Fall finally feels like it has made its arrival with cloudy gray skies, light wind, and sporadic rainfall. The air is crisp and clean. It smells of wet dirt and damp leaves with a hint of pine. I love fall. Fall is a reminder of wet hair clinging to my face while I race around in the rain with my neighborhood friends. Fall brings back memories of times when my sister and I lied curled up against our mother, listening to the rain patter against our windows until we drifted to sleep. Fall is pumpkin patches, cinnamon, changing colors, stormy days, hot comfort foods, and everything pumpkin related. I cannot reiterate enough about how much I love Autumn and all that it brings!
Today Mark and I went for a late morning/early afternoon jog. Droplets of rain splashed against our faces as we jogged down the street, chasing after orange leaves scuttling away in the wind and the rivulets of water trickling into the gutter. Mark stepped into puddles and I ran through mud. Eventually we slowed to a lazy walk where we spotted the dry creek beds filling with water and listened to the rush of wind and rustle of leaves. There’s something incredibly invigorating about walking, running, and laughing in the rain. As raindrops soak into your hair and roll off your face, you become acutely aware of the beauty in your surroundings. Life sometimes feels like it’s moving a million miles per minute, and it’s nice to have moments where you can just stop, breathe, and completely enjoy everything around you.
To fully embrace fall’s official arrival, my family friend and I whipped up a batch of some vegan pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. And yes, they tasted and smelled just like fall should: sweet, cinnamon-y, pumpkin-y, and happy (yes, things can totally taste and smell happy). We adapted the recipe from Little Broken and made it so that it would have no refined sugar or animal products.
- ⅓ cup coconut oil (melted)
- ½ cup date puree (which is dates blended with a few tablespoons of water, but you can sub for honey)
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds mixed with 6 Tbsp water
- 2½ large ripe bananas
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (be sure to measure carefully)
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 1¾ cups white whole wheat flour
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
- Make the chia seeds and let them sit for about a minute.
- Line two 12 cup muffin pans (I used cupcake pans) with liners or grease them.
- In a bowl, mash the bananas. In another large bowl, mix the coconut oil, date puree, and chia seeds. Mix in almond milk, pumpkin puree, bananas, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, vanilla extract, and salt . Make sure everything has been evenly combined and then add the flour. Mix until it is combined and then fold in the chocolate chips.
- Spoon the batter into the liners (fill them about ¾ of the way up)
- Bake one pan at a time. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit and then reduce the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake them for another 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into them comes out clean. Do the same thing for the second pan.
- Place the muffins on a cooling rack and then enjoy!
Note: They might seem a little bit too wet when you first finish baking them, but they should be fine once they cool down.
They came out very moist, sweet, and pumpkin-y. Now our home smells of cinnamon and spice and everything nice. It may sound like we made Powerpuff Girls, but we baked something even better: PUMPKIN MUFFINS, and I’ll get to eat them for breakfast tomorrow. I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and are ready to face Monday head on! Since I haven’t posted health benefits of certain ingredients in my recipes in a while, I thought that I’d post them tonight.
Anyways, stay happy and healthy y’all! And if you have time, bake some muffins and then take a walk in the rain. It’ll be worth it. I promise.
This muffin, as mentioned before, is made of all natural ingredients. Since it contains only whole foods, it is extremely nutritious.
One muffin contains a ton of fiber. Fiber is great for our health because it keeps our colon healthy. Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in America; however, it is also one of the more preventable cancers. Eating more fiber is one way to reduce our chances of getting colon cancer. Fiber also helps us absorb other nutrients into our bodies more efficiently, prevents constipation, and helps us feel fuller faster.
Whole Wheat Flour
Although whole wheat flour can be very dense, it contains more than double the amount fiber as white flour and doesn’t affect your blood sugar as much as white flour does. Whole wheat flour also contains a higher mineral and vitamin content than white flour because it hasn’t been as processed.
The pumpkin puree is also loaded with fiber, Vitamin A (helps keep our vision, skin, and immune system strong), Vitamin E (an antioxidant that helps prevent cancer), iron (helps transports oxygen to the rest of your body), and Beta Carotene (an antioxidant that helps your body fight off cancer cells).
Chia seeds are high sources of Omega-3 Fats which help protect your heart. They also contain fiber and protein.
Note: Beta Carotene is found in colorful vegetables such as carrots.