Lightened Up Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have long loved pumpkin chocolate chip bread. Not only do I love it, but my 18 month old son does as well. He’s even started helping me stir the batter in the kitchen because it’s never too soon to have helpers in the kitchen!

Since he and I can happily eat this treat for breakfast every morning, I decided to try my hand at lightening it up a bit. It wasn’t a terrible recipe but I knew I could cut some calories.

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I started with my favorite recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip bread. This is my favorite recipe because it’s quick to mix and it tastes delicious. Plus, this recipe is incredibly versatile. It can be made as full loaves of bread or mini loaves, full-size muffins or mini-muffins. Not only that, but this recipe freezes great so you can enjoy some pumpkin bread now and freeze some for later.

Then, I started making adjustments over time, cutting back and substituting slowly in small increments.

Here are the substitutions I finally made.  I cut the sugar down by 1/2 cup. I also cut the chocolate chips down by 1/2 a cup. Then, I cut down the amount and oil and substituted some applesauce.

Do you want to see what a difference these 3 substitutions made? Adjusting the oil made the big difference and cut 1000 calories from the recipes, even after adding in the 50 calories for unsweetened applesauce. Reducing the sugar saved another 380 calories and cutting back on the chocolate chips saved another 400 calories. By making 3 simple substitutions, I cut over 1780 calories out of this recipe!

Now, if you cut out the rest of the chocolate chips, you’d save another 800 calories but let’s not go too crazy, shall we? 🙂 Sometimes I like a plain pumpkin bread but other times I like a touch of chocolate so reducing the chocolate chips was a happy compromise.

Here’s our new lightened up pumpkin chocolate chip muffins recipe – and I don’t think I’ll go back to the regular! It’s healthier now and just as delicious. I hope you and your family enjoy it as well.

Ingredients:

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 (15 ounce) can of pure pumpkin
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, applesauce and oil. Stir in flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir just until moistened. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Scoop pumpkin mixture into greased (or paper lined) muffin tins. I like to use my large cookie scoop which ensures all my muffins are exactly the same size. My scoop is from Pampered Chef but here’s a similar large scoop on Amazon. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes.

Cool for 2 or 3 minutes before removing muffins to wire racks to finish cooling. Enjoy a healthier breakfast treat!

If you are using this recipe to bake bread, pour mixture into 2 greased 8 inch by 4 inch loaf pans. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. If you are baking mini loaves of bread, bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Remember, whether baking bread or muffins, this recipe freezes well!

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Lightened Up Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

A delicious and lightened up version of pumpkin chocolate chip bread that can be made as bread or muffins.

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of pure pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, applesauce and oil.
  2. Stir in flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir just until moistened.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop pumpkin mixture into greased (or paper lined) muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes.
  5. Cool for 2 or 3 minutes before removing muffins to wire racks to finish cooling. Enjoy a healthier breakfast treat!
  6. If you are using this recipe to bake bread, pour mixture into 2 greased 8 inch by 4 inch loaf pans. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.
  7. If you are baking mini loaves of bread, bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1

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5 Comments

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  2. These pumpkin muffins look delicious. Now if I could just get my hubby to eat pumpkin, he has an aversion to almost all squash like foods. 🙂

    I like to adjust recipes to make them lighter. I almost always have to adjust them to make them dairy free for my family, but I also like to cut sugar and oil too. I’ve found that I can water down the soy milk we use with half water in most baking recipes without any ill effects. It saves a little money and a few calories too.

    1. What a good idea to water down soy milk! I’m sure that would work with almost any kind of milk. I have started lightening up more of my recipes, too. Why not, if I can still make them taste good? 🙂

  3. This recipe came at the perfect time! I have over 2 cups of pumpkin puree in my fridge, and I need to use it up. All I need is some chocolate chips and I can make a sweet treat for breakfast this week. And I may just increase the amount of chocolate chips. 🙂

    1. Enjoy, Charlee! And go wild with the chocolate chips. You won’t get any criticism from this chocolate lover on adding more chocolate chips! 🙂

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