Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

Yes, my third post on this blog is about muffins.  Seems random, for a homeschool blog, no?  Well, first of all, I’m pretty sure not everyone that is visiting (which is way more than I ever would have guessed!!) is a homeschooler- probably mostly moms who are busy.  So, I figure a few recipes here and there only add to the sharing.  🙂

A few months ago, our days were incredibly stressed.  Molly was melting down multiple times a day, and not just little ones.  Door slamming, screaming, stomping teenager-sized meltdowns.  You may remember that a main reason we started homeschooling was because of some “issues” we noticed with Molly.   In December, before Christmas, most days were ending with both of us stressed out and worried about how we would finish this year, let alone another.  My heart was torn because our relationship was so clearly strained over this thing that Adam *and I* now both believed in so fully.  But, if it meant Molly thinking I thought she wasn’t good none of it was worth it.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am an information hoarder.  Which lends itself nicely to being a book hoarder.  So, one night after many tears from both Molly and I, Adam sent me off to the book store to lick my wounds.  He knows me so well.  Unfortunately for our bank account, this is what happened:


If you follow me on GoodReads you can follow up on how I liked these books (though I’m not quite through them all).  I will say that I *highly* recommend Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids.  Highly.  Its not rocket science, but its basically our parenting philosophy in writing, and I really needed to get back to my roots.  Its a great book.

I had heard in passing about kids being allergic to Red Dye 40.  We don’t tend to let our kids have tons of processed food, but we aren’t nutritional saints, either.  And I honestly had no idea how many foods red dye was in.  But the symptoms of being allergic, or sensitive, to it were all there.  So, we decided to try ditching it (which isn’t always easy, especially at Valentine’s Day!).  While researching that, we also found several articles stating that protien in the morning was helpful in de-railing some other behaviors we were struggling with.   I will be totally transparent and say that my kids usually ate cereal for breakfast every.single.morning.  I am not a morning person and most days I feel like they are lucky to get cereal before I’ve had some time to wake up myself.  But I was willing to  try anything to see if we could improve things during our school day.  I started with making eggs, whole wheat toast and some fruit.  They both love eggs but they aren’t their favorite so we adjusted as the weeks went on.  At this point they are both really happy with a healthy muffin and a vanilla greek yogurt w/honey for their protein.  Some days they get a cheese stick.  Some days they get peanut butter toast.  But since we’ve been doing this (and watching out for red dye) Molly’s behavior has improved so much.  So, so much.  She isn’t begging for a snack an hour after breakfast and she is much better able to tackle challenges in school vs. slamming doors and screaming.  I’ll take that, anyday.

Looooooong way around to why I bake muffins each week and why I feel they can fill an important role in having good school days (at school or otherwise).  🙂  Its also far more budget friendly to bake a batch of muffins than it is to buy a $4.00 box of sugar cereal and only takes about 30 minutes.  Make them on Sunday afternoon and freeze them.  Microwave them or pull them out the night before and they taste like fresh baked all week long.  These look good, too!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

(adapted from Magnolia Bakery Cookbook– which is my favorite baking cookbook ever and if you love cookbooks and don’t have it put it on your wish list.)


2 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)

1.5 cups milk (great chance to use up left over butter milk, whole milk, cream or whatever.  Or use skim (or whatever you drink).  That is what I use 99% of the time.)  Sub almond milk if you are vegan/DF)

1 cup all purpose flour

.5 cup white whole wheat flour

1 T baking powder

1/2 t salt

1/2 t cinnamon

1/4 t pumpkin pie spice (just use more cinnamon if you don’t have this on hand)

2 large eggs (for vegan you’ll need an egg substitute.  I’ve read this one is good, though I haven’t used it yet.)

1 c pumpkin

1/2 c honey

1 t vanilla extract

You can add chocolate chips, walnuts, raisins, craisins etc.  We eat ours plain to avoid adding sugar, but in theory you could add stuff in!

Preheat oven to 400*

Grease well a 12-cup muffin tin (or use wrappers or silicone baking cups)

In a medium bowl mix oats and milk and let sit for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine dry ingredients, making a well in the center.  Stir in the liquid ingredients and the oatmeal mixture until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Batter may be lumpy.


Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.  Bake for 16-18 min (I find 15 to be enough to be sure they aren’t over baked) until a tooth pick (or whatever you have handy… I usually grab a knife)  inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs.  Do not over bake.

image_1 image_2 image_3

I find this recipe makes 12 muffins plus three muffin tops (which only need 5-7 min to bake).  My sweet friend Kristine bought me one of these a few years ago and the girls and I just love them.  🙂

Happy Baking!

Printable recipe:

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins


23 thoughts on “Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

  1. We don’t homeschool, but we need extra protein for sports! My twins get up at 5:45 for school (ugh), and have a full schoolday, followed by cross country practice and sometimes volleyball. Craziness! By the time they get home, they’re ravenous.

    I make the All Bran Original Muffins (recipe on the Kellogg’s website) to go with potato soup & my girls adore them. If I double the batch (& hide them fast enough), we have leftovers for breakfasts & snacks. So simple, yet adds protein & fiber to their diet. And the squeals of delight are a bonus 🙂

  2. These are baking in my oven *right* *now* and smell delicious! I was so excited to find your recipe on Pinterest.
    I am using Silk Vanilla Coconut Milk (dairy allergy) and subbed 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce for EACH egg (i’ve done this before in cakes/muffins with good results in the past) since we are out of eggs and I’d already opened the can of pumpkin puree 🙂
    Thank you for posting this yumminess!

  3. I ended up here by following a link on Pinterest, and I can’t wait to try the recipe, but I must say I’m VERY interested in the information about red dye…Thank you!

  4. This is my first time to your blog. I was interested in the muffin recipe and was shocked to find someone else “allergic” to red dye( and blue and orange). My parents were told by several Docs that there was no such thing, but I’m now 21 and my husband can tell you if I’ve had any red dyes just from how I am acting/feeling. When holidays and such came where dyes were inevitable my dad used to always say that there was special chocolate for me, i’ve even come across all white candy canes.

    • Summer- that is good to know! I’m going to keep my eye out for those. Thanks! I love the special chocolate idea! We do try to stay away from all dye, but red specifically seems the worst. Hope you like the muffins!

  5. I’m excited to make these! I’d been making some healthy muffins for my 1 yo son as part of his breakfast options, but they use bananas and bananas stop him up faster than anything. Thank you for a healthy muffin recipe that doesn’t use sugar or bananas!!

  6. Have you ever tried these as mini muffins? And ideas on how long they would need to bake for? My son is 18 months, and if I don’t do mini muffins I end up eating the other half of his. Big muffin. Oops!?

  7. Wow…My youngest son is now 29. In the days before internet I discovered a tie in to his erratic, almost frantic behavior with FD&C red #10 (I think, it’s been years). Fortunate fortunate me, I mentioned my observations to my doctor, who immediately agreed to eliminate any medicines with that colorant (HARD to do by the way) while I watched it from the foods end. COMPLETE TURNAROUND. Seriously, he wasn’t a perfect kid after that but it was amazing how much better behaved he was, how much better he slept, how much less hyper he seemed. Others scoffed but thankfully one man listened and forever changed my son’s life.

  8. Made these today with a few modifications and they were delicious! Instead of all purpose flour I used sprouted wheat and instead of whole white wheat flour I used oat flour. Than because I was in a hurry and didn’t read the recipe right I forgot the eggs and they still turned out wonderful. Thanks!

  9. I found this recipe on pinterest. I notice the Magnolia recipe has butter and no pumpkin. Is the pumpkin substituting for the butter?

  10. Making these for breakfast now. They sound yummy. But you might want to think about the abbreviations for tablespoon and teaspoon. While trying to make these with a toddler running around and screaming to help mix, the “T” and “t” can easily be confused or overlooked.

  11. Dear Lindsay, My daughter is 5 and I discovered, after many huge blow up tantrums, when I didn’t recognize her and she was no understanding what was happening either, that at about 18 months old she reacted (or what we call is allergic) to Red Dye #40. It’s true. Don’t think you are crazy. The FDA is crazy for not banning this poison from food products targeted toward children. We have cut out all dyes – yellow and blue are suppose to be worse, but like your daughter, red 40 seems to get the negative behavior. Thanks so much for suggesting protein to start the morning off right! I’m going to try this – as well as your muffins!

  12. Pingback: 2013 Wrap Up | Tiny Spark Academy

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