Low Fat Pumpkin Apple Muffin Recipe

4.2 stars from 6 ratings of Low Fat Pumpkin Apple Muffins

This article contains information on the best varieties of pumpkin to use in muffins, and gives recipes for two variations of muffin.

Pumpkin and apple muffins are moist and delicious.
Pumpkin and apple muffins are moist and delicious. | Source

Varieties of Pumpkin

If you think of pumpkins as those lightweight, almost hollow vegetables that you hollow out even more for Halloween, think again. Pumpkins come in many varieties, and not all are watery, stringy and without substance or flavor!

Leave those featherweight pumpkins to the kids, and for this recipe choose a pumpkin that's denser in texture and heavier for its size than the Jack-o-Lanterns. I used a Blue Lakota pumpkin in these muffins and after making two batches there was enough left for a hearty stew and a pot of soup.

Blue Lakota pumpkin hails from the American Mid-west and is an heirloom variety. That means it has been grown for a long time, probably centuries, but not in large-scale farming. The seeds of heirloom vegetables and fruit are passed on through generations, and varieties have developed, but have not been genetically modified.

If you don't know the Blue Lakota, you can see it in the photo below. To my mind its skin looks more green than blue, but I think we'd agree its flesh is vibrant orange.

If you can't get Blue Lakota, any dense pumpkin variety will do instead. However, do not try to carve this pumpkin! You can see from the photo the seed cavity is small, and I can assure you trying to hollow out its dense flesh would take a very long time and give you very sore arms!

Blue Lakota Pumpkin

With its dense flesh, this pumpkin is ideal for baking.
With its dense flesh, this pumpkin is ideal for baking. | Source

Precooking pumpkin

Most pumpkin muffin recipes suggest using canned pumpkin. I don't recommend this. The linings of almost all canned food contain Bisphenol-A (BPA), a hormone disrupting chemical, now banned in babies' bottles in several countries. I recommend using fresh pumpkin instead.

I have given two variations of this recipe: in the first version the pumpkin and apples are grated or chopped in a food processor and added to the mixture raw. This is similar to how you would make a carrot cake, and the texture when cooked is also similar to carrot cake.

If you want a texture closer to that of canned pumpkin, you can stew the pumpkin and apples first and puree them before adding to the mixture. This is very easy to do - while the pumpkin and fruit are cooking you can prepare the rest of the muffin mixture. In this version of the recipe I have used dried dates instead of sugar and so they are stewed with the pumpkin and apple. You could omit the dates and use sugar instead if you choose.

As you can see in the photo below the muffins do look different on the outside, but inside the texture looks the same. For the muffin on the left the pumpkin and apple was not precooked, and for the one on the right it was. Both versions are equally delicious.

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Whole cane sugar

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Whole Cane Sugar or Dates

The first version of this recipe uses whole cane sugar, also known as rapadura or sometimes as jaggery. This is dehydrated cane juice - only the water is removed and the molasses and minerals remain, making it a healthier alternative to refined sugar. If you can't get whole cane sugar, then molasses or Muscovado sugar would be suitable alternatives.

The second version of the muffins uses dried dates instead. I don't like food very sweet, but if you do have a sweet tooth you could add a little more dates or some sugar.

Low Fat Muffins

Most muffins contain milk, but some time ago I discovered that muffins kept better if I used water instead. This also keeps down on the fat, since water contains no fat!

I'm inclined towards lazy when cooking, and the muffin book that started me off suggested using either melted butter or oil… hmm, now let me see, shall I stand over a stove melting butter and trying to work out how much solid butter will make 4 tablespoons when melted, or shall I measure out a few tablespoons of oil? No contest! And no saturated fats, because this recipe uses sunflower oil.

There is an egg in this recipe, but although eggs do contain cholesterol, but there are two types of cholesterol, and free range eggs contain the type that is actually good for us: high density lipoproteins (HDL.)

Cook Time at Oven: 375°F/190°/170°fan oven or gas mark 5.

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: 12 muffins

Low Fat Pumpkin Apple Muffins: Ingredients

Ingredients for the pumpkin and apple mixture:

  • 225 grams /8 oz pumpkin (approx. 2 cups when chopped)
  • 2 eating apples
  • 3oz whole cane sugar

OR

  • 110 gram/4 oz /½ cup dates (chopped in half) and 100 ml/4oz /½ cup of boiling water

Ingredients for the rest of the muffin mixture:

  • 250 gram/9 oz/1½ cups wholemeal flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon each of nutmeg and ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 90 ml/3 fl oz/⅓ cup sunflower oil
  • 90 ml/3 fl oz/⅓ cup water

Preparing the pumpkin, apples and dates

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Place pumpkin, apples and dates in a pan with water.When cooked, blend until smooth. Alternatively, grate the pumpkin and apple and add the sugar.
Place pumpkin, apples and dates in a pan with water.
Place pumpkin, apples and dates in a pan with water. | Source
When cooked, blend until smooth.
When cooked, blend until smooth. | Source
Alternatively, grate the pumpkin and apple and add the sugar.
Alternatively, grate the pumpkin and apple and add the sugar. | Source

Instructions for preparing the pumpkin and apple:

If you are not pre-cooking the pumpkin:

  • Peel and finely grate the pumpkin and apple. (Or you can finely chop it in a food processor.)
  • Add the sugar to mixture and set aside while you prepare the rest of the muffin mix.


