The first Saturday of autumn must mean this: chocolate chip pumpkin muffins

Hello, hello! I realize my space here has been mighty quiet, but now that the first fall Saturday is here, I’m feeling all nostalgic and can’t resist popping by to share again my family’s tradition for fall Saturdays: chocolate chip pumpkin muffins. I’ve written about these numerous times over the years and have posted my boys’ favorite recipe multiple times, too, but I can’t resist sharing again. My boys are 13 years old now (13!! How?!), and they still insist that Saturdays in the fall must start with these muffins. The only difference is that now, one of my sons will sometimes make them himself. But the first Saturday of the season, it is my job and I treasure it.

It’s been three years since I wrote about these little gems, and I thought I’d share that original post again. This post includes not only the vegan version that my boys have loved for the past decade, but also a paleo version I sometimes make as well.

How about you? Do you have any favorite fall traditions?


from November 2014:

I inadvertently started a tradition in my household some years ago. I made chocolate chip pumpkin muffins one fall Saturday morning, and suddenly my kids declared it a thing to be done every Saturday of fall. When my kids love something I’ve done for them, it’s very hard for me to say “no” to doing it again. Maybe I’m a pushover, but I do it because I realize that a day will come when they are not asking me to make pumpkin muffins for them anymore, and I’m sure I’ll miss it. So for now, pumpkin muffins they shall have.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

I think I’ve probably posted about these before. It’s a recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance : Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock*. I’ve always loved this book. It no longer jibes with my paleo ways, but it’s my kids’ favorite pumpkin muffin recipe, so I oblige. I adapted it to exclude soy milk (which we do not drink), to lower the amount of sugar, and to include chocolate chips.

  • 1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground allspice
  • 1 C pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 C canola oil
  • 2 T blackstrap molasses
  • 1 C ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 12-muffin tin. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, almond milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix. Fold in the chocolate chips. Fill the muffin cups 2/3-full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not try to bake bacon in the oven at the same time, or you risk burning the muffins. Trust me on this. Maybe you never try to bake bacon at the same time as anything else, but I do! Let cool for about 5 minutes. Enjoy!

I love pumpkin muffins, too, but my husband and I prefer not to eat all that flour (and sugar and canola oil). So I’ve begun making paleo pumpkin muffins from one of my favorite paleo cookbooks, Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great*. Here’s my adaptation of her recipe:

  • 2 C blanched almond flour
  • 3 T coconut flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 3/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 3/4 C pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 C pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 T coconut oil, melted
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C ghiradelli chocolate chips
  • 1/2 C chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with baking cups. Sift together almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, spice, and salt in a small bowl and mix to combine. Place the remaining wet ingredients in a large bowl and beat on high with a hand mixer. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix till smooth. Gently mix in the dark chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup 2/3-full. Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Danielle Walker doesn’t mention anything about sifting the almond and coconut flour, but I have found it absolutely essential to creating a better muffin. Otherwise they seem to turn out a bit grainy. However, I’m getting ready to order a superfine almond flour (this one:Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour Super Fine Grind Gluten Free Cholesterol Free albs)* and I’ll see if it makes a sifter unnecessary.

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Paleo Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

These aren’t as pretty as non-paleo muffins, but they are moist and delicious. I serve them with a pat of grass-fed butter and a cup of hot spiced tea. Perfect for fall.

So, that’s our Saturday breakfast tradition. And it is our Sunday breakfast tradition, too – the recipes make enough that there are plenty of muffins to heat up before church on Sunday (and I put a tray of bacon into the oven to bake while we get ready, because baked bacon – that’s how I roll!). How about you? Do you have any favorite paleo muffin recipes? It will soon be winter, and when that happens, my boys will no longer expect pumpkin muffins every weekend. So I’m looking for some wintry ideas!

*affiliate links

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Saturday Morning Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins, Two Ways (vegan and paleo)

I inadvertently started a tradition in my household some years ago. I made chocolate chip pumpkin muffins one fall Saturday morning, and suddenly my kids declared it a thing to be done every Saturday of fall. When my kids love something I’ve done for them, it’s very hard for me to say “no” to doing it again. Maybe I’m a pushover, but I do it because I realize that a day will come when they are not asking me to make pumpkin muffins for them anymore, and I’m sure I’ll miss it. So for now, pumpkin muffins they shall have.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

I think I’ve probably posted about these before. It’s a recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance : Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock*. I’ve always loved this book. It no longer jibes with my paleo ways, but it’s my kids’ favorite pumpkin muffin recipe, so I oblige. I adapted it to exclude soy milk (which we do not drink), to lower the amount of sugar, and to include chocolate chips.

