Nothing says fall like the smell of pumpkin apple muffins fresh out of the oven. These never last long in our house!
Why did I choose to make this recipe gluten free? When you repeatedly consume a specific food, you deplete the very enzymes needed for digestion of that food. For example, if you eat a bagel or toast every day for breakfast, a sandwich or wrap for lunch and pasta or bread with dinner, your body can become deficient in the enzymes required to break down wheat. As a result, many people are developing gluten sensitivities, yet they crave the very “poison” that is causing havoc on their bodies. Most of today’s wheat is now genetically modified and it bears little resemblance to the wheat our great-grandparents once consumed. Symptoms of sensitivity to wheat vary greatly, but they can include itchy skin, eczema, digestive problems, fatigue and depression. In the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, Dr. Davis states, “Because of wheat’s incredible capacity to send blood sugar levels straight up, initiate the glucose-insulin roller coaster ride that drives appetite, generate addictive brain-active exorphins, and grow visceral fat, it is the one essential food to eliminate in a serious effort to prevent, reduce, or eliminate diabetes.” Food for thought.
I have been experimenting with changing an old family favourite recipe to a healthier and gluten free version. I substituted unsweetened apple sauce for oil, replaced the brown sugar with maple syrup, changed the all purpose flour to gluten free flour and added a teaspoon of xanthan gum. In the world of gluten-free baking, xanthan gum plays the crucial role of imitating gluten. Xanthan gum enables muffins to hold onto the gas bubbles that form inside them, which allows them to rise and take shape. Xanthan gum is available at health food stores.
- 2 1/2 cups of your favourite gluten free flour
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (use gluten free if needed)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten*
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 cups finely chopped, peeled apples
*To make your own pumpkin pie spice, use: 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ginger, 3/8 teaspoon allspice, 3/8 teaspoon nutmeg
*To make an egg-free version, substitute 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds and 6 tablespoons of warm water. Allow the mixture to set for at least 2 minutes before adding to the wet ingredients.
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine flour, xanthan gum, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, applesauce and maple syrup. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apples. Fill paper lined muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Makes 18 muffins. Enjoy!
Gluten-free baked goods tend to go stale faster than their wheat-based counterparts. If you’re not going to eat the muffins fresh, within the first day or so, allow them to cool completely and then freeze.