If you are precooking the pumpkin:


  • Peel and chop the pumpkin and apple.
  • Place pumpkin, apple, dates and water in a pan, and simmer (cook gently) until soft. This will take about 15 – 20 minutes depending on the type of pumpkin you use.
  • Remove from heat, cool a little and then puree till smooth.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sifting flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices.Adding wet ingredients to dry.
Sifting flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices.
Sifting flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices. | Source
Adding wet ingredients to dry.
Adding wet ingredients to dry. | Source

Instructions for the rest of the muffin mixture


  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices. Some of the bran from the flour may not go through the sieve. If so, that’s fine: just tip it into the mixing bowl.
  • In another bowl beat the egg with a fork.
  • Measure out the water.
  • Add all the wet ingredients to the dry, except for the water.

This is dropping consistency.
This is dropping consistency. | Source

Dropping Consistency

Mix everything else together first, and then add a little of the water.

It is best to add the water slowly, because pumpkins and apples vary in how much liquid they hold, so you may only need some of the water, or you may need more.

The aim is to get a mixture that is “dropping consistency.” This means the mixture drops off the spoon slowly. If it is runny you have too much water, and should add a little more flour.

The photograph opposite shows a muffin mixture that can drop off a spoon but is not runny.


Spoon into muffin tins

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Spoon into muffin tins, and bake for 20 minutes. (Although this should be fine for most ovens, there is some variation in how they cook, so if yours usually takes less time than recipes suggest, reduce the cooking time slightly.)


To test if the muffins are ready, with your finger push gently on the top of one of them. If it springs back it is ready, but if your finger leaves a dent, cook for another 5 minutes.


Enjoy with a cup of tea.

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Comments 41 comments

jennyjenny profile image

jennyjenny 4 years ago from Somewhere in Michigan

Yum! Now I need to go buy a pumpkin! :) Thanks for sharing!


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

These sound yummy. I was surprised to find that you could make these without cooking the pumpkin first! I may have to give these a try this fall. Thanks for sharing the recipe!


kittyjj profile image

kittyjj 4 years ago from San Jose, California

My kids have been asking me to bake something with pumpkin. But each time when I think of the thick and hard pumpkin skin, I would back off. Your low fat pumpkin apple muffin sounds very healthy, maybe I should give the canned pumpkin a try.

Voted up and awesome!


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

I love using fresh ingredients and I know the benefit of fresh pumpkin. These look delish...and I love those photos. Voted Up


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I think the last photo was for me! Yum and so healthy too.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

The muffins look AWESOME! I so wish I had one this minute!

Using fresh is always the way to go! I have heard about BPA - almost wrote a hub about it! It creeps me out though and I hardly ever resort to camped food because of that. Scary!

I bet one of your muffins would make me feel better!


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

This is indeed an extremely healthy and tasty dessert recipe! Your instructions are very helpful and the photos are handy. The first and last photos looked very inviting and delicious! Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up, pinned & shared on Facebook


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

great hub great recipe.. sounds wonderful.. I will share on Facebook on cooking time and TOPS TAKE OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY.. I look for hubs on healthy food and exercise etc. hugs and blessings

Debbie


DS Duby profile image

DS Duby 4 years ago from United States, Illinois

Awesome recipe, it looks delicious. I'll definitely be trying it. voted up, useful and interesting.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 4 years ago from Brazil

I have made pumpkin muffins before but without the apple. That could have been what they were missing. I love the fact you showed rapadura. I live in Brazil and use it all the time. Here it is made locally by families who grow sugar cane in their field.

I will try these tomorrow.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Jennyjenny, be sure to get good solid pumpkins. Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Kris, the first time I tried it, I was also surprised when the uncooked pumpkin worked. But it's very similar in texture to carrot so there's no reason why it wouldn't really. Either way it's very tasty, but the uncooked way is probably the easier of the two. Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

kittyjj, apart from when you first cut into the pumpkin, dealing with the skin isn't too bad. If I'm cooking squash I often boil if for a few minutes first as that softens the skin, and you could probably put a pumpkin in the oven to do the same. I do not recommend canned pumpkin though, especially since you have young girls, because of the chemicals. I think it's possible to buy pumpkin in jars so that could be an alternative.

Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Carol they are delish… I made 14 on Saturday and we have 4 left now. Okay, make that 3, I'm eating one just now.

