Paleo Pumpkin Muffins with Coconut Flour
Amazing Paleo Pumpkin Muffins Recipe
So you got your morning workout in and your body is asking for a nutritious breakfast as a reward. You're tired of the standard Paleo breakfast of eggs and a green smoothie. How about a Paleo pumpkin muffin?
After all, it is Fall and you got up at the break of dawn to run through the wet pavement. Paleo pumpkin muffin sounds like the perfect breakfast treat.
This pumpkin recipe is not just any ordinary muffin. Instead, it is packed full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats that will keep you full for the rest of the morning.
Is Baking Powder on the Paleo Food List?
I had a friendly debate with this guy from my gym on the subject of using baking powder or baking soda in Paleo recipes. The question of the day was, "Is baking powder Paleo?"
Well, it depends on your philosophy of eating a Paleo diet. Technically, no, baking powder was not an ingredient that was part of a caveman's diet. Cavemen also did not enjoy a cup of coffee and a giant piece of muffin on a lazy Saturday morning either. Obviously we are not cavemen and to truly eat like them would be almost impossible.
The whole idea behind eating Paleo is to lead a healthier lifestyle, and incorporate more real foods. Foods such as vegetables, fruit, meat protein, nuts seeds, and avoid processed foods that were not readily available back in the Flintstones times. The question to ask yourself should NOT be "Is this Paleo?" but instead, "Is this going to be hurtful to my health?"
However, being the science geek that I am, let me explain further. Baking powder is not on the strict Paleo food list because it actually contains corn starch. The active ingredients are baking soda and cream of tartar (tartaric acid or potassium hydrogen). Those two ingredients are Paleo. The good news is you can use the two active products instead of baking powder.
Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, which comes from a natural mineral. When sodium bicarbonate mixes with an acid, it undergoes a chemical reaction, causing CO2 to be released. This is the reason why baking soda and baking powder are used as "leavening agents." They put bubble in the batter and helps it rise and get fluffy.
If all these scientific technicalities are too overwhelming, don't worry! Don't sweat the small stuff. Look at the big picture. The fact that you're not eating the store-made muffins is a small, but important step to improving your health! You're making your own muffins, using real ingredients. Just use it and ignore the Paleo police.
Health Benefits of Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is grain-free, gluten-free and is often seen in Paleo baked goods. It's basically made from dried coconut meat. There are many benefits to baking with coconut flour. It is really high in protein, fiber, and "friendly fat." Lauric acid promotes healthy skin, hair, nails, and supports the immune system.
On the flip side, it is an extremely dry flour. Coconut flour is very absorbent and will need additional liquids in the recipe. Most recipes that include the use of coconut flour will require a lot of eggs and either coconut milk or almond milk.
I love baking with coconut flour as it provides health benefits and is quite easy to work with. While it is more expensive compared to normal flour, you only need to use a really small amount in most recipes.
Ingredients for Paleo Pumpkin Muffins
- 1/2 cup of coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice(1)
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda + 1½ tsp vinegar or lemon juice(2)
- 1 (15 oz) can organic pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup of coconut oil
- 6 organic eggs
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or raw honey)
Optional: 1/4 cup dark chocolate, or nuts of your choice.
(1) Pumpkin pie spice is simply:
- 3 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
(2) If you only have baking powder, use 1 teaspoons of aluminum baking powder instead of baking soda and lemon juice.
Instructions for Paleo Pumpkin Muffins
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and dry ingredients. (spices and salt) Mix it really well as coconut flour can be a bit clumpy.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Add the pumpkin puree and "fold" it in.
- Add the baking soda and lemon juice.
- Scoop the batter mix in the muffin pans and bake for 12-15 minutes.
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