Monday, October 31, 2016

"Healthy-ish" Pumpkin Muffins or Bread

I love fall flavors.  I think I already rambled on about that in my butternut squash soup post.  There's just something so comforting with fall flavors.  It's like getting a big, warm, spice hug.  I also love bread.  And muffins.  And pie.  And pretty much everything I'm not supposed to eat according to the nutritionist that is helping me manage my gestational diabetes.  I've been pretty good lately and hadn't baked anything recently,  but it was starting to get really hard to not fill my Sunday early afternoon with the oven on and tinkering with baking recipes.  So, I decided to try to 'healthi-fy' or low-carb-a-fy? a pumpkin bread recipe.

Pumpkin bread/muffins/cupcakes are pretty good for my diabetes since pumpkin has fiber and protein and beta-carotene, and only 8 g. of carbs per cup.  Basically, it's good stuff.  I'll even recommend canned pumpkin to some of my doggie patients that are having some GI issues (helps firm up those poops!).  I found a pumpkin bread recipe that was super popular online at AllRecipes and made 1 loaf of bread subbing some whole wheat flour for the all purpose, cutting back the sugar, and subbing one of the eggs with 1 c. unsweetened applesauce.  It came out so moist and delicious I wanted to see how far I could push the healthy substitutions.  So I made it again with 1/3 of the sugar, 2/3 whole wheat vs. all purpose flour, and just decreased to 3 eggs.  It still came out yummy.  The second time around I made the recipe into cupcake/muffins and iced some with cream cheese frosting (not diabetic friendly).  They were brought into work for Vet Tech Appreciation Week and I heard they were good.   I only ate the un-iced muffins and they were still really tasty, though not as moist as the first batch of bread.  Warning note: this recipe still has about 29g of carbs per serving.  So it's only diabetes friendly if you eat like half to one serving.  I know it's super hard to do that.  Believe me, I wanted to eat the whole loaf in one sitting.

"Healthy-ish" Pumpkin Muffins
Servings: 18
Recipe altered from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/6820/downeast-maine-pumpkin-bread/
Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2/3 c. water
  • 3 eggs (or substitute unsweetened apple sauce to make vegan)
  • 2 &1/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 & 1/4c. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 &1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.  In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or whisk to mix together canned pumpkin, oil, sugar, water, and eggs.
  2. In another large bowl, mix together whole wheat and all purpose flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.  Combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
  3. If making bread, pour into a greased and flour coated bread pan and bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  If making cupcakes, pour into lined muffin tins and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Frost if desired.
Cream Cheese Frosting (NOT healthy but still very delish)
Makes 3 cups
Recipe from Cook's Illustrated Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tsp. Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 &3/4 c (7 oz) confectioners' sugar*
*Note: if you have a fancy blender like a Blendtec or Vitamix, you can make your own confectioners' sugar by pulsing granulated sugar until it's powdered

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, process cream cheese, butter, Greek yogurt, vanilla and salt untilcombined, about 5 seconds.  Scrape downsides of bowl as needed.  Add confectioners' sugar and process until smooth, about 10 more seconds

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