Autumnal Pumpkin Spice Muffins – Grain-Free, Dairy-Free

pumpkin spice muffins 1

As Mindy says on The Mindy Project: “Autumn is the time when the leaves go from green to orange, the lattes go from vanilla to pumpkin, and girls toss their razors out the window for there will be no bare legs seen until April.” Oh Mindy, so wise.

Personal grooming aside, as soon as the calendar passes the first of October, adding pumpkin to everything you bake isn’t a half bad idea. Pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene and fibre, and a pumpkin spice muffin is the quintessential autumn baked good (along with ginger molasses cookies, though one could probably argue that ginger molasses is really more winter than autumn. So, pumpkin spice it is).pumpkin spice muffins

These muffins are a direct take from Against All Grain, a wonderful cookbook (and blog!) if you’re looking to find grain-free options that are simple, straightforward, and based on traditional recipes that might be among your favourites, like banana bread or oatmeal raisin cookies (sans oatmeal, of course).

Baking grain-free is not the cheapest excursion, I know. But, if you follow a paleo diet, or find that eating grain-free is something you prefer or need to do to keep you system vibrant and humming, then consider these muffins a worthwhile investment.

These pumpkin spice muffins baked up beautifully, tasted pumpkin spice-y, and were sweet but not overly sweet. And they were very filling. Pour yourself a glass of almond milk and set a few of these on a plate, and then open up those windows for the cool, crisp breeze and let it wash over you. #autumnmakeseverythingbetterpumpkin spice muffins

Autumnal Pumpkin Spice Muffins – grain-free, dairy-free

  • Author: Against All Grain cookbook (I just tinkered with the spices and upped the chocolate chips – modifications included below).
  • Recipe Notes: grain-free, dairy-free
  • Yield: 10 regular-size muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt/Himalayan pink salt (finely ground)
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 pastured/free-range/organic eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey (if honey, should be warmed until liquid)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dark dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  • In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, whisk together pumpkin, eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup/honey, and vanilla.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until almost combined
  • Stir in chocolate chips and mix until well combined.
  • Scoop into an oiled muffin tin and top with pumpkin seeds, if using.
  • Bake for 22-26 minutes, or until lightly browned, spring back with pressed, and an cake tester inserted into the muffin comes out clean.
  • Store at room temperature for a few days, or pop into the freezer once cool.

© Eat Well, Live Vibrantly


Healthy Rhubarb Oat Bars with Crunchy Almond Crumble

spring rhubarb

It’s rhubarb time! Actually, it’s probably almost past rhubarb time, but never mind that.

Truthfully I typically have so much rhubarb in my freezer (that I’ve carefully hoarded from the rhubarb season the year before) that I don’t think I’ve actually ever run out, thereby ensuring that it is ALWAYS rhubarb time.

I’ve made fruit crisps before, but I wanted to make these more of a wholesome bar. What’s the difference between that and a crisp, you might ask? Well, mostly it’s that bars have delicious oat-y, nutty, crispy goodness on both the top AND the bottom. Simple as that.

rhubarb bars with almond crumble

These bars are something you might bring to a picnic, or serve after a casual (vegan) barbecue in the backyard. If you like, you can serve them with some whipped coconut cream, or just keep them as they are. Now get thee to a picnic, post-haste!

A few notes about the recipe:

  • Yes, you can taste the banana. I liked it though! It somehow compliments the rhubarb in this unusually delicious way. If your first instinct is “perish the thought!” then try substituting with 1/3 cup organic applesauce.
  • Yes, the topping is AMAZING. Nutty almonds baked up with rolled oats and maple syrup make for a super crunchy and addictive topping. Ground almonds are expensive, I know it, but they really work here.
  • Yes, you could throw in some strawberries, raspberries, or even cranberries, if you feel so inclined.
  • Yes, I will be keeping this base/topping recipe as a standard go-to for all future fruit bars. Can you imagine this with peaches? Or blueberries? Incredible.

Digging the fruit approach but want to try something else? Consider rhubarb strawberry crisp or cranberry pumpkin seed muffins or rhubarb cranberry crisp or lemon blueberry cranberry muffins.

rhubarb bars with almond crumble

Healthy Rhubarb Oat Bars with Crunchy Almond Crumble

  • Author: Choosing Raw, with tweaks by Backyard Owl
  • Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, contains nuts

Ingredients:

Base:

  • 1 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 large ripe banana (or 1/3 cup applesauce)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:

  • 4 cups rhubarb
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar

Crumble Topping:

  • 1 cup almond flour/ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the base: stir together oats, oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and sea salt. In a separate bowl, mash banana, and then add almond milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients, and stir until all ingredients are incorporated.
  2. Scoop batter for base into a 9×13 glass pan, or other similarly sized pan. If you know your pan often sticks, grease with a little coconut oil.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F.
  4. While oven is preheating, prepare rhubarb filling. Stir together cornstarch and sugar. Measure out 4 cups of rhubarb, and then sprinkle sugar/cornstarch over top, tossing to ensure that the rhubarb is well-coated. Scoop the rhubarb onto the base filling.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until rhubarb is starting to release some juice.
  6. While rhubarb/base are baking, prepare topping: stir together oats and almond flour. Pour coconut oil and maple syrup over top, and mix well.
  7. Scoop topping onto partially-baked rhubarb mix (after the first 15 minutes in the oven), and bake entire extravaganza for another 30 to 60 minutes. Yes, it’s a wide range.
  8. Remove from oven when a) topping is browned and, more importantly, b) when the rhubarb filling is bubbling not just around the edges of the pan, but closer to the middle too.
  9. Cool, and enjoy!

© Backyard Owl 2015