Pumpkin Spice Muffins - Parsnips & Paleo
Two years into the Paleo lifestyle, I have changed so much for the better. I became a much less picky eater (I still won't touch pickles though); my blood sugar became stable, my asthma disappeared, headaches stopped, and I had more energy and stamina than I really knew what to do with. I began to lose a lot of weight, and with all this extra energy, I started exercising more. I began to learn about gluten, GMO, and Monsanto, and how severe my allergies were to wheat, grain, and all the gluten and sugar that accompanied them.
The first year of Paleo, I lost 25lbs, about 3 inches, and was a size 10US. As of now, approaching my second Paleoversary (2 years on Paleo in January 2015), I weigh 145lbs for a total loss of 35lbs and wear a size 6-8US, for a total loss of 4 sizes.
We feel great, and we do our best to support local produce, including responsibly sourced meat and vegetables from farms and ranches that treat their animals with dignity and respect. It means so much to me to be a part of this movement and this lifestyle, and I could never go back now. I have committed.
This recipe is for those who follow a more 80/20 Paleo style, which is to say as a general rule, 80% complete Paleo, 20% not-quite-so. This means that you still avoid the bad stuff, but maybe eat some things that aren't a part of a regular diet. If you follow Paleo or Primal, you know that baked, bready treats are not part of the lifestyle, and should not be a staple. However, if you are new to the lifestyle or (like me) live in a household where others are not fully Paleo, once in a while you have to have your bread fix. The great thing about it- you can have your (rare treat) bread fix without any wheat or grains at all! These muffins can also be made Vegan-friendly by substituting the eggs and butter if you so choose.
- 2 cups almond meal
- 1/3 cup flax seed meal
- 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 4 tbsp butter or coconut oil
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
- 1/4 cup wildflower honey
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- Preheat oven to 350F. For "normal" wheat and grain breads, you typically cook a much higher temperature for a much shorter amount of time. For whatever reason, breads made from nut flours must cook slower and lower, or else you'll get a muffin that is burnt on the outside but not cooked on the inside. In a large bowl, mix the almond and flax seed meal with the arrowroot powder, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin spices and honey into the purée.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter or coconut oil. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir well to make a nice, thick batter, pouring the butter or oil in slowly as you mix.
- Grease a muffin tin with butter or lard. Pour batter into muffin tin. They won't rise too much so don't be afraid to fill the muffin cups more than 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 25 minutes.
This recipe yields a lot more than just six medium muffins, so you can see how I ran out of muffin tins and had to use a small baking dish instead. If you have smaller muffin tins (or more than one 6-cup tin) then this should not be a problem.
Making Your Own Almond Meal
Almond meal is expensive. We use Bob's Red Mill for just about all of our flours, meals, powders, and my shredded coconut because it is some of the most amazing stuff you can buy, and one of the best brands for your buck. However, $12 for a bag of almond meal is just too far out of budget.
How do we stay in budget? Well first of all we don't tend to bake much, and that helps. Following Paleo, I'm not supposed to snack on this kind of stuff very often anyway. What really helps though is making our own meal. It's incredibly simple, and while it takes a little more time than opening a bag of pre-ground almonds, it's worth it.
While we wish we could do organic everything, it's not always in the budget. So for almond meal, we buy non-organic almonds for about $7/lb, depending on brand, sale, etc. Grind it up in your handy dandy Ninja until you have a very fine meal, and sift it with a flour sifter. Takes a little time, but you have a wonderful almond meal for half the price!