Pumpkin Chia Seed Muffins (Vegan)

Thanks to a surprise gift containing a sack of flour and various other baking items, I was finally able to let my creative juices flow in our dorm room kitchen this morning, for the first time since AUGUST. I really don’t know how I survived.

Over the past few months, while I may not have been whipping things up in the kitchen, I have still been checking up on my favorite blogs over the occasional weekend, bookmarking recipes or ideas that are of interest. With a unopened can of pumpkin in front of me yesterday morning, my mind drifted back to a certain page that got me exceptionally excited.

Several weeks ago, I discovered Green Kitchen Stories during an extremely boring lecture on cognitive psychology. One of the blog’s recent posts was for “Warm Pumpkin Coconut Muffins”. Just the word pumpkin is enough to cheer me up in the middle of a dark and dreary day, but this particular pumpkin-filled good really caught my eye.

I didn’t have all of the ingredients to follow the recipe exactly, so I formulated my own rendition of the muffin, one that is nutrient-packed but also delicately flavorful.

To begin with, I had no access to coconut flour or buckwheat flour. I substituted whole wheat flour for these, using more than was called for, as whole wheat flour does not absorb as much liquid as coconut flour does. I didn’t have almond flour either, but I did have almonds and a coffee grinder. Walla, almond flour. It did, however, take me quite a while to clean up afterwards.

I didn’t have eggs either, which led to the creation of a vegan muffin. I soaked chia seeds, part of my grandma’s recent care package, in water to create a substitute “glue” for the batter.

Don’t try this at home (dorm only). They really need to invest in some can openers in the kitchen.

I also changed several other items, due either to lack of ingredients or purely my own inspirations. My roommate and I were quite satisfied with the result, and I will hopefully make another batch soon. Next round I may add a touch more honey for added sweetness. (I think maple syrup would be divine, so if you have access to that I encourage you to give it a try).

These muffins are such a treat, enjoyed in the morning with a bit of greek yogurt on the side or with an afternoon cup of tea. Or as I enjoyed mine this morning with a hot cup of coffee listening to a lecture on human depravity. Nothing like a good muffin to help you mull over deep philosophical ideology.

Pumpkin Chia Seed Muffins (vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds + 6 tbsp water, soaked
  • 5 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted and cooled)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 orange, juice and zest

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together dry ingredients in mixing bowl.

2. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl, stirring constantly.

3. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, stirring with a spatula just until incorporated.

4. Divide batter into muffin pan, either coated with coconut oil or set with liners. This recipe should make about 12 large muffins.

5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until baked through and golden on the outside.

6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1 minute before removing from muffin pan. Enjoy hot, or store in air tight container at room temperature or in the freezer for later.

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