Sunday, September 7, 2014

Grain-Free Coconut Pumpkin Spice Muffins

I sometimes struggle with a self-imposed pressure to "enjoy" autumn in a specific way, as if I'll somehow miss out on its glory if I fail to execute the perfect seasonal to-do list: a dizzying prescription of corn mazes, pumpkin patches, fall foliage, football games, butternut squash bisques, scarves, boots, and mittened hands wrapped cozily around the ever-present Pumpkin Spice Latte. I used to write these kinds of Pinterest-induced checklists, in fact, until it all began feeling like a bit too much. (Not that there's anything wrong with those lists; I just personally found that adhering to a specific list caused me more FOMO-like stress than enjoyment, which seemed to defeat the purpose.)

These days, I'm more interested in paying close attention to my body and mind, noticing for example, the way my muscles and bones call more insistently for the slow and deliberate rhythms of my yoga practice rather than the frenetic pace of the trail run. I also find myself preferring the company of music, books, or my journal, leaning into introspection and away from the social self. It's the yin and the yang, the rooting and the rising, the inherent wisdom of our physical and emotional selves in response to the shift in season.

I notice too, my body craving the more rooted and grounding flavors of the season, of which pumpkin happens to be one of my favorites. I made these muffins last Sunday, and enjoyed them throughout the week as an addition to my morning eggs or as an afternoon snack. They pair especially well with an espresso or coconut milk latte. (Note to self. The perfectly staged Instagram shot is optional. And whatever you do, don't stress about adding "bake something pumpkin-flavored" to your to-do list.)

4 eggs (from free-range / pastured hens if you can find 'em)

1/2 cup canned organic pumpkin (make sure it's just pumpkin, and not "pumpkin pie filling")1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup raw honey, melted if needed

1/3 tsp salt
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 scant tsp pumpkin pie spice blend (mix of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove)
1/3 tsp vanilla extract

To Make:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups with coconut oil, butter, or ghee. In a large bowl, combine and stir the eggs, canned pumpkin, coconut oil, honey, and salt. Mix and stir until smooth. Slowly add coconut flour, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract to the batter while continuing to stir. Whisk batter vigorously until smooth. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups, and bake for approximately 12-15 minutes. Enjoy warm with a pat of coconut oil, butter, or ghee. 

I found that, perhaps due to the density of the coconut flour batter, these muffins didn't rise quite as much as conventional muffins might have, so don't worry if they appear somewhat smaller than you might expect. The top should be slightly crispy and the inside pleasantly moist.


  1. This recipe sounds so good. I feel similarly to you with the pressure to maximize seasonal enjoyment, especially since I love fall so much. I used to create seasonal to-do lists, but I've also grown out of the habit in the last two or three years. I think intuition-- like you mentioned-- and also a bit of serendipity let the season unfold without the pressures to "make the most of it." The big challenge for me will be the Christmas season, as stress and social pressure tend to get the best of me.

    Unrelated side note: Some good things are in motion that might relocate us to Boulder! Eee! Nothing is official yet, but there is a real possibility, and even that is exciting. Without question, you and I will have to meet up if it happens :)

  2. Yes, the holiday season is similar in that way. I think it's natural to crave the fullness and abundance. I just have to monitor myself and pay attention to when that craving tips over into stress and anxiety about cramming everything in.

    And how incredibly exciting to hear about your potential relocation to Boulder! We (obviously) love it here. Please keep me posted, and let me know if I can answer questions or help with anything. And yes, it goes without saying that we will have to meet up and hang out if you end up here! :)