with an electric mixer until smooth.
  4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
  5. Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups.
  6. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1 TSP cinnamon with 2 TBSP light brown sugar. Spoon the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly onto each muffin cup.
  7. Bake until a toothpick comes out of muffin center clean, around 20 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin, Calories: 135, Fat: 2 g, Carbohydrates: 28 g, Sugar: 15 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 2 g


Hope that you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

[Secret Ingredient] Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffin Bites

A couple of days ago, I was on a mission to come up with a mini-something recipe that could serve as a baby snack or dessert.

An I’m-waiting-for-dinner-to-cook-and-need-to-eat-a-little-something-ASAP recipe.

Also an I-just-ate-dinner-and-am-not-really-hungry-but-want-a-bite-of-something-sweet snack.

Since pumpkin eats are constantly on my brain these days, I naturally incorporated some into the recipe – in more than one way. I think that including chocolate in a sweet recipe is always a good idea, so this recipe quickly became a combo of chocolate + pumpkin yumminess. And then there was the mini muffin tin I happened to see peering from my cabinet just waiting to be used, all of which resulted in these babies…

muffin bites

Then comes the *secret ingredient* part…

I wanted to omit use of any oil and make this recipe super healthy in general, but I still wanted them to be moist. Especially when incorporating protein powder like I did here, the recipe can get dry easily. I did some research online to see what people most frequently use in protein powder brownies/cakes/muffins, and I kept finding black beans to be the common denominator.

Now, I’m not really a fan of putting ingredients in things that don’t seem like they should be there, though I certainly have tried it.

Avocado in chocolate mousse? Get outta here! 

Tofu in homemade dressings, desserts, etc.? No thank you. Been there, tried that…it wound up in my garbage can. 

But I decided to give the black beans a go in my muffins. I figured I can’t knock it ’til I try it, right?

muffin bites-1

Besides using pure pumpkin in the muffin bites, I also decided to use some pumpkin cream cheese to keep the recipe nice and moist. Trader Joe’s pumpkin cream cheese = nom.

muffin bites-2

The recipe also included honey, cinnamon, cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips. When I combined everything in my food processor, I was still feeling skeptical about using black beans.

muffin bites-3

But once the batter was smooth, I was very happy with what I tasted. Friends, I wouldn’t lie to you – it did NOT taste like black beans. It just tasted like chocolate pumpkin goodness, and after I spooned the batter into my mini muffin cups, I ate as much batter out of the food processor as I could. I was like a little kid eating the remnants of boxed brownie mix with a wooden spoon after my mom put the brownie batter in the oven (I obviously did that EVERY TIME my mom made brownies growing up!).

muffin bites-4

When my hubby, whose not crazy about beans, tasted the muffins, he had no idea that there were black beans in them. Not only did he give the muffins a thumbs up at first, he keeps eating them and not questioning my vague description as them being “nice and healthy chocolate pumpkin bites.” Muwahaha.

muffin bites-7

muffin bites-8

I’ve been eating the muffin bites on their own as a few-bite mini snack, and also have been cutting them into a couple pieces and topping my yogurts with them. As I said in my last post, I pretty much top my yogurts with anything tasty that’s in my kitchen!


[Secret Ingredient] Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffin Bites
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
  • ½ cup pure pumpkin
  • ½ cup pumpkin cream cheese (or regular will work too)
  • 1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (I used Designer Whey)
  • ¼ cup plus 2 TBSP honey
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 1 TSP cinnamon
  • ½ TBSP baking powder
  • ½ TSP salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line mini muffin tin with 24 muffin cups.
  2. Combine all ingredients except dark chocolate chips in a food processor. Blend until very smooth.
  3. Add chocolate chips, and pulse a bunch of times so that the chips are chopped up a bit but not completely blended.
  4. Evenly spoon batter into muffin cups.
  5. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool before enjoying.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 mini muffin, Calories: 75, Fat: 3 g, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Sugar: 7 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 3 g

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with a Cinnamon Pecan Topping

Happy Friday!!

Before I get to this deliciousness, my first pumpkin recipe of the fall…

pumpkin pancakes-1

…I have a few things to chat about.

