The days are getting shorter and the mornings cooler.
What does that mean?
Fall is almost here!!
Yay! I love fall! It is my favorite time of year, but it never seems to last long enough.
What comes to mind when you think of fall?
For me, it is the perfect cool days (here in Kentucky anyway with highs in the mid-70s and lows in the 50s), which make for perfect race mornings and personal bests, as the heat of summer starts to fade away.
Leaves changing colors, from green to red, yellow, orange, all vibrant against the bright blue sky.
Fall sports like football, soccer and cross country. Three great sports that are fun to watch your kids play, and fun to watch on TV, too.
Then of course, there is Halloween, with all the candy and costumes, Thanksgiving, and lots of festive foods and family activities.
And pumpkins of course!
There’s pumpkin picking in the pumpkin patch, pumpkin pie, scary pumpkins decorated at Halloween, pumpkin bread, and so much more.
What is in a pumpkin?
I’ve discovered that pumpkins can be a substitute in many recipes, especially as an alternative to oils. Pumpkin is healthy, loaded with Vitamin A, low calorie, and adds a nice texture and moistness to the foods.
I never actually realized how good pumpkin could taste, since I am NOT a fan of pumpkin pie, or most pies for that matter. I know; I’m strange. Who doesn’t love pie? At least that’s what my husband always asks me.
But I have come to love many other desserts that involve pumpkin, such as pumpkin rolls, which I made for the first time last Thanksgiving (with this recipe) to take to family dinners, pumpkin French toast, and of course pumpkin muffins.
I have made these 3 ingredient pumpkin muffins for several years now. They are quite addicting, as I can never eat just one. They are also very quick and easy to make. I originally made them as more of a cupcake with cream cheese icing. I mean, what doesn’t taste better with icing! But I wanted more of a muffin I could eat for breakfast, so I leave off the icing now.
Even though I really like these muffins, I didn’t realize how important they would be until I realized I was raising a picky eater.
Easy pumpkin recipe for picky eaters
My son is 3 and a half and is a very picky eater. He doesn’t even like mac’n’cheese! How crazy is that?!
But he loves pizza, ice cream, oatmeal, waffles, fruit, yogurt, turkey meatballs, muffins, cereal, and of course anything chocolate or sweet.
Rarely can I get him to eat a vegetable. He will eat a few raw baby carrots every now and then, and just last week I got him to eat 3 peas. Yep, that’s it, 3 whole peas! And that in itself was a battle. If you have toddlers, then you know what I mean.
I have managed to get him to drink the occasional fruit smoothie that I’ve actually put spinach and chia seeds in because he can’t taste or see them and only tastes the fruit.
Hey, whatever works! I’ve learned to be sneaky when I can to get him to eat some healthy foods.
I am not sure what happened because he used to love puréed vegetables as a baby, and even avocado, chicken, pasta, cheese and a few other foods when he was eating finger foods.
Now it seems like all he will eat is pizza, yogurt and waffles.
But I discovered last year, after giving him a pumpkin muffin from Panera, that he really likes pumpkin muffins.
So I made him the 3 ingredient pumpkin muffins. Guess what?
He LOVED them!! When I make them in the evening, he wants them as soon as they come out of the oven.
I love them because they are quick and easy, which is exactly what I need with an active 3 year old running around.
They also have much less sugar and calories than packaged muffins or those from Panera. So, this makes me happy.
There is, however, red dye in the cake mix, which doesn’t make me happy. But I’ve learned to live with it, because my son loves them and they are at least semi-healthy. At least until I figure out how to make the recipe quickly from scratch. If you need to avoid dyes, you could probably just use a white box cake and add allspice to it. I’ll have to experiment with that to see if it tastes similar.
So, if you have a picky eater, you may want to try to make these for him. Who knows, maybe it will be a winner. I have yet to find anyone who doesn’t like them.
So, now these are my go-to breakfast for him. I make them in the evening, and he has breakfast for a few days.
The recipe makes at least 24 regular-sized muffins, but I usually make 24 mini-muffins and 12 regular muffins. This way he can eat just one or two small ones, if he wants one later in the day for a snack. Due to the moistness from the pumpkin, they only last about 3-4 days. So I often send half of them to daycare. The kids there love them, too.
If you have several members in your family, these pumpkin muffins won’t likely last long. But if you don’t think you will eat them all before the 3 to 4 days, you can always freeze half and thaw them out when you want one.
I like this recipe because it is quick and easy and kid approved. I use Duncan Hines Signature Spice Cake mix (15.25 oz). This is what I usually see first when looking for spice cake. You can use whatever mix you prefer. This one is usually in stock, although it gets harder to find around the holidays.
For the pumpkin puree, you’ll want the 100% pumpkin and not the pumpkin pie filling. I’ve used two different brands of pumpkin, one is Libby’s and the other is Kroger brand 100% pure pumpkin. I haven’t noticed any difference in the taste. I shop at Kroger often for my groceries, so I usually get the Kroger brand. It is cheaper and tends to be in stock. As it gets closer to Thanksgiving, pumpkin becomes harder to find. I usually buy two cans at a time when I go, so I know that I’ll have it when I need it.
You can use whatever eggs you like. I like the Eggland’s Best or the Simple Truth cage-free. They are free of hormones and antibiotics, but they definitely aren’t the cheapest.
The white chocolate chips are optional and will add a little extra sugar to the muffins. So if you are trying to keep your sugar intake low, you can leave those out. But they do add a nice taste to the muffins without too many extra calories. I usually just put in about 1/8 to ¼ a cup to the mix if I’m using them. Sometimes I will fill half of the muffin tins with the 3-ingredient pumpkin mixture, and then add a handful of white chocolate chips to the mix for the remainder of the muffins. That way there is an option of having with or without the chips. My kid loves to help, so I let him mix in the chips. And sometimes I like to enjoy it with a little whipped cream on top.
3 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins are quick and easy to make for a delicious, low calorie snack or quick breakfast. Toddler approved.
- 1 box of spice cake mix
- 1 large can (29 oz) of pumpkin puree
- 3 large eggs
- White chocolate chip optional; I use about 1/8 to 1/4 cup)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (for metal and glass pans), 325 degrees (for dark or coated pans).
- Grease sides and bottom of muffin tin, or use baking cups.
- Blend cake mix, pumpkin and eggs in a large bowl at low speed until moistened (about 30 seconds).
- Pour batter into muffin tin (fill almost to the top since mix is dense and may deflate some once cooked) and bake immediately.
- Bake in center of oven. Muffins are done when toothpick inserted comes out clean: 16-19 minutes (For my oven this is 20-21 minutes for regular muffins and 17-18 for mini muffins).
- Cool muffins on wire rack.
Due to the moistness from the pumpkin, the muffins only last 3-4 days. So you can freeze all or a portion and thaw or reheat in microwave when you want one.
So, did you and your family love this recipe? Leave a comment below and let me know.