Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pumpkins, Glorious Pumpkins

One of the best parts of fall is the annual trip to the local pumpkin patch. We started this tradition in our family 3 years ago when we moved back to the Midwest. There's a local apple orchard that has a very large pumpkin patch. We enjoy taking a ride on the hay wagon down to the patch and combing through all of the pumpkins to find just the right pumpkin for each member of the family. This year, mine was a blue squash, and Doodle found a white pumpkin. When we started the tradition Doodle found a pumpkin just the right size for a 2 1/2 year old. She immediately named him "Charlie". Charlie went with her every where! When he started to rot, Grandpa tried to swap him out with a similar pumpkin. She waltzed in the room and immediately declared "Where's Charlie? That pumpkin is not Charlie." There was no fooling her. Last year she found Charlie the Second, who was accompanied by two small gourds whom she referred to as her new brothers "Jimmy and Jerry." Charlie and Jimmy are pictured above with Doodle at the orchard. Jerry lives to this day - Jimmy didn't survive through the winter last year.
This year's trip to the pumpkin patch was no exception and she has named her white pumpkin Charlie the Third.

In honor of Charlie the Pumpkin, I made Gluten Free Pumpkin muffins today. Here's the recipe.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins

1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Agave Nectar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups GF All Purpose Flour Blend
1/2 Cup Almond Flour (if you don't have almond flour, add 1/2 cup more to the GF all purpose flour)
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp ground Cloves
1 16 oz can Pumpkin Puree
1/2 cup Canola Oil
1 tsp GF Vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins or spray with non-stick spray.

2. Blend together Sugar, Agave Nectar, and Eggs. Beat Well.

3. Add remaining ingredients and beat well - 1 to 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins and place in oven.

4. Cook for 20 -25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean. Cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes and remove to wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

I added in the Almond Flour to this recipe because I like the extra protein it provides Doodle. You may not have almond flour in your pantry, so just substitute an equal amount of GF All Purpose Flour instead. We may find some Dairy Free cream cheese (i usually buy Tofutti brand) to make some Cream Cheese Frosting to top off the muffins, but I try to keep Doodle's exposure to soy at a minimum. The muffins taste great without the frosting, so I may skip it this time.

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