Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins

I love fall.  The trees that flame in warm reds, light up with sunny yellows, and surprise me with their many hues of happiness. The comfort of snuggling into a favorite sweater and sipping something warm.  And pumpkin.  All things pumpkin.

I'll be honest, I do not relegate pumpkin to it's rightful place as a harvest time delight.  I enjoy it sprinkled into my diet throughout the year.  But in fall, oh fall, I indulge in sinful amounts of pumpkin-y goodness.  It's a wonder the children don't turn orange.

No mediocrity allowed when pumpkin is involved.  Those cute recipes boasting that you can add a can of pumpkin to a box of cake mix and have super easy muffins? They somehow neglect to mention that the result is also super dense, and chewy in an unsatisfactory way.  None of that here.

I would like to share with you the perfect pumpkin muffin.  Moist, tender, and packed with enough nutrition to -almost- make it guilt free. The real bonus? It's allergy friendly.  Inspired by this recipe, but tweaked to meet the tastes of my family.

Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/2 c Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose flour
1/2 c quinoa flakes
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 c organic sugar
1 Tbsp flax meal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 15oz can pumpkin puree (I like Libby's)
1/2 c hemp milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
safflower oil (or light tasting oil of your choice)

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, quinoa, xanthan gum, sugar, flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Set aside. (You can mix this the night before! Cover with saran wrap and leave the bowl on the counter.)

Scoop about 1/3 cup of pumpkin out of the can and put into a separate container for another day.  Estimate.  Now, fill the empty space left in the can with oil. Really.  Don't dirty a measuring cup for this part.

Add the pumpkin/oil mixture, hemp milk, and vinegar to a small bowl and whisk to combine.  (You can do this the night before too!  Put it all in a small container, put the lid on and shake well.  Place in the fridge overnight.)

Combine wet and dry ingredients.  (If you woke up to find them waiting for you, just preheat the oven while your coffee brews.  Dump the already mixed wet into the already mixed dry. Super easy morning cooking!)  Spoon into greased or lined muffin tins and bake 27-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free, rice-free, wheat-free, vegan, and scrumptious.  It has lots of protein, a bit of healthy fat, and just the right amount of pumpkin.  Yum!

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