As a teenager, I worked in a cafe that sold pumpkin and chocolate muffins but despite their popularity, I could never get my head around the combination. After 3 months of putting it off, I finally tried one and they instantly became a firm favourite. What was I thinking!
Pumpkin is a vegetable from the gourd family which includes zucchini, cucumber, watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe. It is very affordable, tasty, versatile and has multiple health benefits including:
- An excellent source of fibre, helping to keep our bowels regular and healthy by removing toxic waste that can build up in the walls of our gut.
- Contains beta-carotene an antioxidant that gives it the yellow/orange colour. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A as required. Vitamin A is needed for eye health and good vision, a strong immune system and healthy skin and mucous membranes.
- Contains beta-cryptoxanthin another antioxidant. Beta-cryptoxanthin has been shown to reduce the risk of developing anti-inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Lots of vitamins, mainly vitamin A, E, K, B complex (excluding B12) and choline.
- Plus the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorous.
- Now to get all these nutrients in a muffin is a pretty cunning idea. Kids will love them!
2 cups pureed pumpkin
50g softened butter
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 free range egg
2 1/2 cups gluten free flour (or wheat flour)
1 cup roughly chopped 70% dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 190˚C and line a muffin pan for 12 muffins. In a mixer or food processor mix together pumpkin, butter and coconut sugar until smooth. Then add in peanut butter, egg and cinnamon mixing till smooth. Mix through flour to form a batter before folding the chocolate through by hand. Each muffin case will take about 3 Tbsp. of batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. When a skewer is inserted it should come out clean. Cool on a wire rack or enjoy hot from the oven!