MORRISTOWN, NJ - With the temperatuers starting to dip and the leaves turning colors, fall is perfect for muffins. This recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins is half the calories and fat because we swapped out the oil for pumpkin.

Vegetable oil has 120 calories per 1 Tablespoon (not to mention 14 grams of fat). Instead of using the 1/4 cup oil, I added 1/4 cup organic pumpkin puree. The can was less than a $1 to buy and has 74 calories per 1/4 cup with no fat. A bonus is that the pumpkin contains 10% Vitamin A, 4% Calcium, 6% Vitamin C and 4% Iron.

There still are lots of chocolate chips in the mix so I have to be reminded to eat just one. In the end, the muffins were light and fluffy and my kids couldn't taste the difference.

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The baker isn't a nutritionist, so TAPinto Morristown asked Debbie Weinstein Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist and owner of South Street Yoga and Nutrition her thoughts on using pumpkin as a substitute for oil.

"Pumpkin is a great substitution for vegetable oil.  Not only is it lower in calories and unhealthy fats,  it is very nutrient dense.  In addition to  Vitamin A, C and iron, pumpkin is a great source of potassium, zinc and vitamin e and fiber.  The orange pigmentation in the pumpkin is very rich in carotenoids. Carotenoids are a class of phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that work as anti-oxidents in our body to help fight against free radicals and oxidative stress."

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