Recipe Redux: Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins


When you say fall, I say …pumpkin. Yes, pumpkin is one of the iconic symbols of fall and was the first thing that popped into my head when I read this month’s Recipe Redux theme, “Orange you glad it’s fall”.  The challenge is to cook up something with carotenoid antioxidants (the pigments responsible for the bright orange color of some of my favorite fall vegetables). These substances are your body’s defense against free radicals.  Now is  the perfect time to cook seasonal orange vegetables to boost your immune system and fight back against aging! Please use my recipe and the links below this post to help you  get started!

Although I was quick to choose pumpkin as my carotenoid containing ingredient, I had a hard time narrowing it down to just one recipe! Pumpkin is good in everything from soup to smoothies. So how did I come to a decision? Well,   I approached this month’s Recipe Redux a little differently than I usually do. I am modifying an existing recipe from The Frog Commissary Cookbook to show  how you can replace one-half of the fat in a baked good with  pumpkin (or any pureed fruit or vegetable for that matter), and reduce calories and fat. Use of pumpkin gives the added bonus of adding carotenoids! With the holiday baking season getting closer, you’ll want to remember this tip to help avoid holiday weight gain and increase the nutritional value of your homemade goodies!

Interestingly enough, the recipe I am modifying, Cinnamon Butter Muffins, is a true calorie bomb with 500 calories/muffin. By replacing pumpkin for half the fat, swapping skim milk for whole milk and changing the topping, I was able to slash calories by half, fat by 75%  and sugar by 4 teaspoons. I have included a nutrition profile of both for your reference.

Before Modifications | Nutrition Profile: Cinnamon Butter Muffins: serving 1 muffin (The Frog Commissary Cookbook)

500 calories, 28 grams total fat, 18 grams saturated fat, 108 mg cholesterol, 379 mg sodium, total carbohydrate 58 grams, sugar 34 grams, 5 grams protein, 18% DV for vitamin A

After Modifications | Nutrition Profile: Cinnamon  Pumpkin Muffins : serving 1 muffin (modified recipe)

250 calories, 7 grams total fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 51 mg cholesterol, 67 mg sodium, 43 grams total carbohydrate, 19 grams sugar, 5 grams protein, 26% DV for vitamin A

What fruits and /or veggies do you add to foods as a hidden ingredient?



Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins

by Diane Boyd

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients (serves 12)

For the Muffins

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

For the Topping

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place baking cups in muffin-pan cups. Cream butter, sugar and pumpkin. Beat in eggs, salt and nutmeg. Stir in the flour and baking powder alternately with the skim milk until the mixture is just combined. Fill the muffin cups full. In a small bowl mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of muffins. Bake for 20-25 minutes. When muffins are done, let them cool for a minute and then turn onto cooling racks.

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What Kind of Apps Does a Nutritionist Have?

What Kind of Apps Does a Nutritionist Have?

Is there anything that has changed your world in the past year? For me its apps!  I used to wake up and turn on the tv or check a thermometer before I made my wardrobe decisions. Now I use the app on my iphone. As a matter of fact, I must use a half a dozen apps before I even get out the door. My morning app routine looks something like this: glance at  my iphone calendar, check  for personal messages on facebook, tweet something, schedule some tweets for the day, read the news and listen to a music app as I head out for a quick run that is navigated by a GPS/fitness app.

With the shear number of apps available,  (over 500,000) it’s impossible to review everyone. Furthermore, just because there is an app for something, doesn’t necessarily mean you need it! Reading,  word of mouth, advice from other experts and colleagues is how I pick and choose my apps.  In my opinion, apps should meet one  of these qualifications:

1. Help you work less.

2. Help you do more.

3. Have fun!

In today’s post I would like to share a few of my favorite fitness/nutrition/food apps:

My Fitness Pal.  Although I don’t personally use this app,  I do recommend it  to clients seeking weight loss; and I keep it on my phone to demo. It is a calorie counter and food tracking app. Tracking calories has shown to be important for weight loss and weight management. As a matter of fact, according to the National Weight Control Registry, keeping a journal is one of the 3 things individuals losing weight and keeping it off have in common. In lieu of keeping a journal, clients can simply keep records of their food intake right on their phones. Yes, this meets the qualification:  helps you work less!

Map My Fitness. This is one app I use myself. I love having the GPS  track my actual mileage and also my pace during my morning runs. At every mile, a voice announces distance run and pace. In my case, this app meets the qualification of helping me do more:  it keeps me from stagnating at a pace I am too comfortable with. Currently I am using this app to recover from injury by closely monitoring my pace and distance. For those who thrive on the social aspects of fitness, it also includes the ability to share your routes and fitness goals with others.  Use this feature with discretion!

Locavore. Another of my personal favorites, locavore helps find local, in-season food.  Looking for seasonal produce is easy  with this app pinpointing nearby farmers’ markets and farms.

Smash Your Food. This is an app I have mentioned before on my blog, but it is certainly worth mentioning again. The entire family will enjoy this interactive nutrition game! It not only helps you work less (starts the conversation you want to have with your kids about nutrition), but it’s fun! Guess how much sugar,  salt and  oil are in some of your favorite junk foods. Then  virtually smash the food to find out answers! You can view this app at Food N’ Me.

Hello Vino. If you’re like me,  you enjoy an occasional glass of wine to enhance a home cooked meal. That’s where hello vino comes in. It’s an app that makes food and wine pairing a cinch. It can also help make wine selections based on occasion, taste preference, and type/variety. If you’re planning to show up on someones’ doorstep with a bottle of wine, check out hello vino first!

What are some of your  favorite food/nutrition/fitness apps?  How do you use them?

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