PALEO PUMPKIN MUFFINS
They're fluffy. They're pumpkiny. They're gluten-free, dairy-free, and low in refined sugar. Meet my Paleo Pumpkin Muffins, spicing up breakfast with fall flavor now through the holiday season.
Growing up in New Jersey, fall was about technicolor foliage and frostbitten mornings. My junior year in high school, I set up a booth for my town's Oktoberfest street fair. I was part of a nonprofit called "Other Fish To Fry" which aimed to keep kids out of trouble using art. We were raising awareness by displaying our work at the festival, which meant setting up at the ungodly-for-a-teenager hour of 7am.
My hometown of Long Valley is small - more of a village really - with just two main streets that intersect where stone bridge arches quaintly across the Raritan River. The buildings are all historic: the red grist mill next to the charming stone cottage where my brother's best friend lived, Hoffman's Feed Store with the 1979 Ford Mustang parked in back. (Which I unsuccessfully lobbied for as my first car.) And over the bridge, there is of course a crisp white church with a belled steeple spiring skyward.
With the streets closed for the event, we were setting up in front of the feed store. Somebody's dad had already erected a white canopy tent over our booth, so our job was mainly to lug our art projects from my mom's Ford Explorer and arrange them so they looked pretty.
We rubbed our hands together in between arranging pamphlets and setting up easels, warming them with our steaming breath until somebody showed up with a Thermos of coffee and a loaf of pumpkin bread. With our booth set up and the first guests trickling in, we crouched on the curb pinching bites of gingery, raisin-studded pumpkin bread as the first fallen leaves tumbled brightly against our sneakers.
When I bite into one of these Paleo Pumpkin Muffins, I'm immediately transported back to that day. Our rosy, cold-stung cheeks. The way the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg lingered on our tongues, spicing our coffee. And the crisp, energetic feeling of fall; a season of endings that somehow also feels like a beginning.
Whether you enjoy them on a sunny Sunday tailgate, a rainy weekday, or as a light Thanksgiving breakfast, I hope my Paleo Pumpkin Muffins bring you all the delicious feelings of fall.
Scroll down for the recipe.