As a professionally trained pastry chef, being told I might want to go on a gluten-free diet sounded like some kind of cruel punishment.
I’ve worked at some of the top restaurants in the U.S., and I love dessert!
The problem is I have a hyperactive thyroid, which probably has been preventing me from getting pregnant these last three years. My hormones have been all over the place. At this point, I was willing to try anything so that hopefully we can have a baby someday. My acupuncturist and a fertility-specialty dietitian both recommended the gluten-free diet so I jumped on the bandwagon.
Going gluten-free isn’t easy, especially when you like to dine out often like I do. I’ve learned to eat a lot of salads, soups and Asian foods, which seem to be the most gluten-free friendly. A gigantic bowl of Vietnamese pho with chicken and rice noodles is my go-to dish for lunch. Italian restaurants are the worst – no bread, no pasta and no pizza.
After nearly three months of a gluten-free diet, I’ve figured out some healthy baking recipes and thought I’d start sharing these with you. Instead of using wheat flour, I’ve learned to use flours made from nuts, coconut, corn, rice and potatoes. My kitchen experiments don’t always turn out like my failed crumbly cornbread and my too fennel-y pizza crackers, but I keep playing in the kitchen. That’s what pastry chefs do!
And the results seem to be working. My blood work has shown decreased hormone levels; but since I’m also taking a thyroid medicine and doing the gluten-free diet, I don’t know which one has helped the most. (Oh and in case you’re wondering, I only had a few tiny sips of hubby’s beers at the recent Warszawski Festival Piwa I wrote about on Monday. I do miss beer!)
Since it’s fall, I’ve been baking a lot with pumpkin and sweet potatoes lately. I’ve adapted a pumpkin recipe I found online and have made these several times now.
These gluten-free muffins are perfect for a breakfast on the go or an afternoon snack. Just limit yourself to one! I liked these so much that I ate two muffins the first time, and then realized that was just too much fiber to eat at one sitting.
These gluten-free pumpkin muffins also are girlfriend and husband tested and approved! I hope you enjoy them too!
|Remember: only eat ONE of these fiber-rich muffins at a time!|
Gluten-Free Spiced Streusel Pumpkin Muffins
Yields: 12-14 muffins
Adapted from Poet in the Pantry
Spiced Streusel Topping
2 Tablespoons organic coconut oil, melted
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (95 g.) chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup (240 g.) homemade pumpkin puree OR canned
4 large eggs
⅓ cup (98 ml.) pure maple syrup
½ cup (120 ml) organic coconut oil, melted
1 cup (120 g.) almond flour
⅓ cup (45 g.) coconut flour, lightly packed
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup (75 g.) dried cranberries or raisins
*Note: You can substitute the almond pulp from your homemade almond milk for the almond flour. Just be sure to dry your leftover almond pulp in the oven before using.
Preheat oven to 350F/175 C. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the streusel ingredients, tossing with a fork until you get small crumbs. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs and maple syrup. Once combined, whisk in the coconut oil, pouring in a steady stream.
Then, add the dry ingredients and whisk until incorporated.
Lastly, fold in the dried cranberries or raisins.
Using a large cookie scoop or two spoons, portion out the batter, filling each muffin cup about ¾ of the way.
Sprinkle and press the streusel topping on top of each muffin.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
These muffins can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for 1-2 days and then should be moved to the refrigerator. I had a batch of mine go sour after sitting out on the counter for 5 days. If needed, extra muffins could be frozen as well.