The fiery hues of fall have painted the trees of Atlanta, transforming ordinary backyards into magical landscapes!
Why are color changing leaves so enchanting to a 25 year old? They’re a novelty for someone who spent the better part of her youth surrounded by the monochromatic tropical evergreens of Southwest Florida.
You can’t exactly jump into a pile of palm fronds to make memories (ouch!). Guess that’s a fair trade-off for the perpetual summer weather. 😀
We made the long drive up to The Big Peach from Fort Myers to celebrate a very special occasion: The arrival of my new baby niece. Meeting the sweetest, most beautiful one month old was my inspiration for creating the crumb-topped Healthier Pumpkin Muffins pictured above. They’re tiny, a little bit messy, and so sweet, just like my niece is!
These moist muffins were adapted from the Banana Nut Muffins that were posted eons ago on the blog. I’m breaking out the coconut flour and trying to consume fewer pastries made of almond flour after reading about the inflammation that could be linked to high consumption of the omega 6 fatty acids found in nuts. It’s easy to go overboard with nuts when you’re testing so many almond flour treats for blog posts.
Like all Healthy Indulgences treats, these muffins are gluten-free and low in carbohydrates, so you can start your day off without a giant spike in your blood sugar, which causes the inevitable crash and sluggishness a few hours later.
In the ingredients list for these muffins, you might notice a change in the brand of stevia I recommend. A couple of you who commented here recently brought to my attention that the NuNaturals stevia formulation recently changed. Sadly, the sample of the new stevia I received from the company last month is less sweet, with a noticeably bitter aftertaste.
To address this problem, I went on a stevia buying spree to find out for you all which brands of powdered stevia deserve the Healthy Indulgences Seal of Approval. By testing out every single type of stevia available for purchase (11 stevia products, so far), I hope to identify the good products on the market so that you don’t have to waste your time and money on poor quality stevia.
Have you tried any of the stevia products you see here? Leave a comment recommending your favorite brand of stevia!
For this recipe, I used the first new brand of stevia that I tried: Mood & Mind Pure Stevia Extract Powder. It has a very clean, non bitter taste. Stay tuned for the results of the stevia showdown…
You can easily make these muffins paleo using honey or coconut sugar as the sweetener.
Because coconut flour contains so much fiber, it sucks up moisture and requires a ton of eggs to yield palatable baked goods. Using such a high ratio of eggs to other ingredients can lend a spongy quality to baked goods made with 100% coconut flour. To improve the texture, you can add a starch or grain flour (like oat flour – see the Banana Snack Cake recipe in the Healthy Indulgences Cookbook) in place of some of the eggs. By using one of these ingredients to “hold” moisture in the cake batter, you can reduce the sponginess of the finished cake.
I reduced the number of eggs in this recipe by using arrowroot starch, a new addition to the Healthy Indulgences arsenal. This plant starch, derived from a tuber, greatly improves the texture of grain-free baked goods. You can read more about using starches in paleo grain-free baking over at Paleo Fondue, an informative blog I stumbled upon while researching the properties of arrowroot starch. In place of oat flour, I’m using small amount of starches (arrowroot and tapioca) to appeal to paleo eaters, SCD dieters, and others who are trying to address health issues by avoiding grains.
If you are allergic to nuts, make the muffins nut-free by leaving off the “streusel” topping. The topping contains a bit of coconut sugar due to the tendency of erythritol or xylitol to crystallize when it’s part of a dry mixture. Erythritol would be unpleasantly crunchy in such a topping. Find out how to use natural, sugar-free sweeteners like erythritol in the Healthy Indulgences Cookbook.
I wanted to thank you all again for purchasing the Healthy Indulgences Cookbook, giving it as gifts, and for spreading the word about it on your social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest). The revenue generated from the book, and from sales through the affiliate links in my posts, allows me to create more recipes for you and answer your questions while I pursue my career goals. With your help, the news about sugar-free baking will be heard by everyone who could benefit from it.
Special thanks to my sister and her husband for graciously allowing me into her kitchen for the baking and photoshoot. I’d also like to thank J and J for their exquisite taste in mugs.
- 1/2 cup sifted organic coconut flour
- 6 tablespoons organic unsalted butter, softened
- 5 large eggs
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar OR erythritol
- ½ teaspoon good-tasting pure stevia extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup arrowroot starch*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 3/4 cup pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 2 Tablespoons almond flour
- 1 Tablespoon arrowroot starch
- 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Beat butter with erythritol or coconut sugar and stevia until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Beat in vanilla.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition.
- Combine coconut flour with arrowroot, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, and beat into batter until there are no lumps.
- Beat in mashed pumpkin.
- Pour batter almost up the top of greased muffin papers (the shiny tins work best), and sprinkle with crumbled up streusel topping.
- Bake 30 minutes.
- Let cool in pans for 5-10 minutes, then remove and let muffins finish cooling on a wire rack. When completely cooled, transfer to an airtight container.
- Store at room temperature for 24 hours, then move to the refrigerator.
- *You could replace the arrowroot starch with 1/4 cup GMO-free cornstarch. Cornstarch might be easier to find in your local grocery store, and more reasonably priced. If you eat oat flour, you could use 1/2 cup in place of the starch called for in this recipe.
~157 calories, 6g net carbs, 5g protein, 12g fat