Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Recipe Connection: One-Bowl Healthy Pumpkin Muffins (or Bread)

October 13th, 2009 · 150 Comments · Recipes, Upgraded Nutrition

Pumpkin has got to be one of my favorite fall flavors, especially in healthy pumpkin muffins or whole wheat pumpkin bread.  Add a generous dose of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and I’m in love. You can’t find an easier pumpkin muffin recipe than this one, and it can be made super healthy, too.

Easy Healthy Pupmpkin Muffin Recipe

Here are the perks of this little recipe gem:

  • One bowl
  • No fancy order of ingredients – just dump together and mix
  • Super moist!  Everyone LOVES the taste!
  • Healthy Upgrades to basic recipe:
    • Option for healthy fats; lower in fat than some recipes
    • Recipe works great with whole wheat flour
  • Pumpkin is a super food!
Healthy Snacks to Go book coverIf you always wonder how to bring healthy snacks when you’re on the go, wonder no more. This pumpkin muffin recipe is a KS favorite, but there are over 30 more in “Healthy Snacks to Go,” our popular eBook. If 14 variations on a homemade Larabar don’t tempt you, the granola bars just might! Click here to learn more about Healthy Snacks to Go, now in its second edition with more grain-free recipes and less sweetener than ever!
Healthy Pumpkin Muffins or Bread
5.0 from 3 reviews
Recipe type: Breads
Author: Katie Kimball
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 2/3 c. whole wheat or sprouted flour*
  • ½ c. melted butter or coconut oil**
  • 1/4 c. cold water
  • 1 c. pumpkin (about half a 15 oz can)
  • ½ t. cinnamon
  • ½ t. nutmeg
  • ¼ t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • ¾ t. salt
  • ½ t. cloves
  • 1 Tbs. molasses (opt.)
  1. Mix all ingredients together. Put in greased loaf pan or muffin tin. Bake at 325 degrees.
  2. Bread (one loaf) = 65-80 minutes
    12 Muffins = 35-40 minutes
    24 Mini muffins = 25 minutes

Watch timing carefully as honey browns faster!

*I often use part or all “white whole wheat flour” for muffins.
**Find out why I use butter and coconut oil.

UPDATE: I have a new and improved gluten-free pumpkin muffin recipe posted that is also egg-free and dairy-free!

Here’s the recipe I started with, before I transitioned to “real food:”

The Original (not-so-healthy!!!) Recipe: Easy Pumpkin Muffins or Bread

1 ½ c. sugar                                        ½ t. cinnamon
2 eggs                                                   ½ t. nutmeg
¼ t. baking powder                          1 2/3 c. flour
1 t. baking soda                                  ½ c. oil
¾ t. salt                                               ½ c. cold water
½ t. cloves                                          1 c. pumpkin (about half a 15 oz can)Mix all ingredients together.  Put in greased loaf pan or muffin tin.  Bake at 325 degrees.
  • Bread (one loaf) = 75-90 minutes
  • 12 Muffins = 45 minutes
  • 24 Mini muffins = 25 minutes

Cost:  about $1.50
Super foods:  3

An awesome and sort of healthy muffin that tasted amazing – but I knew I could do better. I tweaked the recipe bit by bit until, in my humble opinion, it became totally healthy. Here are the steps I followed:

  1. Level one: decrease the sugar by 1/4 or even 1/2 cup (1 c. sugar total)
  2. Level two:  use half whole wheat flour
  3. Level three:  make the “oil” melted butter
  4. Level four: get rid of the refined sugar and white flour altogether

Once I had made the first few changes, moving to level four (the top recipe) wasn’t that huge of a leap, but if I had tried to start there, I don’t think it would have been possible. May your “baby steps” become possible with your “not-so-healthy” favorite recipes as well!

Eventually I even fiddled with another Healthy-EST upgrade: check out the  SOAKED pumpkin muffins recipe.

Leftover Pumpkin?

Now the million dollar question:  what do you do with the rest of the pumpkin in the can? Here’s my simple system for leftover pumpkin including six ways to use it up. Update: I now have a list of twenty ways to use up pumpkin!

Other Pumpkin Recipes:

Other Fall Recipes:


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I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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