Exactly a year ago, Juan and I were just getting settled into our new Foggy Bottom neighborhood in Washington DC. That October, we’d just transitioned from the hot humid summer into fall, one of my favorite seasons ever.
Everything everywhere was evidence of fall – the cooler, crisp evenings had started easing their way in; the sun was setting earlier each day; the trees started turning beautiful shades of auburns and oranges, covering the sidewalks with trails of dried leaves that crunched under our feet as we walked over them.
Most of all, what made it clear that fall had arrived was the fact that pumpkins had popped up everywhere.
They were piled in front of the entrance at our nearest Trader Joe’s; they adorned the front porches of our neighbors’ houses; and in every restaurant menu, there was some variation of pumpkin: pumpkin pie; pumpkin bread; pumpkin spice latte.
I never quite understood the love that people in the US have for pumpkins until I personally witnessed the rage for all things pumpkin while living there.
Fall apparently isn’t fall unless there’s pumpkin involved.
Naturally, I was intrigued. I’d never cooked with pumpkin before, but I definitely wanted to try it.
Now we’re back in Buenos Aires, but seeing all the pumpkin recipes on the web and the US-based food blogs I follow is making me crave pumpkin too.
On a whim, I bought half a pumpkin yesterday (don’t ask me why there are pumpkins in spring in Argentina) and roasted it to get pumpkin puree. I wasn’t initially sure what I was going to use the pumpkin puree for, but when I saw this recipe for the prettiest vegan and gluten-free pumpkin muffins on the Healthy Helper blog, which was adapted from the Oh She Glows Everyday cookbook, I just knew I had to try them!
Quick note here: If you haven’t read the Oh She Glows blog before, you’ll love it. Angela, the author and creator of the recipes on the blog, only features the most amazing and well-tested recipes that make vegan cooking easy and enjoyable.
In the past few months since Juan developed allergies to eggs and dairy, I’ve looked to Angela’s blog for inspiration and guidance every once in a while. If you eat and cook vegan, hers is a blog that I definitely recommend.
Anyway, back to these muffins. I made a few small tweaks: instead of using oat flour, I used my own gluten-free flour blend that’s a mix of brown rice flour, sorghum flour, cornstarch and tapioca starch. (The reason I stay away from using oats despite them being naturally gluten-free is that oats tend to cause reactions similar to reactions to gluten in some Celiacs, so when developing gluten-free recipes, I always try not to use oats.)
I also used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, and used a little bit more sugar and slightly less maple syrup.
Even with the tweaks, the muffins came out amazing!
I mean, this is the first time I made gluten-free and vegan muffins that honestly look and taste just like the real deal. I still can’t believe that the muffins have such a moist and beautiful crumb despite being free of eggs and dairy and gluten! Tell me, just how awesome is that?
I made a big batch of 12 muffins yesterday, and today they’re all gone.
Don’t take my word for it though. I’m not the only one who can testify how good these muffins were – Juan loved them and my friend Mechi couldn’t stop praising them either.
So, are you ready to make your own batch of easy gluten-free and vegan pumpkin muffins too?
Here’s how you can make them. Start off by pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and greasing a silicon muffin mold.
I prefer using a silicon muffin mold because they produce better results and it’s much easier to remove the muffins from the molds once they’ve cooled. However, if you don’t own a silicon muffin old, make sure to use paper liners or foil liners in your muffin mold so they come out easier.
In a large bowl, whisk the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, xantham gum, sugar, ground cinnamon and baking powder together until combined. In another bowl, mix the vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, non-dairy milk, maple syrup and coconut oil together.
Next, pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir well until just combined and you have a homogeneous muffin batter.
Divide the batter evenly between the cavities of the muffin mold and fill each cavity till it is 3/4-full. Bake the batter for 25 to 30 minutes until the muffins are firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Once ready, allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the muffin mold, and then letting them cool for another 1o minutes on a wire rack before eating.
Now go off and make a batch of these insanely amazing pumpkin muffins. You won’t regret them at all!
And once you’ve made them, come back here and tell me in the comments how much you loved them!
- ¾ cup brown rice flour
- ¾ cup sorghum flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup tapioca starch
- 1 teaspoon xantham gum
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used cashew milk)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and grease a silicon muffin mold
- In a large bowl, whisk the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, xantham gum, sugar, ground cinnamon, salt and baking powder together until combined.
- In another bowl, mix the vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, milk, maple syrup and melted coconut oil together.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir well until you get a homogeneous thick muffin batter.
- Divide batter evenly between the cavities of the muffin mold and fill them till ¾-full.
- Bake batter for 25 to 30 minutes until muffins are firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the muffins to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing them from the muffin mold.
- Let the muffins cool on the cooling rack for another 10 minutes before eating them.