breakfast · Healthy Baked Goods · Snacks · Sweets · vegan

Pumpkin Spice Muffins (Vegan – Gluten Free)

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I give you part 3 of the Honey and Cardamom mini breakfast series.  It took me a while to get here, as I spent most of last week prepping for the Thanksgiving dinner I hosted on Sunday.  For American readers – we Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October 😉 Needless to say, I was more focused on testing out mashed potatoes and digging up old family recipes, than I was on experimenting with breakfast dishes. So before I get to these incredible pumpkin spice muffins I created, let me share with you how Thanksgiving 2016 went down!

Let it be said that I LOVE hosting dinner parties, LOVE decorating, planning, and cooking for days in advance, and LOVE the holidays and all that comes with them. Somehow though, I also get very anxious about it all.  I’ll get super excited, invite a bunch of people, make sketches of table settings, and Pinterest like a fiend, and then at a certain point I usually freak out and wonder, “what did I get myself into!?” Lol.  Anyone else with me?

This time around was no different.  I started prepping dishes several days ahead and felt like I had it all under control.  That is, up until the night before the big day.  Then I couldn’t sleep from worrying about the timing, the food, whether our friends would have fun, whether I could pull it off, etc.  On the big day I felt very pleased with myself as I stuck to my to-do list, on-schedule (yes I absolutely made a schedule), but those last 30 minutes were tough as I had feared they would be.  With the turkey out of the oven, I scrambled to put the tourtiere and stuffing in an oven that was beginning to smoke badly from some mystery spill at the bottom.  Then came reheating the mashed potatoes and gravy, tossing the salad, carving the turkey, putting it all into serving dishes, realizing the things in the oven were not getting hot quickly enough, opening every window in the house to deal with the smoke, and then realizing all those open windows were cooling down the food I had prematurely put into serving dishes. Oh and during all this the smoke alarm went off about 3 times.  Yikes! When we sat down to eat, I got even more discouraged as I bit into cold potatoes, overcooked turkey, and an under-cooked tourtiere crust.  Grrr.

I was certainly disappointed, but you know what, I don’t think our friends were.  There are definitely lessons to be learned from the experience.  Mainly, make sure to wipe down the bottoms of any dishes you stick in the oven in case they have something sticky that will drip down and make a smoky mess! Haha.  But also, to not aim for perfection, to focus on the company and having a good time, and to laugh off the little mishaps that are bound to happen.  Oh yeah, and here’s to a vegetarian Thanksgiving next year! There are just far fewer things that can go wrong 😛

Now onto the muffins.  I have always been a big fan of breakfast muffins! Make a batch of 12 and freeze the majority of them, then enjoy muffins for weeks (or days) to come.  They defrost in minutes, especially if you pop them in a toaster oven.  Mmmmmm, a warm pumpkin spice muffin with a cup of something hot in the morning.  Heaven.  These are gluten free, vegan, have just 2 tsp sugar each, and are super healthy. They could easily be oil-free if you sub the 1/3 cup oil for an extra 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree.  I got a little silly and made some jack-o-lantern faces on some of them using chopped chocolate.  You could also sprinkle the tops with some pumpkin seeds, some nuts, or just keep them plain.

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Ingredients

(Makes 12 muffins)

  • 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water
  • 1 1/4 cups spelt flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats, processed in the blender into a flour
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Optional Topping: chopped chocolate, pecans, or pumpkin seeds

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mix the flax with the water and set aside.  Blend the 1 cup of oats until a course powder forms.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with paper cups.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the spelt flour, oat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  4. In a separate, large bowl, combine the flax mixture with the pumpkin, milk, oil, and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold gently until almost completely combined.  Gently fold in the nuts until no more traces of flour remain.
  5. Using a small ladle, scoop batter into each muffin cup.  Cups will be a bit more than 3/4 full.  Sprinkle on desired toppings and place the pan in the oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in the largest muffin comes out clean.  Let cool and enjoy!

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