Pumpkin pie is a personal favorite of mine. But when it comes to packing it as a snack at work, it’s not exactly handy – I’ve tried! This vegan recipe for pumpkin pie muffins is just the thing when you want a healthy snack. Besides having no flour and refined sugars, these muffins have four ingredients that are especially good for you:
Once a year, I carve a pumpkin for Halloween with my family. But we like to keep some organic pumpkin stocked year-round. Pumpkin is packed with vitamins and minerals. It’s particularly rich in vitamin A and the antioxidant beta-carotene. An anti-inflammatory, beta-carotene contributes to the health of your vision, skin, and immune system. Eating foods rich in beta-carotene may reduce the risk of certain cancers, provide protection against heart disease, and slow the effects of aging. One study in Japan looked at the effects of eating pumpkin weekly on pre and post-menopausal women. For pre-menopausal women eating at least three servings a week reduced risk for breast cancer by 25%. For post-menopausal women, this percentage is even higher! Pumpkins also contain vitamin C, potassium and fiber which all contribute to cardiovascular health.
Bananas are a favorite of mine. I like including them in my breakfast as part of a smoothie or in oatmeal. Often used by athletes before a big event, bananas a good source of vitamins and minerals like potassium. Potassium is essential in maintaining your heart and brain’s health. Besides regulating blood pressure, bananas have been found to reduce depression, boost bone mass, treat constipation. Despite how sweet they can be, bananas are actually rated low on the glycemic index (GI). This is due to the amount of fiber found in the fruit. A medium-sized banana can contain about 3 grams of fiber!
I won’t lie to you, like regular milk coconut milk is high in fats. But the fatty acids in coconut milk are unique. Rather than being stored as unhealthy fat, the fat from coconut milk is immediately usable as energy. Coconut fat is one of the healthy fats you should consider using to boost your metabolism. The fatty acids in coconut milk have been shown to act as a natural antiseptic able to treat infections and dandruff. The nutritional value of coconut milk doesn’t end there, the fat also serves as a moisturizer that can rejuvenate skin and repair wrinkles.
It may come to you as a surprise that one of the standout ingredients in this recipe is a sugar, but there’s a good reason. Unlike regular sugar and corn syrup, coconut sugar retains its nutritional value. According to the Philippine Department of Agriculture, coconut sugar contains iron, zinc, calcium and potassium. Coconut sugar also may have a lower rank on the GI compared to table sugar. When something is lower on the GI, it results in a less drastic spike in your blood sugar levels. This makes coconut sugar a great alternative to refined sugar.
Try this too good to be true recipe today!
Pumpkin Pie Muffins with Coconut ‘Frosting’
For the cupcakes:
- 1 can organic pumpkin or 1½ cups organic pumpkin puree
- 2 very ripe organic bananas
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 1½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp pink himalayan sea salt
For the whip topping:
- 1 can full fat organic coconut milk
- 2 T maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla beans
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is preparing, blend all the cupcake ingredients until the mixture comes out smooth. This batch should be enough for about 12 regular sized cupcakes.
Spread this mixture into lined muffin tins and bake them for about 20 to 25 minutes. Once baked, let them cool.
They may come out soft, so let them firm up in the fridge before topping them.
To prepare the topping, open up a refrigerated can of coconut milk and skim off the white fatty part into your mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and maple syrup and then whip the mixture into a cream. Scoop these onto your cooled cupcakes and they’re ready to serve!