This recipe was one of the first paleo baking experiments that succeeded for me many years ago when I first encountered the paleo diet and decided to try it. The recipe was inspired by my favorite traditional muffin recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant’s New Classic’s cookbook, and the paleo modifications were inspired by a recipe I found on PaleOMG.com. These muffins freeze very well, so I usually make a double batch to have them on hand whenever I’m craving a coffee shop pastry.
- 1/2 of a 15-oz can of pumpkin
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup smooth almond butter
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (Use Enjoy Life brand for paleo)
- 1/3 cup nut flour (Any kind will work. I used Pamela’s Nut Flour Blend.)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons date sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Prepare muffin tin with paper liners if you are using them. You could also use a silicone pan without paper liners.
- Toast the pecan pieces on your stovetop: Warm a skillet over medium high heat, place the pecan pieces in the dry skillet and stir them frequently (constantly) for 1-2 minutes. You do not need oil for this. Watch closely, and remove the pan from the heat when the pecans are starting to brown, but are not burnt. Be careful. It is easy to burn them if you don’t keep a close eye on the toasting process.
- In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, eggs, maple syrup, almond butter, and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly. The almond butter may stick to the bottom and be hard to incorporate. Be sure to scrape it off and ensure it is blended with the other ingredients. If the other ingredients are cold, the coconut oil will clump. Make sure to break up the clumps. You can avoid this by letting your eggs warm to room temperature before you begin.
- In a separate small bowl, mix coconut flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, ginger, baking soda and powder and a pinch of salt and mix well. 6. Fold in pecans and chocolate chips.
- Use a 1/4-cup-sized measuring cup to scoop batter into muffin pan. (This will make 1 dozen medium sized muffins. For larger muffins, use a 1/3-cup-sized measuring cup. This will yield about 10 muffins.)
- Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool before removing from pan
Pumpkins Facts for Foodies
History of Pumpkin in the Americas
While most of associate pumpkins with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin was an important part of the diet of indigenous peoples in the Americas long before Columbus arrived in the New World. Originating in Mexico, pumpkin seeds (pepitas) were valued by the Aztecs, while the Mayans used the flesh of the pumpkin as well as the seeds in sauces, foods, and drinks.
Part of the squash family, pumpkin is a highly nutritious food. It’s technically a fruit since the seeds are inside the pumpkin, but most consider it a vegetable. Pumpkin is packed with beta-carotene, a carotenoid that your body converts into vitamin A, and it has high levels of antioxidants. You can read more about the benefits of pumpkin on Health Line.