One, after much time and frustration I HAVE FIXED MY ANNOYING BLOG ISSUE! I thought that something was funky a couple weeks ago while I was in Europe, but I thought it had more to do with my traveling and using random Internet networks than anything else. When I came home, it seemed to get even worse, but then I had to get ready for my Seattle trip. Long story short, yesterday was the first time I had the hours & energy to figure out what the heck was happening.

The first person I spoke to at Bluehost (my server) was very little help and sent me into a tizzy trying to figure out what all of this technical stuff was that could have been the culprit. I went to bed with blog problems dancing in my head, and I had weird dreams and kept waking up. Clearly I’m not good at going to sleep with something unresolved!

This morning, I decided to try chatting with Bluehost again, and this time I got someone who was helpful and took the time to discover what the issue was. Long story short, it was this plugin I’ve had for quite awhile going haywire and messing up my whole site. It’s now deactivated, so hopefully all will be well moving forward! I did find out that I can optimize my site and make it faster by working on a couple things, so I’m happy that realizing that came out of the hours staring at my computer screen last night.

Why is it that in general, the first customer support person I ever speak to sucks? The lesson I’ve learned is that if you call somewhere to fix an issue and they supposedly can’t help you, wait awhile, then call back and see if the next person can help you!

Anyways, I’m just happy to have fixed the problem. If you’re ever having issues with your email subscription, RSS feed, or access to my site, please let me know!

hike 10.4-1

Onto today’s workout, this afternoon I took Harley for a hike at Mount Madonna Park. We haven’t been there since before I got my foot cast on mid-summer, and it was nice to return to my secluded hiking spot on a beautiful day!



Since there’s no one usually on this trail, I let Harley off the leash to roam around as we hike. As bad as she is on the leash, Harley’s great when I let her off it. She’ll walk a bit ahead, then stop and turn around to make sure I’m right behind her, or she’ll stop to smell something but then run to catch up. It’s pretty cute and I like not having to tug her or constantly say “heel” the whole time.


 It was so peaceful to hike and enjoy the scenery. What a perfect time to reflect and de-stress!

hike-10.4-8 hike-10.4-7



Now onto food!

As usual at the start of fall, pumpkin has been everywhere I turn, so naturally I got into a pumpkin recipe kind of mood. Since pancakes are my favorite fancy breakfast food, it was my obvious choice.

pumpkin pancakes-2

pumpkin pancakes-3

Pumpkin, cinnamon, pecans… this recipe just screams fall. And I’m sure that I’ll be repeating this recipe over and over as cooler weather moves in. Or this weekend, when it’ll be 90 degrees out. Same difference right?

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with a Cinnamon Pecan Topping
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 TBSP pure pumpkin
  • ½ banana
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ TSP pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ TBSP baking powder
  • 2 TBSP pecan pieces
  • ¼ TSP cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 TSP light brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • Sprinkle of salt
  1. In a blender, puree the oats, almond milk, pumpkin, banana, whole wheat flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and a dash of salt.
  2. Spoon the batter onto a large pan over medium heat coated with baking spray, making 3 pancakes. Cook until lightly browned, then flip and cook the other sides. Remove from heat and move to a plate.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, roast the pecan pieces for 3 minutes. Add ¼ TSP cinnamon and brown sugar, and mix together well. Add ½ TBSP honey, mix together, and remove from heat.
  4. Top pancakes with pecan topping, drizzle remaining honey on top, and sprinkle additional cinnamon on top.

Five Fun Facts on this Fabulous Friday

Hello, and yay for the weekend being here!

As you may have guessed based on my alliteration of a blog post title, I’m keepin’ it light and sharing some random things with you tonight (and also partly because it has been a homemade pizza & wine night for me, so I’m sipping a glass of local grenache wine and feeling all nice and relaxed at the moment 😉 ).


#1 – Though I think it’s ridiculous that Halloween & even Thanksgiving decor is already popping up in stores everywhere since September began, I am all about getting on the fall pumpkin bandwagon. This week I bought a pumpkin pie candle — smells so yummy! It’s only a matter of time before I start making pumpkin pancakes and smoothies on a daily basis. I think I’ll wait until it drops below 90 degrees here!


