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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins -- The Best Family Recipe and a Healthy Alternative

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Healthy No Bake Energy Bites, Fall Baking, October, November

Growing up, my mom was known for her pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.  Those, and her Kahlua cake.  And her crispy tacos.  Ok, my mom was (and still is) really good in the kitchen.

I always eagerly anticipated the fall season, not just because of trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins and a reprieve from the 100+ degree Sacramento Valley weather, but mostly because it was pumpkin chocolate chip muffin time! They would appear in my lunchbox. They would be a breakfast option. They would be a dessert option. Pumpkin season is a short-lived two month period and I take full advantage of eating these for every possible occasion.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I continued our family tradition of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins with my son. He loves baking -- cracking eggs is one of his great joys in life. We modify the traditional recipe and make mini muffins (and maybe put a few less chocolate chips in) to make these toddler-friendly. He may or may not have had three mini pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for breakfast this morning, as attested by the chocolate on his sweatshirt.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

While perhaps one of the most delicious fall treats, eating pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for three square meals is regrettably probably not a healthy life choice.

So in order to satiate my pumpkin snack desires, I also made pumpkin energy bites (notice I said also, not in lieu of, 'cause let's be real). These quick-to-make energy bites are perfect for on-the-go snacking. You can also keep them in the fridge or freezer for a cool pumpkin treat.

Healthy No Bake Pumpkin Energy Bites

The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients: 

  • 1 & 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (either make your own or grab some from The Allspicery)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 12 ounces good quality chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (or 1/2 cup canola oil)

Combine the flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin puree and melted butter/canola oil.

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Do not over mix.

Pour into lined or greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Bake for less time if using mini muffin tins.

 No Bake Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

[adapted from Clean Food Crush]

  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup peanut butter(or other nut butter such as almond butter)
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup, honey or a combination of the two
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4-6 Tablespoons ground flax seeds (you can add more if the dough seems too wet)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, almonds, pecans, coconut flakes, or any combination of mix-ins that equal 1 cup
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll into balls of about 1″ in diameter and place on baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour. 

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