Sunday, October 23, 2011

High Fiber Pear Walnut Muffins (Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan) plus Halloween Treats Ahead

Because I shouldn't eat most of my baked goods these days, the best way I have of knowing if something is tasty is by how long it lasts on the kitchen counter. These particular muffins disappeared, one by one, every morning. I had to make a couple of batches to be sure I had them exactly as I wanted them, and I had assumed that no one else would like them since my goal was to make a "healthy" muffin, meaning hearty, dense, and sugar-free. But disappear, they did, and I was assured that they were indeed a delicious and filling breakfast. In fact, with the addition of dates, flax seeds, and chia seeds, my housemates told me they were satisfied for hours after eating these muffins. They also told me that the best way to eat them was to toast them and add a pat of coconut oil or Earth Balance.

Since I'm such a fan of making recipes your own, you can easily sub in 4 cups of your own gluten-free flour blend for the flours and starches in this recipe. This particular mix of flours was chosen for its hearty nutritional profile, but if you prefer a lighter muffin, feel free to increase the amount of starch and decrease the other flours accordingly.  Just make sure your blend doesn't include xanthan or guar gum, as this recipe doesn't need them.

Now, before I get to the recipe, I have some fun news for you all! Since we're gearing up for that most delightful of holidays, I thought it would be nice to send you all some Halloween treats. No, it's not a big bag of gluten-free candy (although that would be cool too). I've just been sitting on a number of giveaways, too lazy busy to post them for you. So this week, I'm making it a Pre-Halloween Giveaway Week of Treats! Two of them are actually ingredients in this recipe... Want to know what they are? Stop by tomorrow for the first giveaway of the week!

High Fiber Pear Walnut Muffins (Print-Friendly Option)

1 ½ cups pitted dates
4 tablespoons flaxseed meal
2 tablespoons chia seed meal
1 cup boiling water
2 cups garbanzo bean flour
1 ½ cups amaranth or buckwheat flour
½ cup arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ cups unsweetened nut or seed milk (hemp, almond, etc.)
½ cup coconut oil (room temperature)
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon liquid stevia
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup diced pear (1 large pear)
½ cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. Place dates, flaxseed meal, and chia seed meal in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over them and let sit while you prepare the other ingredients. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, starch, spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together milk, oil, vanilla extract, stevia, and apple cider vinegar. 
  5. Pour the date mixture into a blender and puree until smooth. Add the wet ingredients (milk, oil, etc.) and continue to puree until completely smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until just combined. Fold in the pears and walnuts. Scoop into the muffin tins. The batter will overflow the tins. You can wet your fingers with water to smooth the batter so the tops are nice and round. Bake for 28 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins. You can store these hearty muffins in an airtight container on the counter for a few days or put them in the freezer. 

This post is linked to Wellness Weekends at Diet, Dessert and Dogs, a love fest of vegan food!
Visit this month's Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten-Free at For the Love of Food


Ricki said...

Wow, these look terrific--and I can eat them, with NO CHANGES!! Whoo hoo--wheeeeee-yayyy!! *does a little dance* Thanks so much for joining in on Wellness Weekend this week, Iris! :)

Fayinagirl (means Free One) said...

Those look delicious and there's nothing in them I can eat. I'm so excited!

Iris said...

2 for 2!? I'm so happy! I knew this recipe would work for the health nuts like me ;)

Deanna said...

3 for 3, now. With buckwheat and arrowroot, it's "grain" free as well, which means that I could eat em! (Buckwheat in small quantities seems okay so far, whew. Yay for pseudo grains, eh?)

The kiddo has been asking for another batch of muffins. I think these are the ones, for sure!

Iris said...

Woohoo 3 for 3! I always hesitate to call my recipes grain-free when they include the pseudo grains, since I know some people are super strict about it. But that was part of my goal with this recipe (to make it grain free)

G.F.Veg said...

really interested in trying these. have never used chia seeds. could i do all flaxseed, do you think?

Iris said...

G.F.Veg: Good question! I have a feeling all flax would work...originally, I used whole psyllium husks, which are a bit different, but I felt more people would prefer chia seeds. Can't hurt to give it a try!

G.F.Veg said...

thanks. will let you know how it goes!

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Those muffins looks awesome, Iris! And what fun on a week of Halloween giveaways!


maggie said...

YUM! I love your flour choices Iris. And I also love pear in my muffins :) I'm sorry you can't eat your baking :( xo

Jonathan said...

These look delightfully hearty - perfect for our cooling weather and a great way to start the day. Bet they would also make awesome french toast.

Your roommates are super lucky, btw. Hope they know that. :)

Unknown said...

Do you think these would work subbing in almond meal and/or coconut flour for all of the buckwheat/amaranth? Thanks!

Iris said...

Unfortunately, almond meal and coconut flour work really differently from the other gluten-free flours. You could experiment with them, but it would take a few tries to get it right. It would probably be easier to start with a muffin that already uses those flours and then just add in the pears and walnuts.


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