There’s no denying that I have a massive sweet tooth. I would all too willingly pass up breakfast, lunch and dinner for dessert, dessert, dessert. With extra sweet things between. Following a plant-based or fully vegan lifestyle can throw a big spanner in the works when craving a sugary something, as so many of our childhood favourites contain at least one form of animal product. This can become even trickier when you also, like me, have to follow a gluten free diet. One of the first things I found upon making my medically-suggested transition to GF was that in eliminating animal products, wheat is often used as a substitute. Owch.
But having followed a gluten free diet for several months now, I’ve found some absolute goldmines online for offering tips and tricks to get around this problem and still get my sweet fix. Even better, I tend to find that the recipes I find, being GF and vegan, are also very low if not totally rid of refined sugar. Result!
The recipe below is one of my new favourites – another treat from Oh She Glows which hits all the right spots and is super easy to make, vegan and gluten free.
* Yield: A dozen * Prep time: 15 minutes * Cook time: 22 minutes *
1 tablespoon chia seeds
3 tablespoons water
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin purée
1/3 cup grapeseed oil or melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 2/3 cups gluten free flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Heaping 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with large paper liners. My favourite brand of liners is “If You Care” brand as they never stick!
In a medium bowl, whisk together the chia seeds and water. Set aside for a few minutes to thicken.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (spelt flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt).
In the same bowl as the chia mixture, whisk together the wet ingredients (chia mixture, pumpkin purée, oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, and molasses) until smooth.
Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. No patches of flour should remain. Be sure not to over mix the batter as spelt is a delicate flour. The batter will be quite thick.
If using, stir in the chopped walnuts. You can also reserve some for garnish on top, like in the photos.
Divide the batter equally between the 12 muffin liners. They should be about 3/4 full or a bit more. Add any reserved walnuts on top and gently push down (optional).
Bake the muffins for 20 to 24 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, and then transfer each muffin onto a cooling rack until completely cool.