Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese

I am WAY behind on my blog. So turns out school and work and trying to stay Paleo/Primal/Ancestral Health isn't as easy as I'd thought it'd be! And slowly I started consuming a little junk here and a little junk there (except wheat!), and wouldn't you know, I was back to having stomach problems here and stomach problems there, and well, you can see where this is going... But I am getting back on track! And I am even more convinced that eating with an Ancestral Health approach is even more important than ever. Because in the last week and a half that I have gone back to being much stricter with my eating, I've already seen improvements. I've lost 4 lbs, reduced many IBS symptoms, have more energy (yes, I am still tired, but I am not so exhausted I can't cope tired), and I'm slowly starting to feel a little better mentally. So with all that being said, let's say hello to the cold of fall and good bye to junk with some Pumpkin Muffins! After this, I'm cutting back even more on sugars and white starches than I did before.

Ok, so yes, this recipe does have sugar in it. And yes, that means that it’s not exactly 100% in line with the ancestral health approach. But everybody needs a treat every now and again. And you want a treat that tastes amazing but isn’t horribly terrible to indulge in. So while this recipe does have some sugar, I cut the amount by a lot. And I still approached the rest of the recipe with a Paleo/Primal approach. If you’re gonna be bad, at least stick to as many of the basic principles as you can, right? This recipe is still gluten-free and corn-free. It uses real grass-fed butter and pasture-raised eggs. And it also uses real full-fat cream cheese. Please note that my approach allows for some consumption of white rice and potato starch, so this isn’t really too far off the path for me. The other important thing to remember: don’t overindulge. Stick to one or two and then give the rest away or throw them in the freezer for another treat day!

Pumpkin Muffins
1-15 oz Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
1 stick butter, softened
3 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups canned pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie mix!)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (plus more for topping)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly with a stand mixer or hand mixer. Mix at least 2-3 minutes. Grease your muffin or cupcake pan with butter or use paper liners. The GF cake mix is a lot denser than normal cake mix so fill the muffin tins up pretty high. I went almost to the top and got a good-sized muffin. This won’t make for as many muffins so keep that in mind. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool and then top with cream cheese frosting and a dash or two of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.

Cream Cheese Frosting
2-8 oz packages of full-fat cream cheese, softened
½ cup powdered sugar (or less!)

In a stand mixer (or food processor), combine the packages of cream cheese and half the powder sugar. Blend together. Slowly add more powdered sugar until the desired sweetness is present. This makes for a cream-cheesier frosting, but I know that I can’t handle all that sugar!