We’re leaving bright and early, hopefully before the sun rises, tomorrow morning for Kentucky to visit my husband’s family. We’re gonna celebrate Christmas a little late, ring in the new year and enjoy the last of the holidays. It’s about 8 or 9 hours to drive there, possibly longer with having the pooch with us, but it’s not too bad. I usually try to pack some healthy snacks and foods both for the drive and for when we get there.
So, this morning I baked a small pie pumpkin to purée to make these muffins, I toasted the seeds with a super spicy pepper blend and I also made dark chocolate bark with dried bing cherries, pistachios and grey sea salt (recipe soon).
I had to change my pumpkin muffin recipe a bit as I was nearly out of almond flour, so I turned to Gluten Free Goddess‘s pumpkin muffin for some changes and additions to my original recipe. I used the last of some coconut milk I had and since I wanted to skip the regular sugar, I decided use coconut sugar and some blackstrap molasses. The minute I smelled the molasses with the spices it gave me the idea to add additional flavors to create a “gingerbread” type muffin.
The gingerbread flavors went so well with the pumpkin and these turned out great, they are so moist and tender. These will be great for the drive and wonderful for breakfasts when we get there. Since hubby likes to cram in as much Southern junk and comfort food as he can while we’re down there, I’m usually on my own for food. I’m ok with it, I even encourage it, since he’s such a trooper all the time here at home and he usually only gets this food once a year. But, this does mean I am on my own while we are down there. I usually pack snacks and food to cook for myself while everyone else is having fried chicken and pizza from their favorite local joint.
I am making my tortilla soup for everyone on New Years night, and I’m super excited for them to try it for the first time.
What do you have planned for New Year’s Eve?
I hope everyone has a peaceful, safe and blessed New Years celebration, surrounded by loved ones. I am so excited for all the lies ahead in 2012. It promises to be a year full of wonderful adventures, big changes and so much more. We are planning a big move and we already have some super amazing projects lined up. I am so full of anticipation for the journey ahead. I am not sure I have ever looked forward to a new year, as much as this upcoming one.[print_this]Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins with Dried Cranberries – Gluten-free, Vegan
Adapted from my own pumpkin muffin recipe and Gluten-free Goddess’ recipe
1 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1/3 cup organic coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 1/3 cups fresh pumpkin puree (canned organic puree would also work)
1/4 cup light olive oil
1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water (or 2 large farm fresh brown eggs, beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut milk (or almond milk)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (you could also add raisins, dried cherries, nuts or chocolate chips here, instead or in addition to)
Preheat oven to 375º F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients (up to and including the cloves). In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (up to and including the milk). Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix very well by hand or with a stand mixer or hand mixer to incorporate the ingredients. The batter should be very smooth and not clumpy. Fold the cranberries into the batter by hand.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. A wooden pick inserted into the center should emerge clean.
Cool the muffin pan on a wire rack for five minutes. Gently pop the muffins out to continue cooling on the rack (don’t cool them longer than 5 minutes in the hot pan- they’ll definitely get soggy). Enjoy a muffin after they have cooled 10 minutes.
Freeze any leftover muffins in tightly sealed freezer bags and pop one out for a quick and easy breakfast.[/print_this]