I love baking, and baked goods have always brought me joy in the kitchen. Some of my favorite recipes have been easy to change with healthy subs; others have required rounds and rounds of “do-overs.” This is one of my new favorite recipes. Keep in mind, this goodie isn’t as sweet (cloying, really) as it would have been made with traditional ingredients. I think you will love it all the same.
• 1-1/4 cups almond flour
• 1/4 cup coconut flour
• 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/2 cup pureed organic pumpkin
• 3 large organic eggs
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon maple extract
• 2 tablespoons melted organic butter or coconut oil
• 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave nectar
• 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
• 1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (60 percent cacao or higher)
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat muffin tins with coconut oil (or use paper muffin cups).
2. Sift the dry ingredients (flours through salt) together in a large bowl.
3. Combine all the wet ingredients (pumpkin through peanut butter) in a small bowl and beat well. Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5. Spoon batter evenly into tins. Place 1 chocolate chip atop each muffin.
6. Bake for 20 minutes on the middle rack, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Virgin/Extra virgin coconut oil: An extremely healthy fat, coconut oil is derived from the meat of mature coconuts. Composed mostly of beneficial medium-chain fatty acids, coconut oil resists oxidation and rancidity. It’s high in lauric acid which helps to strengthen the immune system. Coconut oil is solid at temperatures below 70 degrees. When chilled, it can be used as a substitute for shortening or butter in baked goods. When melted, it can be substituted for any kind of oil called for in recipes.
Coconut flour: High in fiber and protein, grain-free coconut flour is essentially dried coconut in powdered form. Best results in baking are achieved when coconut flour is used in conjunction with a nut flour.
Agave nectar: An extract created from the sap of a desert plant, agave nectar is a natural, low-glycemic (index between 15-21) sweetener. It is 3 times sweeter than white sugar. Substitute 1/2 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup sugar in recipes; reduce liquid by 2 tablespoons for each cup.