Well, it's officially fall. And fall is the season of pumpkin everything. I'm joining right in with these Pumpkin Pecan Muffins. I made these muffins with almond flour and they are a delicious way to enjoy pumpkin, one of the food stars of autumn.
Almond Flour, or Almond Meal, Are They the Same?
Although both almond flour and almond meal are made from ground almonds, they are not the same. For almond flour, the almonds are blanched and peeled before grinding very finely. Almond flour is lighter in colour and finer than almond meal, making it a good alternative to all-purpose flour in baked goods.
Almond meal is made from raw almonds and includes the skin, giving it a coarser texture and a darker colour. I love almond meal as a breading ingredient for chicken or shrimp, and it works well in homemade granola and energy balls.
Can I Substitute All-Purpose Flour in This Recipe?
The answer is yes, you can substitute all-purpose flour for the almond flour. This is possible because almond flour is a 1.1 measure for measure in recipes with all-purpose flour. However, without the texture and flavour of the almond flour, these won't be the same muffin. If possible, I really encourage you to give the almond flour a try. Even if gluten isn't an issue for you, almond flour adds a delicious twist to many baked goods. A couple of delicious examples: Apple Ricotta Cake or Cranberry Date Squares
Can I Substitute Any Other Flour for Almond Flour?
There are lots of alternative flours. Some common ones are coconut flour, chickpea flour, oat flour, buckwheat flour, as well as other nut flours. None of them can be used in this recipe without a lot of tinkering and no guarantee of success. Each specific flour has a different weight, and different levels of fat, protein and carbohydrates. And each type of flour absorbs moisture differently, requiring the addition of more or less liquid, oil, or eggs.
And sometimes, you can forgo the flour altogether, like with these absolutely delicious Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
Canned Pumpkin Puree VS Fresh
Fresh everything is always better tasting, in my books. However, sometimes convenience has to win, and canned pumpkin puree is convenient, tasty and nutritious. I used canned pure pumpkin puree for these muffins. You can use fresh pumpkin flesh to make this recipe, but you will need to cook and puree it first. If you want to see a comparison, this is a great article: Canned Pumpkin vs Fresh Pumpkin.
Pumpkin: It's Very Nutritious
Every fall, it's fun to see how much people love to jump on pumpkin recipes and embrace pumpkin spice everything. Which is so great, because pumpkin is actually not just tasty, but also crazy, super healthy. Both canned and fresh pumpkin are loaded with nutrients, including Vitamin A, C, E and minerals Potassium, Magnesium and Iron. And additionally, pumpkin is loaded with fibre and antioxidants, too.
Are These Muffins Healthy?
Pumpkin, as I mentioned, is highly nutritious. Almonds and pecans, like most nuts, are high in fibre and hearty healthy fats. Nuts, as well as eggs are also protein-rich, so these pumpkin pecan muffins are perfect for breakfast or snacks and will keep you full for a long time.
Versatile Pumpkin: For Sweet or Savoury Recipes
Guess what? Pumpkin is more than just pie. Try it in recipes like:
Pumpkin Pecan Muffins
- 1 ¾ cups almond flour
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or spray with cooking spray
- In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cloves, nutmeg, and half of the pecans
- In another bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin puree, vegetable oil and vanilla
- Stir the pumpkin mixture swiftly into the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined
- Spoon into the prepared muffin cups, dividing evenly.
- Sprinkle tops with the remaining pecans
- Bake in the centre of the oven until the tops are golden and firm to the touch. (About 20 minutes)
- Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes
- Remove muffins from the pan and allow to cool completely on a rack.