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  • Writer's pictureKelly

Healthy Pumpkin Breakfast Muffins (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Fruit-Sweetened)

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

Looking for something light yet satiating that is tasty, wholesome, and healthy to eat for breakfast? These muffins are perfect! Gluten-free oat flour and gluten-free whole oats lend healthy carbohydrates, while pumpkin seeds and cashew butter fortify these muffins with protein. So what I'm basically saying is you could eat two of these muffins with a serving of fruit for breakfast and you would feel full and content. These pumpkin muffins have a soft but solid interior and are sure to make you feel good. Indulge in these for breakfast, lunch, as a snack, or even for a healthier dessert (for the record, when I make these muffins I usually eat two of these and have a small bowl of unsweetened coconut milk yogurt and a handful of fresh berries for breakfast, so they can be used as part of a healthy, full meal). For those of you on the paleo diet, these muffins are gluten-free, not grain-free and therefore won't work on your diet. See the "Substitutions" section of this post for grain-free flour substitutes.



This is my first muffin recipe on The Dimpled Date! I also am trying to create recipes for pumpkin streusel muffins, matcha jelly-filled muffins, golden milk muffins, and banana cake muffins! Recipes in progress..


And this recipe marks my 20th recipe on The Dimpled Date!! And don't worry, I have no intention on slowing down with the ideas and the baking process (which means more healthy & delicious goodies baked here have no end in sight!).



Nutritional Profile of Healthy Pumpkin Breakfast Muffins


Dates- dates are rich in antioxidants, fiber, protein, potassium, and iron. Dates are also low glycemic, so they help better control blood sugar (believe it or not!) due to their high fiber content. Dates also protect against anemia, promote heart & gut health, and may help prevent various diseases.


Cashew butter- cashew butter is a great source of healthy fats, protein, fiber, iron, and antioxidants. These nutrients support brain, heart, skin, hair, muscle, digestive, and red blood cell health and help ward off diseases by fighting oxidative damage caused by free radicals.


Pumpkin purée- pumpkin purée is filled with fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, antioxidants, and micronutrients. These nutrients are good for digestive health, heart health, eye health, immune health, red blood cell health, and preventing diseases.


Pumpkin pie spice- pumpkin spice typically consists of a blend of spices including cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. Cinnamon improves circulation, cloves are good for your liver, nutmeg may have antimicrobial properties, and ginger promotes a healthy digestive tract (Plus, ginger is a superfood!).


Cinnamon- cinnamon contains beneficial plant compounds and antioxidants that promote good circulation, may have antimicrobial effects, and may help control blood sugar.


Sea salt- sea salt (calcium chloride) is better for you than table salt (sodium chloride), as table salt tends to be more highly processed. Sea salt balances electrolytes and is good for the adrenal glands. Try using Himalayan pink sea salt or Celtic sea salt.



Oats- oats are loaded with fiber, protein, healthy carbohydrates, and iron. Oats help you to feel fuller for longer, thanks to their high fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrate content, and therefore may aid weight loss. Additionally, oats aid digestion, lower cholesterol levels, provide energy, help build healthy muscles, and help protect against anemia.


Unsweetened raisins- unsweetened raisins are packed with fiber, antioxidants, and iron. These nutrients are good for the GI tract, cardiovascular health, red blood cell production, and preventing diseases. (Note: be sure to purchase unsweetened raisins when choosing them because unsweetened raisins themselves are quite high in sugar. That's why I only used 1/4 cup of them for a full batch of this recipe).


Pumpkin seeds- pumpkin seeds are chock-full of healthy fats, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and trace minerals. Pumpkin seeds may reduce cancer risk, are heart-healthy, and promote gut health.


Flaxseed- flaxseed (and thus, flax eggs) is an excellent source of omega-3s, protein, fiber, and iron. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for brain, heart, joint, immune, eye, metabolism, skin, and hair health. Protein supports healthy muscles, and fiber and iron promote a healthy digestive system and healthy blood cells.


Almond milk- almond milk is rich in vitamin E and calcium & vitamin D (if fortified). Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is good for your skin and hair. Calcium & vitamin D support healthy bones and the immune system.



Substitutions


The Medjool dates can be substituted with any other kind of date, like Deglet Noor dates. It's kind of difficult to substitute the dates with another sweetener, seeing as they constitute the base for these muffins. However, cane sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, or an artificial sweetener could possibly be used to sweeten these (although I'm not sure in what amounts and can't guarantee a good texture). The cashew butter can be replaced with any natural nut/seed butter, like almond butter, softened coconut butter, pecan butter, macadamia nut butter, mild tahini, sunflower seed butter, etc. The pumpkin purée shouldn't be substituted because these are pumpkin muffins, but you can use homemade pumpkin purée. The pumpkin spice is necessary, but if you don't have it on hand, combine equal parts ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and ground ginger & stir and use 1 tsp of this spice mixture in a normal size batch for this recipe. The additional cinnamon may be swapped out with ground cloves, ground nutmeg, or ground cardamom. Or the cinnamon may be omitted, but I recommend using it. The vanilla can be substituted with vanilla powder, the equivalent amount of freshly scraped vanilla bean, or can be omitted.


