Wow, I can’t express how excited I am to be sharing my first blog post! I wanted this first recipe to represent my culinary style and I think these Paleo Pumpkin Muffins do the trick. Baking is what introduced me to preparing my own food from scratch, many years ago. I’ve always loved the process of measuring, sifting, sprinkling, and mixing to produce something warm and comforting out of the oven. My baking has evolved a lot; now my goal is always to produce something with all the same satisfying flavors and textures but with much healthier ingredients. These almond flour muffins are so soft and fluffy, with flavorful surprises of fig and pepitas throughout them. I made several batches before settling on this final recipe and I really think everything balanced out perfectly. And of course, they’re gluten-free and dairy-free!
Yep, I’m one of those people that loves pumpkin. Maybe it’s because I’m a fall baby, maybe it’s because pumpkin is just plain awesome. I think it’s both. The usual spices that accompany pumpkin make you instantly feel warm and cozy. As an added bonus, while these muffins bake your whole house will smell like a lovely little Grandma has been making pumpkin pies all day. This recipe makes a nutrient-dense, high-protein breakfast or snack that will keep you satisfied for hours and glowing in good health.
Pumpkin has lots of health-boosting properties. It’s high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gets converted into Vitamin A in the body, which not only protects the body from early aging but also supports skin and eye health. It’s also rich in potassium and fiber, encouraging balanced blood pressure and blood sugar control, respectively. The pepitas, or green pumpkin seeds, are a great source of minerals like zinc – important for the immune system, skin, and thyroid – and magnesium, a mineral many people are deficient in which plays a role in TONS of vital biochemical processes throughout the body.
These muffins are very low in added sugar, since they include banana and dried Turkish figs for sweetness. When buying dried fruit, be sure to look at the ingredients and avoid anything that contains sulfur dioxide, which is used as a preservative. Also be sure to avoid any added sugars and oils, typically the organic dried fruits are the cleanest option. The protein punch in this recipe comes from almond flour and eggs. They also include healthy fat from coconut oil, filling you up with non-dairy, buttery, deliciousness and giving you accessible energy for your busy day!
When making these, it’s important to follow the instructions the way I’ve listed them for the best possible outcome. I’ve tried using the same ingredients with different steps and it really does affect the texture. If you don’t have all these individual spices you could try subbing 1 1/2 Tbsp. of pumpkin pie spice. I haven’t tried this yet myself but I imagine it would still turn out well.
First, you want to mix your dry ingredients (almond flour, baking powder, spices, and salt) in a food processor. This helps keep the almond flour super light and incorporates all the spices evenly. Pour this dry mix into a separate bold and set aside.
In the food processor, combine the coconut oil (unmelted is key) with the coconut sugar. Once these are creamy add in the egg yolks (save the whites in small bowl or cup to the side), banana, pumpkin and vanilla extract. Take a moment, and bask in the beautiful orange color of the concoction you just created!
Add the dry ingredients into the food processor and mix until thoroughly combined, then dump this batter back into the bowl you used for the dry ingredients. Next, whip the four egg whites (you using a hand or stand mixer) until they are fluffy and somewhat stiff. Slowly and gently fold these into the rest of the mix until just combined – the batter will seem pretty wet but this is normal. Lastly, fold in the chopped figs and the pepitas. If your figs are extra sticky you can toss them in a little fine almond flour first to help keep them separated and also to help them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins.
Grab your muffin tin and insert liners into each cup. I found it helpful to spray the muffin liners once they’re in the pan, to add an extra layer of nonstick protection. Fill the muffin cups up with batter to the top and bake for 50 minutes, or until they are browned and firm to the touch. They’re amazing straight out of the oven, but the liners peel off easier once you allow them to cool.
A quick note about baking and location: I live in the mountains above 8,000 feet. This means the same recipe I bake up here can turn out differently when baked at a much lower elevation. I haven’t personally tried baking these anywhere else but I would first try adding 1/2 tsp. extra baking powder and reducing the bake time; set your timer for 25 minutes and keep an eye on them from there. If anyone tries this, please let me know what works for you! Nut flours can burn easily, which is why I use a low baking temperature, but you may also need to cover them with tin foil once they look golden brown and continue letting them bake until the center is firm.
Okay, enough chit-chat, you have amazing pumpkin muffins to make! I hope you can enjoy these on a snowy day with a warm mug, a good book, and a cozy blanket.
Perfect Pumpkin Fig Muffins
The warming spices in these fluffy pumpkin muffins will keep you feeling full and cozy on a cold day! They're full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, giving you long-lasting natural energy. I love muffins because they're easy to grab as you're heading out the door and to me baked goods always provide some peace and comfort.
- Avocado or coconut oil spray
- 2 1/4 cup fine almond flour
- 1 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder*
- 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 4 eggs (room temperature)
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 small very ripe banana, mashed (about 1 cup)
- 4 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil (unmelted)
- 2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup raw pepitas
- 3/4 cup chopped, dried turkish figs (about 4 large)
- *Baking powder often contains cornstarch, to make your own Paleo version simply mix 1 part baking soda with 2 parts cream of tartar.
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Insert liners into muffin pan and spray with oil.
- Using a food processor or blender, mix almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves, allspice, and sea salt until powdery and well combined. Pour into mixing bowl and set aside.
- In the food processor, mix together the coconut oil and coconut sugar until creamy. You can also use a hand or stand mixer to do this.
- Add the egg yolks (save the whites in a separate bowl), vanilla extract, mashed banana, and pumpkin into the food processor and mix until thoroughly mixed.
- Add the dry ingredients back into the food processor and mix well with the wet ingredients. Pour batter back into bowl that you used for the dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the egg whites until somewhat stiff.
- Gently fold egg whites into the rest of the batter, until just mixed.
- Add pepitas and chopped figs into bowl and slowly fold until well incorporated.
- Fill muffin cups up to the top and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until browned and firm.