Not-Pumpkin Muffins

Mango muffins

Gluten-free mango muffins

While I continue to eat soup (I made plenty yesterday), let me tell you about my gluten free, vegan muffin discovery. I’ve made these twice now and I think some more tweaking is in order – not because the original recipe (thanks, Sarena!) wouldn’t work, I believe it does, but because of some changes I had to make.

So why didn’t you just go with the original – why change things for the worse, I hear you ask. My one-word answer: pumpkin. (Or, in this case, butternut squash. But generally any fruit from that family.) I’ve never cooked with pumpkins. I’ve seen a few of them in the shops these past few years and maybe there’ll be more of them in the future, but it’s still the new kid on the block (yes, incidentally, I am that old, and no, I was never keen on them) and I’m too shy to go and talk to it.

Hence: mango muffins. Sure equally foreign if not more so, but you can buy mango puree in the shops and that makes all the difference. I also tried these with peach puree (also available in cartons).

Other changes I made:

  • almond milk is very expensive so I substituted (gf approved) oat milk, which doesn’t curdle very well,
  • selling stevia as a dietary ingredient is not permitted here but I didn’t compensate with more sugar because I prefer muffins that aren’t too sweet; this was fine with mango but the peach needed more sweetness
  • instead of pumpkin pie spice I used vanilla and cardamom to go with mango and cinnamon, ginger and carob with peach
  • my gluten-free all-purpose flour was a home-made mixture following these instructions (2 cups brown rice flour, 2/3 cups potato starch, 1/3 cups tapioca starch, 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
  • I added 2 tbsp coconut oil to the second batch to stop them from sticking to the cups and will keep doing this (also, I recommend using paper cups to line your muffin tin because these lovelies do have a habit of sticking to their surroundings).

These muffins rise really well and the texture is nice and soft. An addition of coarsely ground nuts (I’m thinking walnuts or pecans) was suggested to me and I might try that next time. And I’m looking for my next pumpkin substitute as well. The purees I used were quite watery so I’d like to try something more substantial and perhaps roasted – beets, carrots, sweet potatoes?

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