It's been a busy Labor Day weekend! From camping and fishing to flying in helicopters and hiking I have been all over Utah! I can't complain though, having your first helicopter ride is a pretty cool experience! Since it's been so busy I have barely stopped to notice the trees changing color all over the place! Fall is definitely in the air, I can feel the cooler mornings and nights. I won't lie it feels refreshing, it got really hot this summer and I can finally sleep with blanket again! I love Fall for many reasons but I especially love it because that means pumpkin season is upon us! I love cooking with pumpkin and baking with pumpkin. I even finally tried my Pumpkin overnight oats (previous blog)!
To spark the start of this pumpkin season I made some killer Vegan Pumpkin muffins today! I swear that vegan baked goods are better then the buttery, milky kind. I think it's has to be all the REAL ingredients you put in them! So besides the fact that pumpkin tastes awesome in pie, muffins, bread, smoothies and much more it has a lot of beneficial nutrients!
Pumpkins' orange color is a big hint that they're loaded with
the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is one of the plant carotenoids converted to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for healthy, glowing skin, strong eyesight, and our immune system. Pumpkin is loaded with potassium too! Potassium is an essential mineral we need to keep our hearts and muscles working at their optimal levels. One cup of pumpkin delivers around 550 mg of potassium, making it one of the highest sources amongst fruits and vegetables (bananas bring in about 420 mg, and sweet potatoes bring in about 475 mg). Try adding pumpkin to your post-workout snack or meal for the extra potassium boost, which may aid in muscle and electrolyte recovery. Make sure to save the seeds!! Pumpkin Seeds are a rich source of nutrients, including unsaturated fat, antioxidants, and fiber. Pumpkin seeds are a natural source of protein with nearly 12 grams per cup, along with other vitamins and minerals, especially zinc.
When baking with pumpkin I like to use organic canned pumpkin, if you don't have time to bake the real thing and scoop it into your recipe! Organic is a way of growing agricultural products. The processes used uphold the integrity of the farm and follow a high set of standards that guarantees specific practices are used for both food and non-food products. So whenever we can buy organic or local is always best!
Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
- 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 2.5 Tbsp water)
- 1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree
- 1 cup almond milk + 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp melted organic coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup gluten free flour
- 3/4 cup almond meal
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (non-dairy)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line muffin tin with paper liners.
- Prepare flax egg by mixing flax meal and water in a large bowl - let rest for 5 minutes.
- Add pumpkin puree, almond milk, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla extract and stir. Then add salt, baking soda and powder and cinnamon and whisk.
- Carefully and slowly stir flour and meal into wet ingredients until thoroughly mixed.
- Add chocolate chips and stir again lightly until just incorporated. If the batter appears too thick, add a splash of almond milk or orange juice. Otherwise, you're ready to bake!
- Spoon into paper-lined muffin tins until almost full.
- Bake for 24-28 minutes or until fluffy, golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
The joys of pumpkin and chocolate, is there really anything better!? Oh ma goodness these are good! Enjoy everybody!! This is just the first pumpkin recipe, there are many more to come!!
Vegan Pumpkin Muffins...pumpkin season has begun!