I’ve been a fall food fiend these last few weeks, and imagine my disappointment when I realized that I could no longer enjoy (or at least for a month or so) an embarrassingly frou frou pumpkin spice latte from (gasp) Starbucks. All I’ve been craving (besides red wine, chocolate, cheese and poached eggs) is sweet, starchy baked goods. The upside is that, in evaluating my doshic balance, I discovered that my Pitta (characterized by heat, upset bowels and obsessive perfectionism–hmmm, sound familiar?) is out of control and sweet, starchy foods are recommended. The downside? I have to figure out how to make them vegan, and free of gluten, corn, soy and sugar.
It is surprisingly less difficult than I anticipated.
Confession time: I am exhausted. From life, from work, and from never feeling like I understand what I can and cannot eat. It’s kind of frustrating, too, because this elimination thing might not even work. I might reach the end of however many months it takes to slowly reintroduce everything back into my diet and find myself exactly where I started. I’m also feeling like this venture might be pointless, because what’s some dandruff and a stuffy nose compared to bread, eggs, cheese, a bar of chocolate or a glass of wine? What I keep telling myself is that when my body is uncomfortable, there’s something that’s upsetting its natural balance. And without that natural balance it’s hard to achieve health in any one part, since they’re all so intimately connected. So we press on.
And maybe I’ll just stick with beans and rice. Only. For the rest of my life. It could be worse.
Aaanyway, back to the muffins. They turned out great and are a nice way to start the day or to snack on while I’m making dinner. I like to toast my walnuts because I think it improves the taste and texture but I don’t think it’s necessary. The original recipe called for stevia but I didn’t have any of that (and to be honest it kind of scares me) so I used a combo of agave and molasses. Finally, if you don’t have any pumpkin pie spice you could just add dashes of nutmeg, cloves and or allspice but DO NOT add more than a smidge or it will be all you can taste.
Take care, friends. Enjoy the autumn colors, smells and skies. Drink tea and savor the warmth of ones you love. And make some muffins.
Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins
(Inspired by this recipe I found on The Daily Dietribe.)
Time commitment: 20 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to bake
Makes: 12 muffins
- 3/4 cup tapioca starch
- 3/4 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. xantham gum
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 Tbsp. flax seed meal+ 1/3 cup water
- 3 Tbsp. mild flavor oil (grapeseed, canola, etc.)
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup liquid sweetener (honey, maple syrup, molasses, etc.)
- 1/4 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare muffin pan with papers or oil. In a small bowl, whisk together flax seed meal and water. Set to the side.
- In a larger bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry, mixing with a spoon or whisk just until all the dry ingredients are moistened and evenly distributed.
- Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 25-30 minutes (but check at 20 because I have a feeling that my oven is way, way cool.) Muffins are done when tops and bottoms have become a light brown (color will depend largely on what kind of sweetener you use) and are not jiggly to the touch. You could also do the toothpick test.
- Remove pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool in the pan before removing muffins to the rack.