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I heart all things pumpkin: pumpkin curry, smoothies, breads, muffins, cookies, ice cream, pie, beer. Whoops on those last few, but I do enjoy some sweets from time to time. Moderation. Pumpkin is high in fiber, antioxidants, and the carotenoids that give it the orange color.

All of the above, save for the beer, I’ve managed to alter to meet my gluten free/dairy free needs. It takes many tries in the kitchen to get it right, but it’s enjoyable and tasty time well spent.

I am also allergic to eggs, so lately I’ve been experimenting with egg substitutions in baking that aren’t those EnerG egg replacers: ground flaxseeds mixed with water or applesauce. The ground flax seems to yield a result closer to actual eggs but works best with something that has a nutty flavor for the flax to complement, like breads or muffins. Applesauce makes the baked good super moist, so it works best with cakes or brownies and occasionally breads.

Here is a recipe that I have finally successfully adapted, with the help of a friend who is an excellent baker, to meet what I was striving for: gluten free, dairy free, egg free, sugar free. Don’t turn your nose up. It’s good, and just in time for Halloween pumpkin time. Makes an excellent breakfast smeared with nut butter, coconut butter, or real butter. I have made with both pumpkin or yams that I steamed and then pureed. Enjoy.

Vegan Pumpkin Bread
1 1/2 cups Gluten Free flour (I use Pamela’s, but I believe it has traces of dairy in it)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
dash cloves
1 1/2 cups cooked & pureed pumpkin or cooked sweet potato (roughly 2 small, diced, peeled, and packed into the measuring cup)
1/4 cup unrefined virgin coconut oil
3 TBSP flaxseed meal mixed with enough hot water to make 1/2 cup
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup maple syrup, honey, or agave, or any combo thereof
2 tbsp applesauce
more honey or agave nectar to taste, if needed (I like less sweet)
optional: 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease muffin pan or loaf pan if making bread. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Set aside. Puree pumpkin or sweet potato, flaxseed meal mixture, coconut oil, water, honey/agave nectar, and applesauce in blender until smooth. Mix flour mixture with puree until just combined and spoon evenly into muffin pan cavities.

For the topping if making muffins (NOTE: I haven’t tried it yet, but my cake decorating baker friend developed it, so I am positive it would make a delicious addition)

1/2 cup chopped pecans
almond flour (sorry, didn’t really measure)
coconut oil (didn’t measure this either)
pinch salt
cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
honey/agave nectar/maple syrup to taste

Mix together and distribute evenly over tops of muffins, pressing into the batter slightly to keep topping from falling off. Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into muffins comes out clean. Makes 24 mini-muffins/12 standard muffins. Bake closer to an hour for loaf.

Calories (without topping) ~145

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