Pumpkin Apple Muffins are a delicious blend of fall flavors with a fruit and veggie in each muffin! Wait – is pumpkin a fruit or a veggie………..keep reading to find out!
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Is Pumpkin a Fruit or a Veggie?
There are a few fruits/veggies that fall into both the fruit camp and the veggie camp. But how does that work? What defines a fruit? And what defines a veggie? And does it even matter?
There are two ways that fruits and veggies are classified: botanically and from a culinary standpoint.
Botanically, fruits and vegetables are classified depending on which part of the plant they come from.
- A fruit develops from the flower of a plant, while the other parts of the plant are categorized as vegetables.
- Fruits contain seeds, while vegetables can consist of roots, stems and leaves.
The culinary standpoint defines fruits and vegetables based on taste.
- Fruits generally have a sweet or tart flavor and can be used in desserts, snacks or juices.
- Vegetables have a more mild, savory or bitter taste and are usually eaten as part of a side dish or main course.
So – what is pumpkin? A fruit or a veggie?
Botanically, pumpkin is a fruit because it’s a product of the seed-bearing structure of flowering plants. From a culinary perspective, pumpkin is less sweet and more savory and so it is generally categorized as a vegetable.
Does it really matter? Fruit is higher in sugar and calories than vegetables, but both fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Specific types of fruits and vegetables provide different nutrients. In the end, the classification of fruits and vegetables isn’t as important as eating a variety of both to take advantage of the diverse nutrients they provide.
What are the Best Apples for Muffins?
When you are adding apples to a muffin, you need to keep in mind that texture is really important. Good baking apples should hold their shape and not turn into mush. The flavor of the apple will depend on what you are making. If your muffin is less sweet, then a sweeter variety of apple like golden delicious might be a good choice. The opposite is also true – when you are making a sweet muffin, then a Granny Smith with a very tart flavor would be a delicious contrast in flavor. Here is a list of apples that we like to use in muffins:
- Golden Delicious
- Granny Smith
- Pink Lady
Here are a few tips for enjoying great apples:
- Pick: Select apples that are firm to the touch and free of bruises.
- Store: To maintain freshness, apples should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.
- Prep: Thoroughly wash apples in water before using. Apples can be enjoyed in salads, smoothies, and breads.
Health Benefits of Apples
Apples are a great thing to add to your kids menu! An apple a day, really might keep the doctor away (although, I’m not sure that anyone has ever tried it!) These are some of the health benefits to your kids that you might find interesting:
- A lot of the nutrition in an apple is in the peel. So make sure you keep the peel on when you give your kids apples!
- Apples are great for your kid’s digestive health because not only do they have a lot of fiber, but they have two different kinds! Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Together they help support regular bowel movements for your kids by softening and bulking up their stool and helping it move along the intestines which helps prevent constipation.
- Apples contain pectin which is a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic. This means it feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree
Did you know that you can make your own pumpkin puree rather than buy it?? We have an entire post on how to make your own pumpkin puree in 3 Simple Steps! We’ve got more pumpkin recipes for you also if you are the pumpkin loving type:
OUR BEST PUMPKIN RECIPES:
- Pumpkin cookie bites
- Toasted Coconut Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Pie Slow Cooker Oatmeal
- Pumpkin Protein Pancakes ***VERY POPULAR
- Pumpkin Spice Cake
Pumpkin Apple Muffins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Chop apples (will need 1 cup).
- Mix flour, sugar, pumpkin spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Beat eggs in separate bowl. Mix in pumpkin puree and oil.
- Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in chopped apple.
- Line muffin pan with baking cups or spray each tin with cooking spray. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full and bake 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie