The Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins

Are you new at this gluten-free living thing?  Or maybe you've been at it a while like me and you're on the hunt for new ideas and inspiration??

I've got a fall family favorite to share with you that's free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar!  Keep reading for the details, or if you're in a hurry, scroll all the way down to get the recipe for these yummy pumpkin muffins!

Early on in our gluten-free, whole foods journey one of the hardest parts about changing our eating habits was figuring out how to enjoy those seasonal favorites that we associated with the advent of fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other family celebrations.  Sadly, so many of the baked treats we were accustomed to involved much gluten, refined sugar, and dairy!  

My challenge was to track down healthy swaps that still fit the bill for both taste and texture...not an easy task!  But thankfully---just in the nick of time for autumn, apple cider, and pumpkin-picking---I came across this recipe from Katie Kimball of the blog Kitchen Stewardship.  What drew me to it is its use of gluten-free flours, natural sweeteners like honey, and coconut oil as a swap for butter.  

Fast forward about seven years, and we're still hooked on these pumpkin muffins!  They fit the bill perfectly---delicious, moist, and just the right texture you want (née expect!) in a muffin.  When I serve them to my non-gluten-free family or friends they always do a double-take when I tell them they're gluten-free; you seriously can't tell the difference!  To me that's a BIG WIN, y'all!

In more recent years, I've come to love baking with my dōTERRA oils, and I always swap out ground Clove for Clove essential oil (See last week's post to learn about the antioxidant density in Clove essential oil vs. the dried version.)  Essential oils like Clove are so concentrated and potent that all it takes is a single drop to flavor the whole recipe!

This same recipe also makes a delicious loaf of pumpkin bread!  The amounts called for in the original recipe make a dozen regular muffins, but because we love it so much I got into a habit of always doubling the recipe.  That yields approximately 24 regular muffins, OR a dozen muffins plus a full-sized loaf of pumpkin bread (with a little extra for a few mini muffins or a mini loaf).  I love that this gives us enough for our family to enjoy for a few days, as well as plenty to share!  

This is the pumpkin bread from our baking session a few days ago.  It's always so satisfying to cut open a loaf like this and see that the texture came out just right.  Made me so happy I could just hear Mary on the "Great British Baking Show" saying in her lovely British accent, "Oh Paul, just look at that crumb! The texture here is delightful."   

So set your table for teatime or brunch, brew your favorite coffee or hot tea, and get ready to savor the pumpkiny goodness!  

The Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins
makes approximately 24 regular muffins or 12 regular muffins and 1 loaf of pumpkin bread 
1-1/3 cups brown rice flour
1 cup freshly ground buckwheat flour
1 cup arrowroot starch (or tapioca starch)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 tsp. real salt
1-1/2 cups honey (or use 1 cup honey, 1/2 cup maple syrup)
1 drop Clove essential oil (or 1 tsp. ground Clove)
4 eggs (OR, if avoiding eggs, use 1/4 cup freshly ground flax + 3/4 cups hot water--see important note below*)
1 cup melted coconut oil (or 1 cup melted butter, if you can tolerate it; avocado oil is another good option)
1/2 cup cold water
2-1/2 cups pumpkin purée (canned or homemade--when using canned I prefer Trader Joes organic pumpkin purée)
Palm shortening for greasing loaf pan
*To make the "flax eggs"--whisk 1/4 cup ground flax into 3/4 cup hot water.  It's recommended to refrigerate the mixture for at least 15 minutes before incorporating into your batter.
1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  
2.  Mix the dry ingredients together; then add the rest of the ingredients right on top. 
3.  Line a 12-cup regular muffin tin (or use silicone muffin pan like this), and pour batter about 3/4 full in 12 muffin cups.  
4.  If baking a loaf of pumpkin bread, lightly grease a standard size bread pan (8 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 2 3/4") with palm shortening, and fill 3/4 full.  
5.  Bake for 40-45 minutes for muffins (a little longer for a loaf) until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin (or loaf) comes out clean.  
6.  Any extra batter remaining makes for a great mini-loaf!

If you try this and have questions or feedback, would you leave a comment below?  I'd appreciate your review!  :-) 

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