Dear Jeanne: I traditionally make these muffins every fall, and when my family smells them baking, they think "holidays." Can you reduce the fat, so I don't feel so guilty about making them? Thanks!

— Rebecca, Springfield, Ohio

Dear Rebecca,

When I put these two muffins side by side, my tasters actually preferred the lighter ones. They really have a great texture. No one will guess that they aren't full of fat, and the aroma in the house will be the clue that they are going to taste delicious!

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31?3 cups flour

3 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

11/2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

3 eggs

2?3 cup milk

1 cup canola oil

1 cup pumpkin

1/2 cup raisins

Combine all ingredients and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.

Makes 30 muffins.

? ? ?


11/2 cups oatmeal, ground

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup boiling water

1/2 cup raisins or craisins

3/4 cup liquid egg substitute, or 6 egg whites

1 can (15 ounces, or 13/4 cups) pumpkin

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray 30 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray, or line with papers. Set aside.

2. Grind the oatmeal as fine as you can in your food processor or blender; combine with the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the water and the raisins or craisins, and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, stir the egg substitute or egg whites into the pumpkin (beat the whites slightly first to break them up, if using). Then add the granulated and brown sugars, oil and buttermilk, mixing well after each addition. Add the mixture of water and raisins or craisins, and thoroughly combine.

4. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, and stir just until moistened.

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5. Fill the muffin tins 2?3 full (a 1/4-cup measure is the perfect distributing tool). Bake for about 22 minutes, or until a finger leaves an impression when the muffin is touched lightly.

6. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Makes 30 muffins.

Each muffin contains approximately: Original Recipe: 214 calories; 8 g fat; 22 mg cholesterol; 201 mg sodium; 34 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber. Revised Recipe: 116 calories; 2 g fat; trace cholesterol; 138 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber.

Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most recently "Cooking From the Cupboard" (Rodale Press). For more information, visit her website at