I’d like to think that for the most part JonPaul and I have a pretty good balance in our life. Being present as parents with our little guys, making time for friends and family, and even making sure to carve out time for each other. But this week, man, it was a doozy and our balance was really off. A story I’m sure so many of you can relate to.
Nothing in particular that made our shift feel so tilted to one side – but rather a combination of so many little things. Isn’t that always the case? It’s never just “one” thing, but rather the combination of “everything”. Kids that were sick, over scheduled, and tired – and two parents who pretty much felt the same.
JonPaul and I actually had a trip planned to NYC for this weekend as well, that we ended up canceling because things just felt too overwhelming at home. We love traveling together and it’s usually a priority we can work into our schedules. But not this time.
We were both really disappointed having to cancel our trip. I think it just felt symbolic though of the phase we’re in. When our little people were younger it was somehow easier to make those trips happen. But now as they’re getting older it feels harder to get away. Like they almost need us more the older they get. Either way, we needed to be home. And I’m so glad we were.
I can’t say that this weekend was smooth, or relaxing, or the NYC weekend I had envisioned. But I’m so glad we decided not to go. Instead of strolling the big apple in what has to be my favorite New York season, I was able to be at lacrosse tournaments, soccer games and take little people to the doctors. Tuck kids in, wipe noses, give hugs and just be “mom”. I even managed to sneak in a little baking and recipe testing…including these delicious vegan pumpkin muffins.
And although food may not be the cure to our currently over scheduled life, or help heal sick babies, theres is something deeply comforting about freshly baked muffins, the smell of homemade bread, or even having our family gathered around the table for dinner. Food just makes everything….well, better. Especially when it’s something as sweet, warm and cozy as these muffins.
So while I may not have been able to find the perfect balance for JonPaul and I this weekend, I did find what I consider to be a pretty darn perfect pumpkin muffin – and I’ll take the win.
I first started making similar pumpkin muffins last year when I came across this recipe from Pinch of Yum. And they were pretty darn tasty. But of course I can’t leave well enough alone. Since we like having treats around our house A LOT, I wanted to come up with a way to make them a little more, well, nutritious.
So I omitted the egg, the dairy, reduced the sugar and added in chia seeds for some extra omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. So now we have something that’s super yummy, delicious, oh and just happen to be good for you!
This is another one of those great recipes to get your kids involved. I’ve been letting Asher and Lillian make these on their own as an after school snack and they love it. It’s essentially a “one bowl” dump and mix kind of recipe. All of the ingredients go into the food processor at once, you give a few pulses, and then scoop into muffin tins. It couldn’t be simpler. The hardest part is waiting the 10 minutes for them to bake 😉
Plus I love how the coconut milk in this recipe keeps the muffins tender and moist. They feel truly decadent. And after all, isn’t that what you want with a muffin…something mouthwateringly delicious?! The whole combination of the earthy and warm cinnamon and pumpkin, combined the hearty oats, velvety coconut milk and of course that ooey gooey chocolate. It’s the perfect little bite of fall.
We have been making these on repeat in our house, and I have a feeling you will be too.
For more pumpkin inspiration, be sure to check out my favorite pumpkin granola.
- 2 cups of old fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
- 1 cup of pumpkin puree
- 1 cup of full fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup of maple syrup
- 1 tbs of chia seeds
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1½ tsp of cinnamon
- ½ tsp of salt
- ¼ cup of chocolate chips, vegan chips, or cacao nibs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- In a food processor, add 2 cups of oats, pumpkin puree, coconut milk, maple syrup, chia seeds, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Pulse for about 30 seconds, or until the whole mixture comes together. Use a spatula to scrap the sides/bottoms and make sure the ingredients are all well mixed together. Give a few more pulses if needed.
- Next add the mini chocolate chips (vegan chips or cacao nibs), and pulse for a few seconds.
- Grease a mini muffin tin
- Using a small scooper, scoop the batter into the muffin tin. Top with additional chocolate chips.
- Bake for about 10 minutes
- Remove from oven and allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack