On this very special day, Mother's Day, we want to share with you a recipe that's as sweet as mom :) We're back again for another post in our series Veggies You Never Thought You'd Love including our Healthy Eating Tip for Healthy Families. Type this title into our search bar to find all the other delicious and nutritious recipes in this series. So with this month's recipe, I wanted you Moms (and everyone else too!) to have your veggie recipe but also have your dessert too. Have you ever heard of a dessert with a veggie in it other than carrot cake? I haven't!
As I mentioned in this post, my son is muffin crazy, and it brings me so much joy to see my kiddo go crazy for something I've made that is healthy too. This spring, I started experimenting with some egg-free Paleo muffin recipes for his birthday party.
I'm typically pretty good at adding the main components of a recipe on my grocery list, but this particular recipe I ran out of a few ingredients and had to improvise. The result was mouthwatering! What was once a pretty decent Paleo chocolate chip muffin, elevated into this chocolate peanut buttery goodness that melted in my mouth, completely masking the fact I was eating a veggie I didn't like: pumpkin! What's even better? They're super easy to make. Honestly the hardest part was scooping the peanut and almond butter from the bottom of the jars! Oh and I forgot to mention, my son loved them too!
After I took my first bite of the version with peanut butter, I texted a picture to my sister Ashley: "I have found your Kryponite." I think if my sister was trapped on a dessert island with only chocolate and peanut butter and a spoon she'd do just fine...wait was that dessert or desert island? Who knows, let's get on to the real dessert :)
So Momma, if you are looking for a quick & easy dessert muffin but also need to get some veggies in your kiddos OR kiddos looking for a quick & easy dessert muffin to make for your momma on this Mother's Day, look no further!
Pumpkin Chocolate Brownie Muffins
(GF, Egg-free option, Paleo)
Author: Caitlyn Hanson -- Adapted from Megan Gilmore's Paleo Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins
Servings: 16 servings, double recipe as desired
Category: Dessert, Breakfast
Time: Prep- 5-7 minutes, Bake- 20-24 minutes
Calories: 160 calories/muffin with egg replacement, 165 calories/muffin with eggs
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs or 2 egg-equivalent of egg replacement (this one works well for recipes requiring 2 or less eggs)
- 1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking soda
- 1 tsp fine-ground sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (watch to make sure yours is GF if you need that)
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line muffin pan with muffin cups or place silicone baking molds on a sheet pan (see picture below). I prefer the latter because I can make the muffins slightly smaller dividing the batter using more molds.
- Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips and mix (or put some elbow grease in a stir well) until all ingredients are combined. Add chocolate chips and give one more good stir.
- Pour batter into muffin cups/molds. Optional but worth it: sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on top.
- Bake for 20-24 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when poking the muffin. Bake longer for less gooey inside but watch carefully to ensure they don't burn.
- Allow to cool slightly and enjoy!
Notes: Choose organic to reap full benefits of your food.
- Mixing two different types of nut-butters is completely optional but so worth it if you can tolerate these nuts.
- I substituted applesauce for sugar from the original recipe to reduce the sugar content. Feel free to substitute sugar back in if you're out of applesauce. I've tried to substitute out the maple syrup for applesauce to bring the sugar level down even more but the texture of the muffins got a little weird.
- Store these in the fridge...if they make it that long!
Healthy Eating Tip for Healthy Families:
Involve Your Kids in the Process
Now I know what you may be thinking: I don't have time for that! You don't need to involve your kids in ALL of your cooking or baking. Be strategic! Plan ahead what meals you 1) have time for your kids to help with, 2) are okay having be messier, and 3) what to expose your kiddos to.
One of my all-time favorite feeding therapists and national speaker Marsha Dunn Klein talks about "food rehearsals." Kids can "rehearse" the act of eating new or preferred foods in order to build their confidence and decrease anxiety over eating food. Pouring food into bowls, mixing them together, and scooping food and pouring them into other containers is not only a great hand-eye coordination activity (always on my mind as an occupational therapist!), but it's a great way for your kids to gain all the sensory experiences of eating without taking a bite! This allows kids to learn about your family's meals before the mealtime which may increase their likelihood of trying something new. Surprising them with a new food or texture at mealtime may be to chaotic for them (and you!) to accept the food without a fight.
Happy baking & Happy Mother's Day!
Caitlyn J. Hanson
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