Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Warning! These are an exercise in willpower not to eat all at once. Just sayin...

This recipe was inspired by www.cindystable.com.

After a bit of a debacle making paleo banana bread muffins that resembled hockey pucks, I had nearly given up hope of perfecting a paleo any kind of muffin...Until now. These precious bites of love are light, silky, and versatile. For variety, trying replacing pumpkin with apple sauce and the walnuts with pecans. Add a sprinkle of powdered ginger or cardamom, and you will have yourself a delicious breakfast or snack. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 15-ounce can organic pumpkin (or make your own pumpkin puree) 1/2 cup of coconut flour 1/4 cup of coconut oil (melted) 1/4 cup apple sauce 6 eggs (yes, 6.) 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 1 teaspoon of nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda *Optional: 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup *Optional: 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans *Optional: 1/4 cup chopped dates, dried currants, or dried figs

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare 12 muffin cups lined with paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices together.

Whisk remaining wet ingredients, except for the pumpkin, together.  Combine well but don't over mix!

Fold in pumpkin mixture.

Divide batter between muffin cups.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Benefits:

Apple Sauce:  My, what balanced phytonutrients you have, oh beloved apple. Apples contain a wide array of polyphenols which help regulate our blood sugar. They're also a great source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, and fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Dates: Dates are rich with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and copper. They are also high in other antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein, which help protect and nourish our cells. But they’re high in sugar, so a dab’ll do ya. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Organic Eggs: (Preferably pasture-fed) Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein. They provide over 6 grams of protein (13% of the daily value for protein) each, and are a good source of choline, a key component of many fat-containing structures in cell membranes, which is particularly important for brain function and health. Eggs are also a rich source of tryptophan and selenium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been used in traditional medicines as an anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive aid. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and B-complex vitamins including Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin A. In small doses it’s great, but don’t overdo it! This powerful spice can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pumpkin: This tasty winter squash is packed vitamins A and C, magnesium and potassium, as well as dietary fiber. It’s also contains high amounts of carotenoids, the little nutrients which help to neutralize free-radicals within the body, and is low in calories. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Walnuts: Walnuts are powerful medicine. They are packed with valuable antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega fatty acids, manganese, and copper. Walnuts have been studied and proven to help decrease risk of certain cancers,  including prostate and breast. They also help prevent cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

These muffins make terrific mini-PB&J sammies.