Halloween and Thanksgiving may be behind us, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s still pumpkin season. As soon as fall arrives I start circling around the canned pumpkin display at the grocery store, waiting for it to go on super-sale and then stocking up like a madwoman. So yes, despite eschewing most processed foods, I use canned pumpkin–no food processor, no shame–and it tastes amazing in everything from spicy pumpkin curry to grain-free pumpkin pancakes with a drizzle of maple syrup on top.
My ideal culinary practices this season fall into three categories: saving time, saving money, and putting pumpkin pie spice in everything. Baking a batch of grain-free muffins is easy and gives me a dozen on-the-go breakfasts and snacks…though I have to say, I’m loath to go running out the door with one of these Paleo treats when I can settle down with a muffin and big mug of coffee. Waking up slowly and savoring the medley of creamy pumpkin, tart apples, and earthy walnuts presented a beautiful opportunity to reflect on gratitude on Thanksgiving Day, and I’m certain there will be plenty more muffins and mornings of thankfulness in the future.
These are the best Paleo muffins I have had yet and one of my new fall favorites. While these muffins are amazing warm– not too crumbly, with a luscious texture and the full flavor of autumn spices–their sweetness intensifies overnight in the same way as pumpkin cookies. It must be a pumpkin thing. This recipe is from Big Eats Tiny Kitchen, where it was slightly adapted from The Urban Poser.
Paleo Pumpkin-Apple Muffins — makes 12 muffins
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
3 tablespoons applesauce (check to make sure there is no sugar added)
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup of walnuts or pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with 12 liners and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together liquid coconut oil, eggs, pumpkin, honey/maple syrup and applesauce. Stir in diced apple.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine dry ingredients except walnuts, then pour dry ingredients into wet and mix until just combined with no visible lumps. Fold in walnuts.
Fill each muffin cup with the thick batter and smooth gently with a spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until your kitchen smells like happiness, the muffins are golden-brown, and they pass the no-crumbs toothpick test. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then remove to a metal rack to finish cooling.