Paleo-Friendly Banana-Pumpkin Muffins

It doesn’t really feel like fall yet here in Texas, but I’m already craving pumpkin EVERYTHING. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bisque, pumpkin ravioli…and of course my favorite, pumpkin bread.

Ah, but I don’t eat much wheat flour anymore, and I’m cutting way back on sugar and butter these days. So my grandmother’s old recipes don’t stand the test of time in my kitchen (sorry, Mam-Maw).  I’m keeping her recipe cards for sentimental reasons, but for a lighter alternative, I turned to Ye Olde Internet.

I wanted a recipe that called for almond meal (I’ve been experimenting a lot with it lately – it makes a beautiful coating for tilapia, FYI) so I started with this beautifully photographed blog. As with all recipes and IKEA instructions, I skimmed for the main gist and then whipped up a reasonable facsimile that worked for me.

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Mix together in a large bowl:

3 mashed bananas (this is a great way to use up those overripe ones on your counter)

1 ½ cups pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

2 eggs

Then add:

2 cups almond meal

1 tsp sea salt

1 ½ tsp baking soda

½ cup hulled pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp chia seeds (because I put them in EVERYTHING)

1 tsp cinnamon

Mix again, then spoon batter into 12 muffin cups greased with coconut oil and bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. They will look dark, but they will be juuuust right. Slide a butterknife around the edges to loosen them, then remove from muffin cups and let cool on a wire rack or plate.

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The verdict? AMAZING.  Delicately crisp exterior, super-moist but not too dense interior.  The crunch of the pumpkin seeds and chia seeds added just the right amount of texture to keep it from tasting too much like cake (side note: I would MUCH rather have these than cake for my birthday this year). They’d probably taste sublime split in half and spread with a smidgen of coconut oil if you’re feeling indulgent, but they don’t need it.

These muffins are grain-free, dairy-free and contain no sweeteners beyond those delicious bananas. You can add more cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice mix or ground cloves if they’re not sweet enough for you, but I guarantee you will not miss the sugar or flour. Try them and tell me what you think!

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