#2 – I’ve been wearing kinesiology tape from my Achilles up through my calf, as suggested by the physical therapist I recently met with. Although I’ve seen a lot of athletes (many tennis players) wearing KT tape, I wasn’t really sure of the science behind it until this week. Basically it works by gently lifting the layer of skin and attached tissue covering a muscle so that blood  can move more freely in and around that muscle. KT Tape provides targeted pain relief by relieving pressure and increasing circulation to help speed recovery.

Since wearing the tape, I almost feel like I have a nerve pinching, which is weird. I’d blame it on my hubby’s lack of KT tape application, but it felt the same way when the doc applied it on the other day. I figure I’ll keep trying it out for awhile before I formulate a concrete opinion on the tape.


#3 – On Wednesday night I decided that I’d try cleansing on Thursday just for the hell of it. You can do anything for ONE day, right? I was doing great and felt fine…until I went to the gym. I had planned on doing a lighter workout, but it inevitably wound up being sweatier and quicker paced than I told myself I’d do. Towards the end while I was rowing, I noticed that my muscles felt seriously fatigued. I actually forgot I was juicing during my workout until then, and then my mind started reeling about how I NEED food to feed my muscles.

I lost my willpower and it went all downhill from there… I came home feeling famished, then shoved cereal, then pretzels, then peanut butter in my mouth. Major fail my friends!! I was slightly disappointed in myself, but not enough to prevent me from eating the nacho goodness I posted a pic of last night.

Guess as I said when I did the Vegetarian Times cleanse, I really don’t do well without chewing. I’m not saying that I really couldn’t juice if I wanted to. I think I would have been fine had I not worked out. However, I think I must chew some time in my day to feel satisfied with life (#foodieproblems)!

Christmas with grandma

With my grandma (and her dog Koko) last year on Christmas

#4 – Yesterday I booked my flight home to Jersey for the holidays! I’m planning on coming in for a couple of weeks, and as always, I’m sure it’ll be a ton of fun. The gauging of flight tix during Christmastime can get way out of control — one year we had to pay $1,000 a ticket to fly from the West to East coast (robbery!!!). I caught a flight on a nice low price, so I jumped on it. Score!

At a winery in Italy

At a winery in Italy

#5 – Tomorrow I’m going to an Italian Harvest Festa in my town. I’m covering it for the newspaper, and am looking forward to spending an afternoon surrounded by all things Italian…especially with my trip to Europe and Venice coming up so soon!

And I’m out — enjoy your weekend!!

Banana Pumpkin Pie Bowl

Hi friends! Hope that your weekend has been great. Here are the highlights of my past couple of days:

parkMy Friday morning began with a quick hour hike with Harley at our favorite nearby park. The hike became a bit adventurous when we found ourselves in a standoff with a fox – and I must say, my dog looks a lot like a fox! We all stared at each other for awhile, and then the fox ran into the fields and crouched down. I wasn’t sure if it was planning on attacking us or if it was just scared himself, but I didn’t want to take any chances, so we turned around. I snapped a grainy pic of him with my phone:


The park is crawling with ground squirrels that Harley has always been interested in, but ever since she caught one a few weeks ago and it squeaked for its life, she’s OBSESSED. It’s annoying and I’m paranoid that she’s going to catch another one! Post-hike, she was one happy girl who was tired from all of her hunting attempts:

HarleyTo my delight, when going to a doctor’s appointment later in the day, I found this in the courtyard of the medical offices:


After my appointment, I moseyed around and picked up some beautiful local organic fruit:


So yummy! Only in California can you probably find this. 🙂

And then, I spent some of yesterday around these beauties:

horses-1I attended a wild horse adoption event nearby that I’m covering for the newspaper in my town. The event was hosted by the Bureau of Land Management, whose in charge of herd management in California, as well as some other states. They brought wild horses and burros, and people were able to adopt the animals for a small fee. It was a new and interesting concept to me, as I wasn’t even aware that there are so many wild horses around that it’s necessary to manage them for the health of the animals and to maintain the resources they use. Horses are such gorgeous animals!


