These muffins scream October, and they turned out even better than I expected! They're free from refined sugar, dairy, gluten and eggs, so they fit into many diets and they're still packed with lots of nutrients for your brain and gut. They can be made nut-free so you can send them to school, but I added some walnuts to the batch I kept at home. If I haven't told you already, walnuts are a great addition to your diet to target mental health. They contain more healthy omega-3 fats and antioxidants than other common nuts. They also contain protein and B vitamins, also essential for mental health.
My first step was to grind the oats into oat flour. You could also buy oat flour, but I always have rolled oats in the pantry and this way the flour is as fresh as can get! There are some great local oat companies around here but I also like to buy the really big bag of sprouted rolled oats from Costco. You can grind the oats in your blender or food processor, it doesn't take long and then you have flour! This recipe uses 3 cups of oats blended into flour (so don't use 3 cups of oat flour, it will be a bit too much). Next, put your oat flour into a large bowl and add the baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and sea salt. Use a whisk to blend it all nicely together. In a separate bowl, add your wet ingredients- pumpkin puree, honey, milk, and apple cider vinegar. Mix together well, then add the wet ingredients to the dry.
You'll also need to grate up some apple. I used some apples from my brother's neighbor's tree (so many apples to go around at this time of the year!) They were small apples and I used four to make the cup of grated apple. If you end up with a bit more than a cup or a bit less, it won't affect your recipe much at all, so just use what you have! I also used a pumpkin from another neighbor...maybe I should've called these "Neighbour Muffins"...
Anyways, if you're using fresh pumpkin, you can slice it in half, take out the seeds, add some oil to the flesh and roast each side, face down for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You only need 2 cups for this recipe so you can throw the rest in the freezer for later, or the fridge for other baking!
Mix everything together and add some chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds if you like! I guess they aren't refined-sugar free if you add the chocolate chips, but it's only a little bit ;)
I used one tray of mini muffins and one of regular sized and then used my cookie scoop and ice cream scoop to fill them. I added walnuts to the regular sized muffins and will just send the mini muffins to school and daycare.
Did you know that pumpkin seeds are mood boosters? They're full of zinc and magnesium, and are a source of tryptophan, which is converted to serotonin and melatonin. Talk about a natural anti-depressant!
Pureed pumpkin also has great health benefits. It has fiber, which is essential to gut health AND mental health. It's also high in vitamin C so it's great for immune health.
Other ways to use your pureed pumpkin:
3 cups rolled oats, ground into a flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup plant-based milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup grated apple
chocolate chips (optional)
pumpkin seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix dry ingredients (oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, spice and salt) together in a large bowl and set aside. Mix wet ingredients (pumpkin, honey, milk, milk and vinegar) and add to the dry ingredients. Grate the apple and add to the batter along with chocolate chips, walnuts and pumpkin seeds, if using. Divide the batter evenly between your muffin tins (I had 12 regular size and about 20 mini sized). Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Notes & Substitutions
Oat Flour- Add 3 cups of rolled oats to a blender or food processor until a fine flour forms.
Milk- any milk will work, even water if you need to!
Honey- you could also use 3/4 cup of coconut sugar or another sweetener. If using maple syrup, 1/3 cup - 1/2 cup should work. You could also sprinkle these with turbinado or maple sugar to get fancy!
Pumpkin pie spice- you can also use a mixture of 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg.
Enjoy! Share your delicious muffins on social media and tag @shinetruewellness
I'd love to see them!