:-) Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

teaches12345, do you like tea with your muffin, then? Me too. Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

RealHousewife,

Sounds like we feel the same way about BPA. I was shocked a few years ago to discover it was even in organic canned foods. I wrote to several manufacturers and they all used it. One was very rude in response but the rest did show concern and shortly after that one of the major UK supermarkets started instead using cartons to package their beans and a few other goods. I doubt if my email influenced them in any way, but it's good to have the choice to buy them.

Thanks for your comment.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Wow...your pumpkin muffins look and sound delicious especially with the spices, apples and dates used in making them. Wish I had one to go with my first cup of coffee right now! Will have to look for those type of pumpkins in the stores. This is the right time of year for finding them. All kinds of up votes and sharing. Thanks!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Looks fabulous. I think I'll try the muffin recipe with a mixture of oat flour and garbanzo flour. Glad to see the extra tips and info for our health.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Ishwaryaa22, thank you for introducing me to rapadura/jaggery! This was the first recipe I tried it in, and my daughter uses it when she bakes cookies.

Glad you enjoyed the recipe and thanks for your comment and for sharing.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Deborah, thanks for sharing this, that's very kind of you. I also try to eat healthily.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

DS Duby, they are delicious muffins! Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Blond Logic, the apples give a little more sweetness, and seem to work well with the pumpkin. I am really pleased to have discovered rapadura recently. It always seemed crazy to me that the goodness in sugar cane was removed so we ate only empty calories. It must be great to get it from local families.

Let me know how you like them after you've made them tomorrow, and thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Peggy W, it's definitely the right time of year. Our shops are full of pumpklns of every kind. Thanks for your comment and hope you enjoy them.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

RTalloni, I haven't made these with gluten free flour, but have made similar muffins. I suggest you add an extra egg so that they rise well, and then they should be fine.


ElleBee 4 years ago

This sounds delicious! Apple and pumpkin are two of my favorite recipes - sounds great to have them both in one recipe :)


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

ElleBee, these do go great together, especially with the spices. Thanks for your comment.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Melovy, a very interesting recipe. Nicely explained with great pictures. The muffins look very inviting.

Bookmarking, voted up & interesting.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I love fresh muffin right out of the oven....a little butter....and they melt in your mouth. You can bet we will be making these; great recipe and thanks for the tips.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Rajan. I'm glad you like the pics! And now I must get up the link to your jaggery hub.

Bill, I've never tried these with butter, but I guess it would be nice. I do love them warm from the oven, though. Let me know how they go if you make them.

Thanks for your comment.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago

I've one, please. The last picture looks inviting--relaxing with a homemade pumpkin cupcake and a cup of tea. I just made a batch of pumpkin muffins myself, so here's one more way to make it even more interesting--thanks for sharing. Sharing this.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

I wish there was a button I could click for "great illustrations" your photos are so good!

These look delicious and healthy.

I'm adding them to my Recipe Index for HubPages.


coffeegginmyrice profile image

coffeegginmyrice 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

This is a wonderful recipe for a nutritious Fall breakfast and snack. I asked my daughter if she would like to try this, but she has to do the baking job, hahaha. And she didn't refuse it. So I'm bookmarking this hub and sharing.

Useful and beautiful! Thanks Melovy!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

anginwu, I agree with you on muffins and cups of tea - but I guess that's obvious from the photo! I love muffins of many varieties and these are really tasty. It's definitely pumpkin season now.

Thanks for your comment and for sharing.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

2patricias, thanks you for your kind comment about the photos. I had fun taking them (and eating the muffins.) Thanks also for adding this to your recipe index.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Coffeegginmyrice, these muffins are definitely easy enough for an older child to do. Hope your daughter enjoys making them and you are sure to enjoy eating them! Thanks for your comment.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

Now THIS is seriously good recipe/food writing and your helpful discussions on ingredients are superb. The photo of that Blue Lakota pumpkin is wonderful. Everything about this hub is just the tops. I'm going to make your recipe and can't wait (the one with the pumpkin and apple un-cooked!)

Hope you get a HOTD for this. Voting etc. (And pinning and FB too)

Clicked 5 stars!!! I see you concentrated on apples for a few hubs, I did that on extra virgin olive oil.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

These look delicious. I've never seen a Blue Lakota pumpkin before so I'll have to make these with a regular pumpkin. At the donut shop where one of my son's bakes for they make pumpkin spice muffins and I'm so addicted to them. I'm looking forward to trying your recipe.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Wow, GoodLady, you could make me blush! Thank you so much for such a kind comment. Hope you enjoy these as much as we do.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Susan, they are delicious. My husband bought the pumpkin and I wasn't sure at first what kind it was, but it tastes good. If you can't get that kind, any dense pumpkin variety will do, or even a squash. Pumpkin and spice just go together don't they? Thanks for your comment.


Magdaleine profile image

Magdaleine 3 years ago

yummy and healthy, I will try it :)


Melovy profile image

Melovy 3 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Magdaleine.

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