Pumpkin Mini Muffins & Bars – all natural, gluten free, sugar free, vegan.

pumpkinbarsmuffinsAnother pumpkin recipe! Sick of ’em yet? :) I aspired to make some raw vegan pumpkin bars, for which the pumpkin filling part of it was PERFECT! But unfortunately the base that I made for a crust was way too overpowered by the taste of molasses (who knew that just two tablespoons of molasses can totally overpower a recipe?!) It was way too strong to eat, so since I no longer had a base for my pumpkin filling I decided to switch gears. To the raw vegan pumpkin filling I added 2 flax “eggs”, applesauce, gluten free flour, coconut & safflower oils, salt, and baking powder. Now I had a perfect batter for a homemade vegan pumpkin mini muffin recipe or also a homemade vegan pumpkin bars recipe.

    Makes 24 mini pumpkin muffins AND 20 1.5 x 2 inch pumpkin bars

Ingredients and Directions – you must have a scale for this recipe to measure some ingredients in ounces

For the raw vegan pumpkin filling (you could use just this part of the recipe to make a raw vegan pumpkin pie) add the following ingredients to your food processor and process until it’s perfectly smooth. (Strain the water from the dates and cashews first).

10 ounces pitted medjool dates, that have soaked in water for 10 minutes
4 ounces raw cashews, that have soaked in water for 10 minutes
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Scrape the filling into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and add all of the following ingredients, mixing until evenly combined.

2 flax eggs (mix 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal in a bowl with 6 Tbsp water and let it sit for 10 minutes. Be patient!)
4 ounces unsweetened applesauce
9.9 ounces Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix
3.5 ounces softened coconut oil (1/2 cup)
3 ounces safflower oil (1/2) – you could substitute vegetable oil or sunflower seed oil too
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
*optional: 3.5 ounces chopped chocolate bars (a LOT of chocolate out there is naturally vegan. Just check the ingredients! I used 3 squares of Trader Joe’s 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Bar)

Batter will be pretty dense. For mini muffins, spoon the batter into mini muffin tin until it reaches the top and smooth it with the back of the spoon. Bake for 7 minutes, rotate the pan, then bake an additional 7 minutes.

For pumpkin bars, scrape the batter into two parchment-lined 9 x 11 inch pans. Or one large parchment-lined 18 x 22 inch pan. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan(s), then bake an additional 10 minutes.

Enjoy plain or top with your favorite frosting once cooled. I made two delicious frostings:

Vegan Caramel topping recipe:
Process on high for 3 minutes: 1.5 Tbsp cornstarch, 7.5 ounces organic coconut sugar, 2.5 ounces coconut oil, 1/4 cup non dairy powdered coffee creamer, 2 Tbsp water, and 1/4 tsp each vanilla extract and butter extract.

Vegan creamy white frosting:
Beat on high for 2 mins: 1/2 cup softened coconut oil, 2 Tbsp non-dairy powdered coffee creamer, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract, 8 ounces powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp water

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