Once we get into ‘pumpkin season’, Thanksgiving is right around the corner and so are the “holidays”. Challenges with this time of the year sometimes cloud the magic of it all. I see my clients struggle with the schedule chaos, change to colder, wetter weather, “treat” and unhealthy food options, extra opportunities for cocktails and alcohol and expectations with holiday meals around Hannukah and Christmas. You can empower yourself through this wild time of the year by making time and space for your health. Batch cook recipes like Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins so that you have a healthy go-to when you’re on-the-go.
However, I think that pumpkin in recipes is totally underrated at other times of the year! Canned foods are awesome and keep food nutritious and fresh in a convenient and safe way. If you’ve got pumpkin in your cupboard and it’s not fall or winter…mix it up and use it in these muffins. Your family and friends will appreciate that comforting flavor when it’s least expected.
Pumpkin has so many health benefits. It is packed with fiber and nutrients like vitamins A, E plus a variety of B vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. This recipe uses a canned variety (that’s almost always what I use!) but in the past, I have actually blended up the insides of a real sugar pumpkin and saved a bunch of the leftovers in the freezer to use in the future. If you do that, you really need to make Salt&Pepper Pumpkin Seeds if the season is right.
Making Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
I hope you get to try out these simple Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins because they’re really perfect for meal prep so you’ve got a healthy breakfast or snack all week long. The recipe is super simple – you blend together the dry ingredients and the wet separately. You pour the wet into the dry and then fold in those chocolate chips and bake! I like how they turned out kind of bumpy and uneven – it makes them fun to eat.
I used my favorite gluten-free flour blend for this one by Bob’s Red Mill. They do such an excellent job. But hey, if you’re not gluten-free, that’s no problem! Just sub in regular purpose flour and you’ll still get a great product. If you want to do cranberries or nuts instead of or in addition to the chocolate chips, that’s perfect. You can also adjust the seasoning. I like to use a lot of warm spices in my baking but if you prefer less (or even more!), then definitely go for it.
But before you go, I have some tips for stress success this season….
My top tips for baking with ease and enjoying your time
- Unpack your schedule: As your calendar fills up each month, put some blocks in it and schedule in some down time. You may need to say no to a dinner, date or party here and there but it will be worth it when you get to savor some time at home.
- Make time for working out: Schedule in your workouts like you schedule in meetings and other important events. If you need an extra push this season, get a trainer for the month or sign up for a paid program like OrangeTheory where if you miss a session, you get charged anyway. Why wait ’til January when the gyms are packed? Make fitness a priority NOW.
- Plan ahead for healthy food: Batch cooking and planning ahead are where it’s at all the time. For some people this means grocery shopping on the weekend and spending time on a Sunday afternoon putting things together for the week. For others it means utilizing grocery delivery like Instacart or even meal delivery programs for support. For me, it is a combo and I’ll also stock up on healthy frozen meals to keep in the freezer at work for busy afternoons. Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are fabulous to grab for a breakfast or snack throughout the week.
- Give yourself a drink limit: A glass of wine or cocktail is part of many people’s celebrations. My fridge is packed with bottles of anticipatory champagne right now. But if you end up drinking a few cocktails several nights per week, activities like making time for workouts and planning ahead healthy food can slip away. Too much alcohol can also disrupt sleep which is even more critical during busy times. Set a limit for yourself whether that’s one drink per event or five drinks total per week – whatever is best for you – so that you have a goal in mind and feel confident in your plan.
- Make time for fun: If all you do is run around to dinners, parties and work events, you may miss out on what this life really means to YOU. Love to decorate gingerbread houses? Crave a baking day? Want to see the Nutcracker or a movie? Desire a night out to drive around a see holiday lights on people’s houses? Make sure to schedule in some time for the things that mean the most to you this season. This can help you prioritize your own desires and let go of expectation just a little bit.
- 2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (I roasted a pumpkin and made my own!)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or dried cranberries)
- Heat oven to 400°F. Line a 12-count muffin tin with paper baking cups. In large mixing bowl, blend flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, stir together pumpkin, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Blend wet ingredients into dry just until moistened then gently fold in chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
Thanks for visiting! If you’re like me: obsessed with eating, wine, going out and traveling, you’re in the right place. Champagne Nutrition® LLC is a Registered Dietitian-run concierge virtual practice helping clients look and feel better. On this blog, you’ll ﬁnd cocktails, mocktails, and plant-based recipes that are easy to make quickly at home and pack for leftovers on your adventures.