Baked Pumpkin Apple Cider Donut Holes with Chia seeds - A healthier version of donuts

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Fall season is full of vibrant colors and the Halloween decoration goes at the culminating point as there are only few more weeks for it.  We only manage to put couple of pumpkin jack o lanterns at our front yard.  I love the festive mood of this season apart from the cleaning up of garden and pulling off the bulbs that cannot withstand winter.  But it's fun, when we do it together as a family.  Kids cannot wait for Halloween to get bags of candy and I cannot wait to hide them :) from them.....

Couple of weeks ago when I was driving back home after picking the kids from school, my daughter asked her usual question as we passed the local donut store 'Mommy can we have some donuts?" and I replied as usual 'Its not healthy, I will make some".  I guess she was tired of this redundant answer and asked, "Mommy can we have something unhealthy sometimes?".  I couldn't stop laughing.  I knew that I had to make donuts for them one of these days and cannot procrastinate anymore.  I knew what exactly I wanted to experiment.  I had a jar of some fresh homemade pumpkin puree sitting in my refrigerator.   I adapted and modified a recipe I came across at pinterest with the ingredients I had with me to make healthy version of donut holes.  I couldn't believe that they came out super soft with only 2 tablespoons of oil.  The pumpkin puree was the magic ingredient in this recipe which kept the donuts soft and moist even with the addition of whole wheat flour.  I was totally impressed with the results.  Lil Noah was munching on them each time as he passed the kitchen.  Now I know that I can rely on this recipe to make some healthy donuts when kids ask for it.  And I would like to share this healthy version of donuts with you so that you can make for your family too.

 Donuts need not to be treated as a unhealthy food anymore.  Feel free to make these for your family when you crave for some donuts.

Recipe Source - here - original recipe was changed with ingredients I had

Yields - 40 - 45 mini donut holes

1 cup - all purpose flour
1 cup - whole wheat flour
2 tsp - baking powder
1/2 tsp - baking soda
1/2 tsp - salt
1 tsp - ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp - ground nutmeg 

1  - large egg
1/2 cup - brown sugar
1/2 cup - pumpkin puree (refer notes)
1 tsp - vanilla extract
1/3 cup - pure maple syrup
1/3 cup - apple cider (refer notes)
1/3 cup - plain yogurt
2 tbsp - oil
1 tsp - Chia seeds (optional)

4 Tbsp  - melted unsalted butter  (optional)
1/4 cup - sugar granulated or powdered
1 tsp - ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp - ground nutmeg 

  • Preheat oven to 400 °F.
  • Sift all the dry ingredients like all purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg once and keep it aside.
  • Whisk the egg, brown sugar and pumpkin puree till well blended.  Add yogurt, apple cider, vanilla extract, maple syrup  and oil and whisk till everything is mixed well.
  • Now fold in the flour mixture to the wet mix and mix till there are no dry lumps.  Don't over mix.  Add the chia seeds to the batter.  Keep the batter aside for 5-8 minutes before baking.
  • Bake the donuts in mini muffin pan or donut molds for 10 -12 minutes depending upon the muffin tin or donut mold size or till a took pick comes out clean when tested.
  • Transfer the donut holes to a wire rack to cool for 5 - 6 minutes.
  • Mix the cinnamon, nutmeg powders and sugar in a plate. If using butter, dip the donuts in melted butter and roll in the sugar and cinnamon mix. 
  • Store in air tight container.  Keep refrigerated if storing for more than 2 days.
  • I made the pumpkin puree at home.  I bought a small pumpkin.  Cut them into half, scooped out the seeds.  Baked in the oven at 400 for 20 minutes by wraping them in aluminum foil.  You can also bake them without aluminum foil by placing the cut side down on a baking sheet.  Once the pumpkin is cooked, scoop out the flesh and puree it in a chopper/ blender or food processor.  Transfer them into clean jars and refrigerate or freeze them for future use.  They are very handy.  You can use canned pumpkin puree too, but trust me the homemade tastes much better.
  • If you are using powdered sugar for dusting the muffins, let the muffin cool down completely before dusting.
  • If you don't have apple cider, you can substitute it with apple juice.

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