Last night my hubby and I went for a mountain biking adventure to our usual favorite spot. I love our biking dates! The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, and we get to exercise together while having a lot of fun. 
park-sunset-2park-sunsetAnd onto this post’s title, earlier today I was having a craving for pumpkin. I found a can of pure pumpkin in my cabinet, and decided to throw together a bunch of things in my food processor to make a pumpkin pie bowl. Since it was my post-workout meal, I added protein powder to the mix, but it’s definitely an optional ingredient. The bowl hit the spot and satisfied my pumpkin craving in a healthy way.


Banana Pumpkin Pie Bowl
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 3 TBSP pure pumpkin
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP chopped pecans
  • ¼ TSP pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • ¼ TSP vanilla extract
  • ½ scoop vanilla protein powder, optional
  • 1 packet of truvia sweetener, optional
  • Cinnamon, for sprinkling
  1. In a food processor, combine the banana, pumpkin, honey, pumpkin pie spice, almond milk, vanilla, protein powder, truvia, and 1½ TBSP of pecan pieces. Blend until well combined.
  2. Pour into a bowl, top with remaining pecans and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 350, Fat: 12 g, Saturated fat: 1 g, Carbohydrates: 57 g, Fiber: 6 g, Protein: 12 g


I’m off to make a couple of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-salads for my hubby and I for dinner. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday night!

Pumpkin Muffins with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

Lately I’ve been borderline obsessed with eating pumpkin – everything from pumpkin smoothies, pancakes, and ice cream, to smearing pumpkin cream cheese or butter on my toast and sprinkling pumpkin pie spice on anything my heart desires. Pumpkin is such a quintessential fall-time flavor. The funny thing is that I never really liked it until last fall, and my how my taste buds have changed!

Last week I was talking to my cousin Noelle, and she requested I come up with a pumpkin cupcake recipe with cream cheese frosting. Well, you don’t have to ask me twice! 😉

In the midst of baking my pumpkin goodies, I decided that I wasn’t really making cupcakes, but more so muffins.  I then proceeded to get myself all confused in figuring out what the heck the real difference is between muffins and cupcakes. Researching on Google gave me some funny and questionable answers. My favorite comment was something along the lines of,  “I firmly believe that muffins are just confused cupcakes.” Ha! To me, cupcakes are more of exactly what they imply – individual servings of cake, meaning that they’re sweet and only meant to be eaten for dessert. Muffins, on the other hand, tend to be more acceptably eaten as part of breakfast, lunch, or a snack, and don’t necessarily have to be overly sweet. I also realized that I pretty much always include some type of fruit in my muffin recipes. Hmm, since calling them muffins gives me permission to eat one with a yogurt and call it a balanced meal (or something like that…), I’m deeming these treats pumpkin muffins:

3.5 from 2 reviews
Pumpkin Muffins with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup all purpose white flour
  • ½ cup all purpose whole wheat flour
  • 1 TSP baking powder
  • 1 TSP baking soda
  • 1½ cups pure pumpkin
  • ½ cup light butter, melted
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 TSP pumpkin pie spice
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
  • ½ TSP salt
  • 2 TSP cinnamon
  • 2 TSP vanilla extract
  • Chocolate chips, chopped pecans, candy corn, or any other desired toppings, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with muffin cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt and 1 TSP of the cinnamon.
  3. In another bowl, beat butter, Greek yogurt, 1 cup of the pumpkin, 1 cup of the brown sugar, and 1 TSP of the vanilla extract with an electric mixer until smooth.
  4. Slowly mix the wet mixture in with the dry mixture, and stir just until combined.
  5. Pour batter evenly into muffin cups.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick can puncture muffins and come out clean.
  7. Once muffins are done cooking, remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  8. Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, remaining pumpkin (1/2 cup), vanilla extract (1 TSP), brown sugar (1/2 cup), and cinnamon (1 TSP) in a bowl. Beat until smooth.
  9. Allow the muffins to completely cool, then use a butter knife to spread the cream cheese frosting on top of each one.
  10. Dress them up with toppings of your choice, or eat them plain in all their pumpkin-flavored glory.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin, Calories: 240, Fat: 8 g, Carbohydrates: 39 g, Protein: 5 g