Pumpkin protein muffins (vegan and gluten-free)

Pumpkin protein muffins (vegan and gluten-free)

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Life is: Exploring a new town on vacation with your new lova,’ dreaming about moving there, and then stumbling on an amazing coffee shop with excellent espressos, lattes & teas. And then to find out they have amazing healthy muffins?! With no sugar?! WHHAAATTTT? After I happened upon the pumpkin protein muffin a few years ago at the Groundwork coffee shop in Venice, CA, I was super excited to try and make it myself. It wasn’t sweet, but it packed a lot of flavor with the pumpkin, seeds & spices.I  read the ingredients and decided that I’d keep the wrapper to try and make it myself. And then I finished my muffin, tossed the wrapper in the trash and went on merrily about my day. Until I realized I had thrown away the ingredient list. Oops.Naturally I searched the inter-webs high and low for a copycat recipe and found none. Lucky for me two years later I ended up moving less than a mile from this coffee shop and the first weekend I went to get 2 muffins after a run and, wait for it…….they were out. The next weekend, too. And the weekend after that. After a month of waiting I called one morning and alas, the ever elusive muffin was just coming out of the oven.  So I had them put them on hold for me.  I mean, where else can you find a protein muffin made with natural ingredients and no added sugars? But since it was freshly made it had no wrapper with ingredients. Darn. Back again a week later and I finally got what I was looking for. I took a picture and plastered it on my fridge. Success!

After many a trial and error muffin bake-a-thon I present you with the gluten-free Groundwork coffee shop inspired muffin. They make a perfect grab-and-go breakfast or post-workout snack. Pop ’em in the toaster and spread on some almond butter for an extra punch.

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Pumpkin protein muffin

  • Servings: 14-16 muffins
  • Time: 1 hr
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Dry ingredients
1/2 c. (gluten-free) oat flour*
1/2 c. almond flour*
1/4 c. pumpkin seeds + some for topping
1 c. (gluten-free) rolled oats
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. chopped almonds
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
1/4 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c. raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
2 tbsp. ground flax seeds
2 tbsp. chia seeds
2 tbsp. hemp seeds
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
1 scoop natural protein powder (I prefer SunWarrior)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tbsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. clove
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

Wet ingredients

1 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. almond milk
1/2 c. apple sauce
1/4 c. apple cider or apple juice
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 tbsp. finely chopped ginger
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350˚ F.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.

Mix all of the wet ingredients together in a medium bowl until well combined. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until the mixture is well combined.

Scoop the mixture into muffin tins and top with a few pumpkin seeds. Bake at 350˚ F for 16-18 minutes.

*If you do not follow a gluten-free diet you may substitute the oat and almond flour with white or whole wheat flour.

Note: Feel free to substitute seeds and nuts as you prefer. Don’t have hemp seeds? Throw in more chia seeds or vice-versa. Use what’s in your kitchen.

When I travel I love to walk around for hours, popping into different cafes, street vendors and shops, trying the local eats, speaking to the workers and owners, and people watching. I like to act as “local” as possible, riding in shady taxis, in packed chicken busses, or perusing the beautiful macaron collection. What’s your travel style?

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