The oat flour can be substituted with 2 1/2 cups of gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour with an added thickener such as xanthan gum (like Bob's Red Mill's 1-to-1 gluten-free flour which contains xanthan gum). If using a gluten-free 1-to-1 flour with a thickener added, omit the arrowroot flour/starch. Or you could try 2 cups of superfine almond flour, lightly packed, with 1/4 cup of arrowroot, cassava, OR tapioca flour/starch (I'll update this post if I find that this grain-free flour substitution works). I would highly advise that you don't omit the arrowroot flour/starch for the almond flour version (otherwise your muffins are likely to come out like total mush). Another option is to use gluten-free all-purpose flour (which doesn't have to necessarily be a 1-to-1 flour). If doing the oat flour version, do not omit the arrowroot flour/starch or you can sub it with cassava flour/starch OR tapioca flour/starch. If you don't have oat flour on hand, use the same amount of gluten-free rolled oats as the amount of oat flour called for in the recipe (2 1/2 cups for a full batch), add to a food processor, and pulse until a fine flour is formed (the amount of oats you use to make the flour will be equal to the amount of oat flour you need). You can't omit the baking soda or baking powder as they are the leaveners in these muffins. The sea salt can be replaced with table salt or can be omitted. The gluten-free rolled oats can be replaced with gluten-free/grain-free granola, raw chopped nuts of choice, or gluten-free quick oats. Or you may omit the oats (they're just an add-in for additional flavor, texture, and nutritional value). The unsweetened raisins may be swapped with your unsweetened dried fruit of choice (craisins or dried cherries would be nice) or your sweetened dried fruit of choice (if you can do sugar on your diet). Or you could replace them with additional nuts/seeds, oats, or 1/4 finely chopped Medjool dates (in addition to the 1 1/2 cups dates in this recipe).


The pumpkin seeds can be replaced with your raw/unsalted/unsweetened nuts/seeds of choice, such as sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, chopped pistachios, sliced almonds, etc. The flax eggs can be substituted with 2 chia eggs OR 6 Tablespoons of aquafaba (chickpea brine). The unsweetened almond milk can be replaced with your unsweetened (or sweetened) plant milk of choice.



Hi, I'm finally back!! My spring semester just started and I haven't had a lot of time to post, but I'm still here baking and testing!


I have tried A LOT of new recipes since I last posted on The Dimpled Date, including:


-Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Muffins

-Healthy Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

-Almond Joy Overnight Oats


...and more!! (P.S. this is a sneak peek of recipes to come, since I already perfected all of the above recipes!)


I hope you like these muffins!


As always,

Enjoy <3

-K.


Healthy Pumpkin Breakfast Muffins (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Fruit-Sweetened)


Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 to 22 minutes

Total Time: 45 to 47 minutes

Servings: 18 muffins


Ingredients:


-1 1/2 cups Medjool dates

-1/4 cup cashew butter (can sub nut/seed butter of choice, like almond butter)

-1 1/4 cups pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

-2 flax eggs

-3/4 tsp vanilla extract

-1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

-2 1/2 cups gluten-free oat flour

-2 Tbsp arrowroot flour/starch (can sub cassava/tapioca flour/starch)

-1 tsp baking soda

-2 tsp baking powder

-pinch sea salt

-1/3 cup raw gluten-free rolled oats

-1/4 cup unsweetened raisins (or unsweetened dried fruit of choice)

-1/4 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

-1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or unsweetened plant milk of choice)


Directions:


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners.


2. In a large bowl, mix together the oat flour, arrowroot flour, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt. Set aside.


3. Add the Medjool dates to the food processor and blend, scraping down the sides as necessary, until a mostly uniform paste is formed.


4. Add the pumpkin purée, cashew butter, flax eggs, and vanilla and blend.


5. Add the oat flour mixture to the food processor and blend until just combined (DO NOT over-blend).


6. With no attachments blocking the feeder tube hole on the food processor and the food processor turned on, slowly pour the almond milk through the feeder tube hole and into the muffin batter until incorporated.


7. Transfer the batter to a large bowl and fold in the whole rolled oats, raisins, pumpkin seeds, and whatever other add-ins you like.


8. Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 of the way. Smooth the tops.


9. Bake in the preheated oven (at 375 degrees F) for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean and the tops of the muffins are just starting to turn golden brown.


10. Allow to cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the muffin tin.


11. Serve for breakfast, lunch, as a snack, or as a healthy dessert with a smear of vegan butter (like Miyoko's) or vegan cream cheese (like Daiya's), and with a side of fresh fruit and/or a small bowl of unsweetened coconut milk yogurt. Enjoy!


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

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