Pumped-up Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Muffins (Fit for a Soccer Team)

This is my reduced-sugar (but plenty sweet) take on a banana-bread recipe my college roommate used to make. I decided to try it as a snack for my son Roman’s soccer team, mainly because: 1) I’ve never found anyone who doesn’t love it, and 2) it’s just so dang simple.

It literally took me 10 minutes to throw everything in a bowl and then throw them in the oven. AND because I had most of the ingredients in the pantry already, it was about half the cost of a store-bought snack (score #3).





Since my kids won’t come within ten feet of a banana, I decided to substitute pumpkin for the bananas. I also wanted to “wholesome” it up a bit for the little athletes, so I added some cinnamon applesauce and rolled oats, and cut the sugar almost in half. Then I threw in some chocolate chips (to sweeten the deal) because, let’s face it, I knew homemade, straight-up pumpkin muffins weren’t going to go over well when the boys found out they weren’t getting their goldfish or sun chips.



Not that I’m above goldfish and sun chips (believe me, I’ve bought my fair share).



But this time, as one mom put it (“Look at you raising the bar!”), well … I thought it wouldn’t hurt to raise the bar. Along with the energy level. At least slightly.

There were a few kids who, expecting the fish or chips, were a little thrown by the baked goods. But they ate ’em all up.




minus one that got away …



Here’s the recipe:

Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Muffins

1/2 cup butter or vegetable oil
1/2 – 3/4 cup raw cane sugar (normally calls for 1 cup)
2 eggs
3/4 cup organic canned pumpkin (or, if you prefer, smashed ripe banana)
1/2 cup organic cinnamon applesauce
1  1/4 cups sifted whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 – 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Cream butter and sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each. Stir in pumpkin and applesauce. Sift together dry ingredients; add to pumpkin mixture and mix well till blended. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Fill 20 – 24 muffin liners about 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.