While at the Connecticut airport in September, I headed straight for the nearest coffee shop in the terminal once I passed through security. I had woken up at 3 am that morning when I heard people walking past my door at the hotel, and I never fully fell back asleep… So caffeine was a big necessity!
With limited options, I ended up at the Dunkin’ Donuts stand right next to my plane’s gate, and I scanned the menu boards to check out my options. I settled on a plain cup of hot coffee, but then…
I made a huge mistake. I glanced down at their glass display case full of fresh hot donuts. Rows and rows of dozens of perfectly shaped, beautiful round donuts… Everything from plain and glazed to cinnamon sugar and double chocolate… Plus seasonal flavors like apple crisp and pumpkin!
Although extremely tempted to snag a few pumpkin donut holes to go with my coffee, I realized that the sugar crash probably wouldn’t be worth it… So I walked away with just a single mug in hand.
Yet just last week, I spotted more pumpkin donuts at my local grocery store, which meant I started craving pumpkin breakfast treats all over again! But instead of caving and buying those oh-so-tempting extra sugary donuts…
I baked these Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins, and they totally satisfied my cravings! Soft and tender, just like the insides of my favorite cake-style donuts, with lots of cozy pumpkin and warm spice flavors… But no refined flour or sugar and just 128 calories!
And seeing as just one of Dunkin’ Donut’s pumpkin donut holes is 70 calories and about ¼ of the size… I definitely felt like I won the pumpkin breakfast lottery!
Well. If such a thing existed. 😉
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY PUMPKIN OATMEAL MUFFINS
So let’s go over how to make these healthy pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal muffins!
You’ll actually start with instant oats (like these—or these for gluten-free!). Instant oats are also called “quick cooking” or “one minute” oats. They’re smaller and thinner than traditional old-fashioned rolled oats, so they soften faster—and that makes your healthy pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal muffins really moist and tender!
Tip: Instant oats are not the same thing as those individual serving brown paper packets! You can find them at the grocery store in regular containers right next to the old-fashioned oats.
To jumpstart softening your oats, you’ll mix them with pumpkin purée (like this—not pumpkin pie mix!), Greek yogurt, and a touch of vanilla. When you mix the instant oats with these other ingredients first, before measuring out and stirring together the rest of the ingredients, the oats can start soaking up the moisture in the pumpkin and Greek yogurt ahead of time. That makes for extremely soft and tender healthy oatmeal muffins!
Just remember… It’s extremely important to measure the oats (and flour!) correctly, using this method or a kitchen scale. (← That’s the one I own and love!) Too much of either ingredient will make your muffins taste dry or crumbly. This is especially true of the oats. They act like little sponges and soak up lots of moisture from your muffin batter!
And speaking of flour, you’ll need white whole wheat flour (like this!) to make these healthy pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal muffins! White whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat, whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. They both have the same health benefits (like extra fiber!), but white whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture. This lets the pumpkin flavor and moist texture of these muffins truly shine!
You’ll also whisk a slew of spices into the flour: cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. These are the most common spices that you’ll find in pumpkin spice! However, I prefer making my own homemade pumpkin spice, rather than purchasing store-bought, for a couple reasons: (a) I can control the ratios of the spices and (b) I keep jars of the individual spices in my pantry already!
These healthy pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal muffins only require 1 teaspoon of butter or oil, unlike traditional recipes that use ¼ to ½ cup or more… And that definitely helps keep them low calorie! They get the rest of their moisture from the pumpkin and Greek yogurt, which you mixed into your oats already.
You’ll sweeten your healthy pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal muffins with liquid stevia instead of refined granulated sugar. Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that contains nothing refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!). It’s also highly concentrated, so you just need 2 teaspoons to sweeten a dozen muffins! This is the kind I buy, and although you can find it at many health-oriented grocery stores, I buy mine online here because that’s the best price I’ve found. (And you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!)
Time for the chocolate chips! I use mini chocolate chips to ensure every bite contains a morsel of chocolate. These are my current favorite because they taste so rich and turn perfectly melty in the oven!
One last tip! These low-fat pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal muffins stick to muffin liners like superglue, so you must coat your liners with cooking spray first before adding in the muffin batter. This trick makes the liners peel away from your muffins much more easily!
There’s a reason these are my favorite pumpkin muffins! ♡ And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal muffins!
Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins
- ¾ cup (75g) instant oats (gluten-free if necessary and measured like this)
- 1 cup (244g) pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix!)
- ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups (240g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
- 1 tbsp (8g) ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp ground allspice
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 tsp liquid stevia
- 6 tbsp (90mL) water, room temperature
- ½ cup (120mL) nonfat milk, room temperature
- 3 tbsp (42g) miniature chocolate chips (divided)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. (If using liners, then line 12 muffins cups with liners and coat them with cooking spray.)
- In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, pumpkin, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a third bowl, whisk together the butter, egg whites, and liquid stevia. Stir in the water. Stir in the oat mixture, mixing until no large lumps remain. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 3 equal parts.) Gently fold in 2 ½ tablespoons of miniature chocolate chips.
- Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups. Gently press the remaining chocolate chips into the tops. Bake at 350°F for 26-29 minutes or until the top feels firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Healthy Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins (Starbucks copycat!)
♡ Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
♡ Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bran Muffins
♡ Healthy Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Muffins
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy pumpkin recipes!