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Paleo Pumpkin Muffins with Coconut Flour

Updated on December 10, 2012
Turtlewoman profile image

Kim is a board-certified holistic health coach, healthy living and cleanse consultant, and studied under Drs. Andrew Weil and Walter Willet.

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins
Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

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.

Baking soda or baking powder?
Baking soda or baking powder? | Source

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

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Add the pumpkin puree and "fold" it in.
  4. Add the baking soda and lemon juice.
  5. Scoop the batter mix in the muffin pans and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Comments: What do you think of these Paleo Pumpkin Muffins?

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    • profile image

      Hannah Masoner 4 years ago

      Yum! These are so good! Not dry for me at all and taste like pumpkin pie!! :D I topped with some mini dairy free chocolate chips..mmmm

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      Mmmm - somehow, coconut flour sounds incredibly decadent! I must try these - soon! Voted up!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      This looks interesting and tasty. I have never used coconut flour. Do you get any of the coconut flavor?

    • kitkat1141 profile image

      kitkat1141 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love pumpkin anything, and make pumpkin muffins all the time. I will have to look for coconut flour. I am very curious. Thanks.

    • Turtlewoman profile image

      Kim Lam 5 years ago from California

      Thank you, everyone for visiting and taking the time to comment. I am glad that I can introduce to you this great flour. Happy baking!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I've never used coconut flour before, but I'd like to try. This sounds like a great recipe to begin with, since I love pumpkin mixed with spices! I love the idea of using maple syrup as a sweetener, too. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      Sounds delicious and nutritious. Thanks for writing this hub and sharing this recipe. I also never have heard of coconut flour...I learn something new everyday.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Sounds delicious and nutritious. I had no idea about coconut flour. Quite well explained hub and I am definitely going to try it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Coconut flour? First I've heard of it. Thanks for a world of possibilities.

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

      I don´t know a thing about the Paleo diet but these pumpkin muffins are the healthiest I have ever seen and look delicious.

      I love baking with pumpkin, unfortunately, the season is over here in Mexico and we don´t have canned pumpkin, but I am keeping this recipe in mind for next time I get the luxury of baking with pumpkin again.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi I did wonder what the paleo bit meant! lol! now I get it, and this looks great! I will have to try it, thanks!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well that looks and sounds delicious. We will be trying these over the holidays. Thanks for a recipe I have never heard of. Well done my friend; I hope you are well.