Seasons Eatings

As the weather turns and we begin brainstorming Halloween costumes and browse ticket prices for our holiday travels, we know the season of eating has officially begun. And who can resist the fun-sized chocolates, bountiful pumpkin baked goods, and delectably decorated Christmas cookies? While indulging during this season is fun, nostalgic, and arguably unavoidable, perhaps we can be mindful of replacing some of those high sugar, high fat, processed foods with equally (or near equally) delicious alternatives. That way, we can savor without the guilt, and conscientiously indulge when we feel like indulging. And that makes the sweet treats even sweeter.

While no one is immune from cancer, CSC encourages individuals to be Patient Active and take control of what they can when impacted by cancer. For some, that may mean reevaluating lifestyle choices- namely diet, exercise, and stress levels. We have multiple exercise and stress reduction classes that attend to those latter two areas, and we are also anticipating some upcoming nutrition workshops later this quarter. To hold you over until those nutrition workshops, we present to you a low-sugar (and refined sugar free), dairy free, high protein, and high fiber treat: Pumpkin Choco-lantern Muffins.

Now before we delve into the recipe, we offer some nutrition information to consider:

Several studies have looked at the impact of anti-inflammatory, low-sugar, plant based (aka nix the processed foods and up consumption of the stuff that grows from the ground) diets in relation to cancer. Read up at the clickable links to find out more. In consideration of that information, these muffins are refined sugar free, dairy free, whole wheat, and void of processed ingredients. Fall is pumpkin everything. And pumpkin is actually good for you, if not doused with sugar. Read up to find out more.

And now for the actual recipe. These muffins are light and fluffy (even though they are whole wheat!), sweet but not over-the-top sweet, filling, and oh-so Fall. These are perfect companion to your morning cup of coffee, a wonderful afternoon pick-me-up, or a healthy way to curb your sweet tooth.

Pumpkin Choco-lantern Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 22-25 minutes

Yeild: 1 Dozen Muffins


1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

½ Cup Oat Flour *

½ Cup Almond Meal *

3 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice 1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

Pinch of salt

1 15 oz. Can Pumpkin Puree (not to be confused with Pumpkin Pie Filling, which has lots of added sugar)

1.5 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

5 Pitted Medjool Dates

¼ Cup Grapeseed Oil

1/3 Cup Maple Syrup

½ Cup Almond Milk

1/3 Cup Dairy Free Chocolate Chips

*Feel free to process ½ cup of rolled oats and ½ cups of almonds in a food processor to achieve a fine, flour-like consistency


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners or generously grease muffin tin with coconut oil or grapeseed oil.

2. Combine all dry ingredients: wheat flour, oat flour, almond meal, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt

3. Process the medjool dates, grapeseed oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a food processor until a caramel-eque texture is achieved

4. Combine all wet ingredients: caramel mixture, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, and almond milk

5. Gently fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips

6. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins. Completely fill each tin to allow for optimal rising (and delectable muffin tops) during the baking process. Smooth the top of each muffin and garnish with a couple additional chocolate chips.

7. Bake for 22- 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool completely and…

8. Enjoy

What are your favorite Fall treats? Leave your thoughts in the comments below so that we can dream up more healthy alternatives!