1 3/4 C all-purpose flour

1 C sugar

1 T baking powder

1/4 t salt

1 t ground cinnamon

1/2 t ground nutmeg

1/2 t ground ginger

1/4 t ground allspice

1 C pureed pumpkin

1/2 C unsweetened almond milk

1/2 C canola oil

2 T blackstrap molasses

1 C ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 12-muffin tin. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, almond milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix. Fold in the chocolate chips. Fill the muffin cups 2/3-full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not try to bake bacon in the oven at the same time, or you risk burning the muffins. Trust me on this. Maybe you never try to bake bacon at the same time as anything else, but I do! Let cool for about 5 minutes. Enjoy!

I love pumpkin muffins, too, but my husband and I prefer not to eat all that flour (and sugar and canola oil). So I’ve begun making paleo pumpkin muffins from one of my favorite paleo cookbooks, Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great*. Here’s my adaptation of her recipe:

2 C blanched almond flour

3 T coconut flour

1 t baking soda

2 t cinnamon

3/4 t ground nutmeg

1/4 t ground ginger

1/4 t ground cloves

1/4 t sea salt

3/4 C pumpkin puree

1/3 C pure maple syrup

2 large eggs at room temperature

2 T coconut oil, melted

1 t pure vanilla extract

1/2 C ghiradelli chocolate chips

1/2 C chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with baking cups. Sift together almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, spice, and salt in a small bowl and mix to combine. Place the remaining wet ingredients in a large bowl and beat on high with a hand mixer. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix till smooth. Gently mix in the dark chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup 2/3-full. Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Danielle Walker doesn’t mention anything about sifting the almond and coconut flour, but I have found it absolutely essential to creating a better muffin. Otherwise they seem to turn out a bit grainy. However, I’m getting ready to order a superfine almond flour (this one:Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour Super Fine Grind Gluten Free Cholesterol Free albs)* and I’ll see if it makes a sifter unnecessary.

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Paleo Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

These aren’t as pretty as non-paleo muffins, but they are moist and delicious. I serve them with a pat of grass-fed butter and a cup of hot spiced tea. Perfect for fall.

So, that’s our Saturday breakfast tradition. And it is our Sunday breakfast tradition, too – the recipes make enough that there are plenty of muffins to heat up before church on Sunday (and I put a tray of bacon into the oven to bake while we get ready, because baked bacon – that’s how I roll!). How about you? Do you have any favorite paleo muffin recipes? It will soon be winter, and when that happens, my boys will no longer expect pumpkin muffins every weekend. So I’m looking for some wintry ideas!

*affiliate links

[from the archives] gathered, baked, eaten: raspberries

Because it’s fall, I’m thinking of raspberries. Because I’m thinking of raspberries, I’m imagining baking all my favorite raspberry treats. I went searching through my archives for an old recipe, and found this post from five years ago….

I pretty much love all fruit, with the random and unfortunate exception of grapefruit, but there is one fruit that I love with a wild and unparalleled passion, and that is the raspberry. I adore it. Everything about it. The color, the shape, the zing, the delicacy, those weird little hair-like things that come out of it. I think when I was growing up I probably never ate fresh raspberries, which is astonishing to me now. Then right after college graduation, I lived out in Washington State for the summer, with a family who lived right on the Columbia River. They had raspberry bushes in their backyard, and in late summer when they became ripe, the woman made fresh crepes and served them plain with fresh raspberries. I will never forget that first bite. Bliss. They’ve been my favorite ever since.

My boys’ first field trip of the school year was yesterday – kids and parents all headed out to pick our own raspberries. We were so ready.

Little Buddha, ready for berry-picking

Little Buddha, ready for berry-picking

This time, I was prepared for the fact that the boys were going to want to eat all the berries just standing right there in the field. Oh sure, they played the part of berry harvesters for awhile.

Tiny Dancer, berry farmer

Tiny Dancer, berry farmer

Little Buddha, berry farmer

But before long, they ate the few berries in their buckets and began to just shovel them straight into their mouths.

