Gluten-Free & Vegan Pumpkin Chia Muffins


Fall is fast approaching and flavors of pumpkin dance in our mind. In this gluten-free and vegan Pumpkin Chia Muffin Recipe, Claudia Pillow, PhD, marries autumn harvests with superfoods. Chia seeds are the new darlings of trendy Superfood lists. People are eating them in smoothies, salads, crackers, and by the handful. They also are being promoted as a vegan egg substitute by combining 1-tablespoon chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water and letting it sit for about 10 minutes to gel up. I have had much success with flaxseed meal “slurry” as an egg substitute in breads, muffins and cupcakes, so I decided to give chia “slurry” a whirl (quite literally). The result is a slightly heavier gluten-free and vegan Pumpkin Muffin with a crunchier texture, but delicious flavor.  The muffins are heartier than their traditional sweet counterparts and make a scrumptious breakfast or afternoon snack. Enjoy with a handful of Hail Merry Vanilla Maple Almonds for a nutritious light energizing meal on the go. Feed Your Body Royally.

Gluten-Free & Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

1 1/4 cup brown rice flour (or other gluten-free flour)

1/ 4 cup potato starch

1/4 cup tapioca starch

3/4 cup sugar (use preferred type such as coconut palm sugar)
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons chia seeds or flaxseed meal
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup  plus 2 tablespoons pumpkin purée

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Position rack in center of oven. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the chia (or flaxseed meal) with water. Let the slurry sit 10 minutes whisking occasionally.
  3. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves together in a large mixing bowl of electric mixer. Set aside.
  4. In the chia slurry bowl, add the oil, molasses and pumpkin. Whisk to blend.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into dry and mix until well blended. Do not over beat.
  6. Pour batter evenly into pans and bake about 20-25 minutes for muffins or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Remove muffins from pan immediately. Cool completely on rack before serving or wrapping for storage.

Dr. Claudia Pillow

Dr. Claudia Pillow coauthored The Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook: The Delicious Way to Strengthen Your Immune System and Neutralize Inflammation with her sister, Annalise Roberts (author of Gluten-Free Baking Classics) As part of her dissertation, she developed and tested a celiac disease school screening tool and is currently in the process of making the program available nationally. She teaches gluten-free culinary classes, lectures nationally and writes for multiple websites.

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5 Responses to Gluten-Free & Vegan Pumpkin Chia Muffins
  1. Patsy Knight
    September 7, 2012 | 2:03 pm

    In this recipe, it calls fora 1/3 c. coconut oil. I am allergic to coconut so what can I substitue for the coconut oil?

  2. Dr. Claudia Pillow
    September 7, 2012 | 2:32 pm

    Canola oil would be a good substitute.

  3. Lisa
    October 11, 2012 | 5:16 pm

    I made these today. They are really good! The only changes I made was using sorghum flour for brown rice flour and almond milk for water. Thanks!

  4. Anne @ EZ Gluten Free
    October 15, 2012 | 10:14 am

    These look wonderful. And they look very nutritious too. I just made a batch of gluten free pumpkin chocolate chip muffins that look a lot more like junk food after seeing your recipe.

  5. Dr. Claudia Pillow
    October 21, 2012 | 7:50 am

    Sorghum is a great brown rice flour substitute!
    Thanks for sharing

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