Gluten Free Spiced Squash Muffin Bites
Ground up oats and almond flour form the base of these delicious mini muffins that taste just like pumpkin pie, but with less fat, no dairy and less refined sugar. Squash, including pumpkin, is loaded with nutrients such as fiber, vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene) and potassium. A perfect morning treat or snack for anytime!
1 15-ounce can* pure pumpkin or squash puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted if solid)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup oat flour (or grind old fashioned oats in a coffee grinder)
1 cup almond flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* (you can use about 2 cups, minus 2 tablespoons if using fresh puree)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Combine pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, maple syrup, and liquid (melted if necessary) coconut oil in a bowl and mix well.
3. In another bowl, combine oat flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Mix well.
4. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
5. Using a cookie scoop, carefully put a scoop of batter in a lightly greased silicone coated mini muffin tin cup. Do not fill past the top, as the muffin may not cook all of the way through with too much batter. Continue scooping into each tin until pan is full.
6. Bake at 375 for 20-22 minutes. Remove from over and let cool for about 5 -10 minutes before removing from tin.
7. After cooling, remove muffins from tin and place on cooling rack until completely cool. Store in refrigerator for 3-4 days, and in the freezer for longer.
Pumpkin and other squash are one of my favorite items to add to traditional recipes when looking to boost nutrition and trade out less healthy ingredients. The nutritional value is high, and there is little to no fat or sugar. Vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene) is one of the stars of squash. This nutrient plays a significant role in immune health. Fiber is also a beneficial nutrient found in squash.
The other helpful factor is that squash has a pretty neutral flavor, especially for being nutrient dense. Because of this versatility, squash can be added to a sweet or savory dish and be absolutely delicious!
Right now, pumpkin is all over the place. I like to buy a few extra pie pumpkins, squash and even canned pumpkin while it is still available. It’s a great food for fall, but also because of the nutritional benefits, I like to use it as much as possible.
We go back and forth with gluten in our house. We have family members that have a clear intolerance, and sometimes, I feel there might be an overload for the little tummies. It could be a coincidence, but it seems to help when we switch to gluten free goods for a few days or so.
A side benefit of making my own gluten free recipes, is I look for nutritional gluten free ingredients that can be swapped out for whole wheat flour. In this case, almond flour (not to be confused with almond meal) adds extra vitamin E, healthy fat and protein, while keep these little bites gluten free. They are great to grab in the morning or as a hearty snack during the day – in fall and as much of the year as we can find squash!