Little Buddha, berry eater

Little Buddha, berry eater

Tiny Dancer, berry eater

Tiny Dancer, berry eater

Meanwhile, I had to guard my own bucket from their greedy little hands. At the end of the afternoon, I had managed to gather three quarts of berries (at only $3 a quart!). I believe Little Buddha and Tiny Dancer managed to gather about two quarts in their bellies.

who me?

who me?

All that harvesting eating knocked Little Buddha out.

on the way home

on the way home

After we got home, there was still more berry-eating, even as I tried to get dinner ready.

nice block, Little Buddha

nice block, Little Buddha

raspberry smiles

raspberry smiles

In the end, I managed to save enough berries for all my Big Plans. First, there were pancakes. The same Vegan Raspberry Chocolate Chip pancakes I made after we went berry-picking last year (recipe at bottom of linked page).

Then this morning, I made Vegan Raspberry Lime Muffins, adapted from this recipe. YUM.

Vegan Raspberry Lime Muffins

Vegan Raspberry Lime Muffins

Vegan Raspberry Lime Muffins (my adaptation)
2 C flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
zest of 1 lime
1/2 C sugar
1 C vanilla soy milk
1/3 C canola oil
juice of 1 lime
1 T red raspberry vinegar
1 C raspberries
Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients. Pour wet into dry and combine (but don’t overmix). Fold in raspberries. Bake for 20 minutes or so at 400. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

These were so good. SO good.

Here, want one?

Here, want one?

Even with all the baking and eating, I have a little more than a quart of raspberries left. I’m considering a version of Raspberry Lime Bread. Or I may try my first-ever jam-making. Or I may just put the berries on the table and let us all simply enjoy. Because honestly, no matter how yummy all these baked goodies are, nothing quite beats the taste of fresh raspberries.

baked :: in celebration of fall (Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins)

Five years ago, I had a BIG IDEA. It all started with my then-four year-old’s obsession with pears, and my promise that we would have pears once they were in season. When fall officially arrived, he expected his pears, so I created a pear cake. One thing led to another, and the next thing I knew, I had decided to make the Autumnal Equinox a reason for full-on celebration in our household. And because my life philosophy is always GO BIG, I celebrated by making a special breakfast, making a special dinner (a very time-consuming one, as it turned out), and making a special cake.

It was a fun and memorable start to my favorite season, but I vowed after spending so much of the day in the kitchen that, in future celebrations, we would scale back on the cooking/baking and spend part of the day outside. Also, I am older and more tired now. And I’ve learned  that sometimes the philosophy of “It’s the little things” trumps the philosophy of “Go big.”

My boys have inherited my zeal for celebrations and for special traditions, and they have come to expect Pumpkin Muffins on the first day of fall. And not only on the first day of fall, but actually every Saturday of the season. They began reminding me of this several days ago. “Mom, you know that the first day of fall is coming, and you know what that means, right?” “Mom, do you have all the ingredients you need for pumpkin muffins?” “Mom, you do know that we are supposed to have pumpkin muffins every Saturday in fall, right?”

Fortunately, in addition to being delicious, they are also very, very easy. And quick! I don’t mind making them regularly. I don’t even mind making them every week.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Our family is not vegan, but I do a fair amount of vegan cooking and baking, and I have a number of really good vegan cookbooks. One of my favorites is Vegan with a Vengeance, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I’ve adapted her recipe for “The Best Pumpkin Muffins” to include chocolate chips (Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips are vegan, if that matters to you) and to substitute almond milk (which our family prefers to soy milk).  (And of course these don’t have to be vegan at all, if you would like to substitute regular dairy milk for the almond milk – though I can’t vouch for those because we’ve never tried them that way.)

I share this recipe here in case you would like to create your own every-Saturday-muffin tradition. Or in case you just want to whip up one delicious batch. Happy fall, y’all!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins – makes 18 muffins
1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1 1/4 C sugar
1 T baking power
1/4 t salt
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 groung ginger
1/4 t ground allspice
1/8 t ground cloves
1 C pureed pumpkin
1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
1/2 C vegetable oil
2 T molasses
1 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease one 12-muffin tin one half of a second 12-muffin tin.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, almond milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool. Serve (I like mine with Good Earth tea) and enjoy!

As my kids were eating their first pumpkin muffins of the season, I heard one of them say to the other, “I love fall, don’t you?” And the other one said, “As soon as I took my first bite, it reminded me so much of last fall.” It makes this mama’s heart so happy to hear such things, and to know that really, the little things do add up. Happy fall, to you and yours.