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Healthier Pumpkin Muffins

Updated: Feb 12, 2023

Nutrition for Irish dancers, fueling the Irish dancer, Irish dance strength and conditioning, what Irish dancers should eat

I LOVE fall flavors, pumpkin in particular. And these Pumpkin Muffins are some of my favorite. They're a healthier dessert/breakfast/snack item that has whole wheat flour, contains two vegetables and two fruits for you to savor for the rest of the season and share

at any upcoming celebrations. These little treats are also great for fueling up before dance class or after rehearsal with a big glass of milk. Some of my clients, both children and adults, note a distaste for vegetables but these little muffins are absolutely delicious. My kids (and some of their friends who are VERY picky) request them all year round and are a household favorite.


Nutrition for Irish dancers, Jessica Gahl, fueling the Irish dancer, what Irish dancers should eat, Irish dance strength and conditioning

Healthier Pumpkin Muffins


1 TBSP room temperature or slightly melted butter

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature

2 ripe bananas, mashed

½ cup canned pumpkin or cooked, mashed squash

2 carrots, shredded

½ tsp vanilla

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup oat bran or oatmeal

1 cup flour (1/2 cup whole wheat flour, ½ cup white flour – adjust to taste)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

½ tsp salt

Irish dance strength and conditioning, nutrition for Irish dancers, what Irish dancers should eat


- Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C). Grease two 12 mini-muffin pans or one 12 standard muffin tin.

- In a mixing bowl, combine butter and brown sugar (likely won’t “cream” but stir until well mixed). Add applesauce, bananas, pumpkin, carrots, vanilla, and eggs and mix. Stir in oat bran (or oats), flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt until just combined.

-Spoon batter into either two 12 mini muffins tins OR one 12 standard muffin tin.

- Bake in preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

- Cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack (if you don’t eat them all while they are warm).

Additional Tips:

- I sometimes use pre-shredded carrots and chop them a bit finer. I guesstimate how many shreds would equal two carrots.

- I use ¾ to the entire cup whole wheat flour to make these treats even healthier – adjust to taste.

- Mini muffins take closer to 15 minutes to bake and the standard muffins will take a few minutes longer - hence the range of baking time.

- These muffins keep well for ~2 days at room temperature (though likely won’t last that long) or can be frozen.

- Definitely DOUBLE this recipe – there never seems to be enough!


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