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No oil pumpkin muffins, high in protein and great for lunchboxes

These pumpkin muffins are easy, high in protein and contain no oil. They are great for breakfast, lunchboxes and snacks. They also freeze well.

A friend of mine gifted me with an enormous ironbark pumpkin from her vegetable patch. I shared halve with another friend and then roasted the wedges with olive oil, cinnamon, fresh ginger and honey until soft.

From my one pumpkin I made a batch of pumpkin pancakes, spicy pumpkin soup and two batches of pumpkin muffins and I still have about 1 cup left. Maybe I should try a pumpkin latte next.

This just made me realise again that if you are able to grow your own vegetables you will be so much more self-sufficient and save loads of money. I am looking forward to one day when I can successfully grow my own vegetables, fruit and herbs.

How to roast the pumpkin?

If you can get hold of pumpkin puree that will be great but it is not so readily available here in South-Africa as it is in the US. You could use any orange flesh pumpkin. Preheat oven to 180’C, cut the pumpkin in slices and roast in the oven until caramelised and soft. If you want to roast the pumpkin for a salad also, add some olive oil, salt, 2 tbs of honey and a thumb size of grated ginger. I really like this recipe by Green Kitchen stories.

How to sweeten muffins?

Whenever I bake I make it my mission to see how I can ‘healthify’ {is that even a word} a recipe. Because I don’t use artificial sweeteners I always try to reduce the sugar or use a healthier alternative. Coconut sugar is great in baking, it has a lower GI than normal sugar and contains iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium, as well as antioxidants so it is also more nutrient-dense. I reduced the sugar in the recipe from 2 cups to 3/4.

Why are these muffins great for lunchboxes?

I also used Spelt flour that is an ancients grain, it is not gluten-free but it is high in protein and lower in calories than wheat flour and also easier to digest than wheat. If you find that wheat upsets your stomach, that you are allergic to wheat or you just want to avoid wheat or cut down on gluten, spelt may be a good choice for you.

These muffins are great for lunchboxes because it can be frozen, and is high in protein with 4 eggs, spelt flour and a 3/4 cup of full cream yoghurt.

Make a double batch and stock your freezer for lunchbox emergencies and afternoon hunger pangs.

First whisk all the dry ingredients together to remove all lumps, add walnuts at this step.

Now mix all the wet ingredients together, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just mixed. Don’t over stir the batter otherwise the muffins will rise with a top.

Don’t overfill the muffin cases otherwise the muffins will rise with a muffin top.Sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar topping to make the muffins extra crunchy.

Can these muffins be frozen?

Yes, they freeze really well. Just cool down, place in container or ziploc bag and freeze. They will freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before eating.

Other recipes great for lunchboxes

  1. Carrot and courgette muffins

2. Butternut scones

3. Nutbars

4. Lunchbox tips

Pumpkin muffins

No oil pumpkin muffins

  • Author: Ankie Niesing
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 50
  • Yield: 12 1x


Super easy pumpkin muffin, ideal for lunchboxes and afternoon snack because of high protein and fibre content. 



3 cups spelt flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

3/4 cups coconut sugar or brown sugar

A handful of chopped walnuts or pecan nuts (optional)

1 cup pumpkin puree

4 eggs

3/4 cup full cream yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract


2 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper liners

2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl including the nuts

3. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl

4. Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Try to give it only 20 stirs.

5. Scoop the mixture with 2 tablespoons into the muffin cases. Only filling until 3/4 full.

6. Mix the cinnamon and brown sugar and sprinkle on each muffin

7. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until a skewer or toothpick comes out clean

8. Leave to cool down.

Keywords: Pumpkin muffins, lunchbox, baking

Ankie Niesing

Hi, I'm Ankie! Welcome to Wooden Spoon Kitchen, my pantry of life, love and health where we constantly stir laughter, learning, eating and cooking together!

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