Sunday, October 21, 2007

Heart Healthy Pumpkin Muffins

With Halloween right around the corner, your local grocery store probably is loaded with calorie-laden and unhealthy pumpkin pies, muffins, and sweets. However, the pumpkin itself is a very healthy food and one that you should include in your diet. The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene (just like sweet potatoes and carrots). Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body.

Current research indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protect against heart disease. Beta-carotene offers protection against other diseases as well as some degenerative aspects of aging.

Pumpkin Nutrition Facts(1 cup cooked, boiled, drained, without salt)
Calories 49 Protein 2 grams
Carbohydrate 12 grams Dietary Fiber 3 grams
Calcium 37 mg Iron 1.4 mg
Magnesium 22 mg Potassium 564 mg
Here's the catch. Don't give in to the store-made temptations. Instead, make a few adjustments to the store recipes, and indulge yourself (in moderation, of course) to this tasty fall treat. Plus, your house will smell amazing after these bake in the oven.
Heart-Healthy Pumpkin Muffins


3 cups Splenda
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 egg whites
1 lb. of canned pumpkin
3 ½ cups of whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. Morton Lite Salt
½ tsp cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. all spice
½ tsp vanilla
2/3 cup water


Combine Splenda, applesauce, and eggs. Add pumpkin. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add spices. Add dry mixture to pumpkin mixture. Add water. Pour into two greased and flour loaf pans or muffin trays. Bake 1 hour at 350 or until bread/muffins test done. Enjoy!

Yield: 2 loaves/24 muffins

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