Lighten and Veganize Your Muffin Mix with Pumpkin

Remove the fat in muffins with pumpkins

A few years ago, I learned a trick that became an easy swap when I want to make healthy muffins, but don’t feel like making them from scratch.

Use pumpkin to make your muffins lighter

I simply add canned pumpkin to a muffin mix, instead of adding eggs and oil.  This yields fluffy muffins with significantly less calories than the standard recipe and packs a punch of vitamin A in each little muffin.

For example, the particular muffin mix shown (Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix) above was 150 calories before the eggs and oil were added and would have been 250 calories if I had added these ingredients, each little muffin would have been 250 calories.

By leaving out the eggs and oil and using 1 cup of pumpkin instead, I only added 7 calories per muffin, not the 100 calories the box directions call for, yielding muffins with only 157 calories a piece.  That’s pretty incredible, in my opinion.

And what’s even better is that I sacrifice none of the taste.  If anything, the muffins are more pumpkin-y.  A very good thing, in my book.

There is no exact science to this method of baking.  The box called for two large eggs and half a cup of oil so I estimated that the eggs would be equal to about half a cup of pumpkin and to substitute for the oil, I would need another cup of pumpkin.  I also added a cup of water, which the box directions called for.  

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

Now, in my opinion, don’t go around adding pumpkin to just any ol’ muffin mix.  For example, I’m not so sure pumpkin and strawberry would make a good pair.  But pumpkin and chocolate chips sounds like a match made in heaven.

Other muffin/bread mix flavors that will go well with pumpkin:
– Cranberry Orange,
– Chocolate Chip
– Gingerbread
– Banana Bread
– Apple Cinnamon
– Bran

Note: If eating vegan is important to you, check the ingredients of the muffin or bread mix to make sure they are vegan as is ,in order to determine if substituting pumpkin will yield vegan muffins.  If ingredients like milk powder are present, the mix already contains dairy and thus can’t be vegan.

Have you tried this simple ingredient swap? 

10 Responses to Lighten and Veganize Your Muffin Mix with Pumpkin

  1. Lee

    I have and with that specific pumpkin mix too. It’s good!

  2. I love subbing applesauce or pumpkin in baked goods when I’m trying to lighten them up! I’ve also read that diet soda works, although I’ve never tried it…

  3. Fran

    Great idea, unfortunately we don’t have the Trader Joe’s brand in the uk but I shall look out for something similar to try this idea with.

  4. went to TJ’s today and they didn’t have this mix any more. sadness

    • Oh no! They still have it at mine. If you see the gingerbread mix, it goes well in that too. I’d throw it in any muffin mix that sounds good with pumpkin if you really want to try it.

  5. Caroline

    I’ve been searching for a recipe that I could subsitute canned pumpkin into my Trader Joes pumpkin bread mix. I did drizzle a bit of maple syrup on the top. Thank You so much:)

  6. substitue with TJ’s pumpkin butter as another alternative. Yum!

    • Jen

      This year in TJ’s as a demo they mixed pumpkin butter with marsopane cheese for a frosting/dip. That was just dangerous(and very tasty). I’ve also done the bread mix with pumpkin in a donut baking tin then tossed with cinnamon sugar, also tasty.

  7. Jenny

    My family loves these muffins. We make mini muffins and sometimes add some chocolate chips. We bake the minis at 400 Degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Thanks for this healthy recipie.

  8. Mary

    You can use the trader joe muffin mix for other quick breads also. Try using 2 or 3 small bananas or grated carrots or zucchini. I reduce the sugar of the mix by removing 1/3 of the mix and add 1/3 cup of whole wheat pastry flour with a pinch of baking powder. This is a very versatile box indeed !

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