Fall is by far, my favorite time of year. I love the colors, the flavors, and the changeover to the colder weather wardrobe. Growing up, I was never prone to seek out any foods containing gourds or pumpkins, but butternut squash soup and pumpkin bread have become favorites over the last several years.
A couple of years ago, I posted a recipe for Holiday Pumpkin Cake, a true favorite among my household, and my readers. This past weekend, however, I was determined to make it healthier and yummier. And I must say, for not being a baker, I’m pretty happy with the outcome.
The main switches have been in the flour and sweeteners. The resulting muffins were more delicious than the previous recipe in that they were richer and more flavorful. Definitely a winner for parties or dessert for the little ones.
Sprouted Oat Flour: Naturally gluten-free, this oat flour is “sprouted” making it a living food with more vital nutrients which are more readily absorbed by the body. And since it is gluten-free, it is safe for those with wheat and gluten allergies or sensitivities. I’d also argue you could use almond or coconut flours, too. But I haven’t personally tried it yet with this recipe.
Molasses and Maple Syrup: As we all know, refined table sugar is full of empty calories with no nutritional value, whatsoever. So, I was on a mission to incorporate sweeteners that were more nutritionally dense. Both Molasses and Maple Syrup are rich in nutrients as compared to their more refined counterpart.
- Molasses: A dense byproduct from the processing of sugar cane and sugar beet into table sugar. Although it comes from the process, Molasses is rich in nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, iron, phosphorous, chromium, cobalt and sodium. Molasses also offers various vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6, thiamine and riboflavin. And, it has been shown to be beneficial with a variety of health related issues, including menstruation-related problems, obesity, diabetes, stress, cancer, enlarged prostate, acne and other skin ailments, constipation, headaches and anemia. It also helps to improve bone health, electrolyte balance, hair care, sexual health, functioning of the nervous system, and wound healing. Molasses also helps to strengthen the immune system, maintain healthy levels of hemoglobin and aid in the formation of new cells in the body.*
- Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is made by evaporating the sap from maple trees, leaving a thick syrup. It contains minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus sodium, potassium, and zinc, and vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and B6.* The darker syrups have a stronger maple flavor. And, of course, it is important to buy real maple syrup, not maple-flavored syrup.
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup maple syrup (Grade A Dark Amber)
- 1/3 cup molasses (Blackstrap)
- 1/4 cup sunflower oil
- 1 can all-natural pumpkin (plain and unsweetened – not the pie mix!)
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free sprouted oat flour (The Sprouted Flour)
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12 cupcake/muffin tray with cupcake liners. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, maple syrup and molasses. Mix well. Add in oil and pumpkin, and mix until smooth.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add this to the pumpkin mixture a little at the time. Continue to mix until smooth. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Pour batter into the pan. Bake for 60 – 70 minutes. Let cool and serve!
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
* Source: https://www.organicfacts.net