It’s fall in the Northern Hemisphere, and while it doesn’t feel or look like it here in Southern California right now, I still want the scents and flavors that come with it. I’m ready for the cinnamon and pumpkin, and have just been patiently waiting to bake until it cools down a bit at night after my boy’s in bed. Everyone is happy with muffins in the morning, and I don’t have to wake up to bake before the crack of dawn. I need my sleep!
So these are a slight seasonal shift from the banana nut or banana blueberry muffins I baked over the summer (with the a/c on in the kitchen), by using more pumpkin than banana and adding a little extra spice. They definitely hit the spot in satisfying my autumnal craving, and I enjoy them while looking at my friends’ photos of the leaves changing colors on the other side of the country.
My goal when cooking and baking these days is to avoid any inflammatory ingredients. I use a basic all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, and almonds are my friends. Almond meal adds some protein and texture, almond milk is a perfect dairy replacement, and why not smear some almond butter on top? Maple syrup is a tasty and healthy switch from refined sugars, and banana is an easy egg switch. I’m not saying that eggs are bad, but if you want to go plant-based, have an egg allergy or sensitivity, or don’t feel like making a flax or chia egg, bananas are perfect! Plus, they taste good and are a great way to use those over-ripe and spotty ones on the counter that no one wants to eat.
As you can see in the photos, I do the majority of my shopping at Trader Joe’s. Simple, healthy, and cost-effective ingredients make for some yummy muffins and so many other delicious body- and brain-happy meals!
Get in touch to schedule a complimentary consultation about a health coaching program, and a personal tour through your local stores to get you on the track to wellness is included in your plan!
Pumpkin Spice Banana Nut Muffins, Gluten-free and Vegan!
Soft and full of fall flavor, these muffins are a delicious breakfast or an anytime snack to get you feeling the season! No wheat, eggs, or dairy and only naturally sweetened with maple syrup and banana.
Preheat oven to 350° F, and either lightly spray a muffin tin with non-stick coconut oil spray or use paper liners, or lay out 13 silicone baking cups on a cookie sheet.*
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients - GF flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
In a medium bowl or a 2-cup measuring cup (my favorite way), combine the almond milk, vanilla, and maple syrup. Add to the bowl of dry ingredients. No need to mix yet.
In the same measuring cup (less to wash!) mash the banana (it will be about 1/2 cup depending on the size of the banana). If you do have the big measuring cup, add the pumpkin to get up to 1 1/2 cups. If not, put the banana in the bowl used for the wet ingredients, and then measure out the 1 cup of pumpkin and add it to the banana. Wherever those two end up, add the melted coconut oil, stir it all together, and then add the mix to the big bowl. Stir to fully combine, and then mix in the pecans.
Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full. I like to use a trigger ice cream scoop (that I never really use for ice cream) for a consistent filling amount. This way makes 13 muffins, so I have used a small glass "custard cup" (I had to look that up) that I spray with non-stick coconut oil spray, and then put it on the tray from my toaster oven. This one will be a little bit flatter and wider, but this way they can all be baked at once. (My son thinks it's are bigger, so he always claims it.) If you are using silicone cups, lay out 13 on a cookie sheet and fill them evenly.**
Bake 22-25 minutes, until they are nice and brown and spring back to a gentle touch on top. If they stay squished, leave them in the oven for another two minutes.
Remove pan from the oven and let sit for about five minutes until you can safely remove the muffins and move them to a cooling rack. Wait patiently for another few minutes so they can cool a bit more, and then enjoy!!!
I didn't label them in the recipe, but do try to use as many organic ingredients as possible. Organic unrefined coconut oil, organic unsweetened almond milk, organic maple syrup, organic pumpkin and bananas are necessities in my house. I'm not giving my body anything else to fight! Be kind to yourself too, please.
*After years of using my muffin tin to a rusty death, I finally treated myself to some non-stick silicone baking cups and I am in love. (The muffin tin has been sent to the art studio to be used for my son's paint mixing.) The cups are so great they can just be put on a cookie sheet, and I bought two dozen so the extra muffins don't need their own dishes and pan. Even without the spray the muffins pop right out (the coconut oil in the batter helps with that, too). I highly recommend them for easier baking!
**As you can see in the photo of the finished muffins, there are more than 13. I got very precise about the scoop size, and they turned out a little small and made 16. They're nice for a small bite or for kids, but for a closer-to-normal sized muffin, after you fill the 13 use the extra batter to evenly fill them all a little more.