Have you noticed all the posts about pumpkin this, and pumpkin that even before autumn told us it had arrived? Folks get that feeling... for warmth, comfort, and any fruit or vegetable that naturally glorifies the brilliance of fall colors like red, yellow, and orange. Apples, beets, carrots, and squash more likely in the form of pumpkin are the stars at breakfast, lunch or supper meals along with many treats.
So, thought it's time to throw my hat into the ring. I've been chomping at the bit to set aside time to play in the kitchen in the hopes I would discover the best pumpkin muffin recipe ever. And unashamedly I say that I just did! :) The criteria: gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free. While I'm not intolerant I decided to avoid wheat in this recipe. I also wanted to create a version so it could be consumed by those who wish to avoid dairy and nuts.
If you've ever done a little bit of flour shopping, you'll see all kinds besides wheat: quinoa, almond, arrowroot, and coconut to name a few. Call me cheap, but part of the reason I choose not to use almond flour in the recipe is because for me it's pretty expensive and like I mentioned, I wanted it nut-free. So I chose to grind organic gluten-free oats in a food processor to make oat flour for the recipe. I also used coconut flour. It offered a bit of sweetness and lift within the oaty goodness.
After you grind the oats, add all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Blend all the wet ingredients together in a mixer on med-high for about 5 minutes until well blended. Proceed to hand mix the wet mixture into the dry until just blended.
I didn't feel like greasing muffin tins so I opted to use paper liners. So when you have them in place, fill each about 3/4 full. I decorated with pumpkin seeds but you don't have to use any if you don't want to. Play with the toppings if you like as well to come up with your own.
You bake it in a 375F oven for about 18 to 20 minutes. Honestly, I was very pleased with the texture, moistness, and overall tastiness of them. Stop to truly savor the bite because there are some lovely flavors to be enjoyed when you do so. If you like as an option, instead of using butter (since it won't be a dairy-free delight then), whip coconut cream with some pumpkin, cinnamon and ginger powders, and a wee bit of maple syrup. Yes, I'll likely post that recipe once I officially create it! It's in my head right now. :)
NOTE: I intentionally chose Evoolution as my choice for the (ultra premium!) extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar; however, if you're not able to purchase this product since you don't live in my area, please use your favorite EVOO and balsamic vinegar. Note: if the polyphenol count is not high enough in the EVOO (or you don't know what it is) then please use another oil like coconut or even olive oil (which is different that EVOO) since they can tolerate heat past 350F. The Evoolution family of EVOO has a higher smoke point than most since it's top grade and contains high polyphenol counts so that when subjected to a temperature up to 400F, it will be fine. If you're unsure anyway, turn down the oven to 350F and adjust the baking time, accordingly. If you do use olive oil, be prepared for a slightly heavy taste and texture.
- 1½ cups gluten-free oat flour (grind dry oats in food processor or just use dry oats)
- ½ cup coconut flour
- 1 heaping tbsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ¾ tsp. Himalayan salt (ground)
- ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tbsp. maple sugar (or raw or brown sugar)
- 1 tsp. ground flax seed
- 1 cup pureed pumpkin
- 1 cup coconut milk (from can)
- 2 eggs (slightly beaten)
- ⅓ cup EVOO
- ¾ tsp. honey ginger white balsamic vinegar (or any balsamic or apple cider)
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- DRY - using a fork, blend all thoroughly
- WET - using a mixer, blend all for about 5 minutes
- Pour dry into wet, and mix with wooden spoon until just mixed.
- Spoon into muffin tins (with or without paper liner).
- Top with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds if you like.
- Bake in 375F oven for approximately 18 to 20 minutes. If wish to lower heat, adjust baking time accordingly.
- Enjoy alone or with a favorite pumpkin "butter", hormone-free organic butter, or home-made jam. You could also use a coconut pumpkin whip to make it a dessert!