Festive Pumpkin Carrot Muffins

26 October 2016

Oh pumpkin, thou pumpkin. Weeks of pumpkin overload can truly drive one crazy. To partake or not to partake in all the hype is the real question…. Well, instead of being a pumpkin basher, I decided to join in on the fun. It is way too early in the holiday season to be thinking with a glass half empty viewpoint. After all, attitude and perspective might be the two most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

In honor of the start of my blog, we are tripling down on the esteemed pumpkin with three pumpkin inspired posts this week. That’s right- I have three fantastic ways to utilize pumpkin outside of its traditional Jack’O Lantern decorative role.
Three pumpkin ideas that provide specific functions- either being used in your beauty regimen as a skin enhancer or made into delectable edible treats (savory and sweet for good measure, of course).

# 1 – Festive Carrot Pumpkin Muffins
#2- Savory and Sweet Pumpkin Hummus
#3- DIY Pumpkin Face Mask

Today, I begin with the recipe for carrot pumpkin muffins. These muffins are grain-free and dairy-free. They have an incredible texture and are super moist. Perfect as a ‘not-too-sweet but still satisfy your sweet tooth dessert’. I had mine as a late afternoon treat with some almond butter. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. It can also be used as a side dish during lunch or dinner. Should I dare say for Thanksgiving….Okay, I won’t jump the gun there just yet.

I love these muffins so much. They are incredibly easy to make, loved by all (even my particularly picky eater husband) and a win-win all around. I keep them refrigerated in a sealed container for 3-4 days. I personally love them most the day after baking as the flavors seem to be more harmonious and intensified in a way. If you can hold out, it’s worth the wait!

Feel free to experiment on your own in the kitchen with these muffins. Reduce the sweetness, change up the spices, or add more veggies. The best part of this recipe is its versatility. Pumpkin on its own is not that sweet, but it acts as a great base for many treats because it only takes a few ingredients to let it shine. It will follow your lead so to speak. If you like to be in control (uh-um I mean in the kitchen), then pumpkin will be your new bestie. Embrace it.

Recipe:

shutterstock_311380487

Yield: 12 muffins
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35-45 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded carrots (~3 medium carrots)
½ cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ginger*
¼ tsp sea salt
3 eggs
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup honey**
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Directions:

1. Prep Step: Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Line a regular-sized muffin tin with paper liners. Melt coconut oil (do not make hot, just melt to liquid form). Take out eggs from refrigerator so that they reach room temperature.
2. Peel and grate carrots. Use a cheesecloth (or paper towel) to squeeze excess liquid. Set aside in a bowl.
3. Mix dry ingredients (coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, sea salt) together in a medium bowl.
4. In another medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the remaining wet ingredients (applesauce, pumpkin, honey, coconut oil).
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and whisk until well combined.
6. Fold in the carrots.
7. Use an ice cream scoop to evenly divide the batter.
8. Top each muffin with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.
9. Bake for 35-45 minutes, rotating the muffin tin after the first 20 minutes.
10. Check: Muffins are ready when a toothpick placed in the middle comes out clean.
11. Cool the muffins in the tin for 10 minutes, and then place them on a cooling rack.
12. Enjoy!

Notes: *Some people love the intensity of ginger, while others may want to do without it. I include a small amount to give the muffin a little shazam factor. ** Reducing the honey content to ¼ cup will still result in sensationally delicious pumpkin treats.