Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

Fall is here! My favorite time of year. At school we have a Starbucks on each campus I see everyone enjoying the pumpkin muffins, pumpkin coffees etc. and it drives me crazy that I can just run in and grab one of those delicious looking muffins with the cream cheese on them…you know the ones I’m talking about!

I am always stuck for breakfast ideas during the week because I’m usually up by 4am and out of the house by 5 so making a big breakfast or anything just doesn’t work for me. I needed something new, something besides my lovely quinoa muffins, which are delicious but its time to mix it up a bit.

So here is my attempt at those beautiful looking pumpkin muffins that you are seeing out right now – we should all be able to enjoy the lovely tastes of the fall, gluten-free or not. I gave one of these to a co-worker and she said you can’t tell they are gluten-free so I’m going to say that this was a success! These are super moist and delicious. I think it has just the right amount of spice to it.

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Agave Cream Cheese Filling


1 Cup Brown Rice Flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

1/3 Cup Potato Starch (Bob’s Red Mill)

2 Tablespoons plus 2 Teaspoons of Tapioca Starch (Bob’s Red Mill)

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

3/4 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum

1 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

3/4 Teaspoon Allspice

1/2 Teaspoon fine Sea Salt

2 Large Eggs

3/4 Cup Sugar (Wholesome Sweeteners)

1/2 Cup Canola Oil

1/4 Cup Almond or Soy Milk

1 Cup Pureed Pumpkin (Fresh or Canned – not the pumpkin pie filling if you use can)

Maple Cream Cheese Filling

4 Ounces 1/3 Fat Cream Cheese – room temperature

1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar (Wholesome Sweeteners)

1 Tablespoon Maple Agave Nectar (Wholesome Sweeteners)

Method of Prep:

  • Preheat oven to 350•
  • Line a cupcake pan or muffin pan with liners and set aside
  • In a bowl add brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt – mix until well combined.
  • In another bowl add the Sugar and Eggs and mix until smooth.
  • Add the oil, milk, and pumpkin puree – mix until very smooth.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet slowly and mix until fully blended.
  • Fill each muffin liner about 3/4 of the way with the pumpkin mixture, set aside.
  • For the filling: In a stand mixer (or small bowl and use an electric hand mixer) add the cream cheese and beat until smooth – about 1 minute.
  • Add in the powdered sugar and beat well.
  • Finish by adding the maple agave nectar and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  • Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture into the center of each muffin tin – you can leave it as it is, or press them down a bit, or even add a little bit more pumpkin over the cream cheese. Either way you do it, its delicious!
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center with just a few crumbs on it.
  • Cool for 5 minutes in the tin then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • Enjoy!
  • Store in the refrigerator!

EvaRuth’s {Update}

A lot has changed since I first walked in to EvaRuth’s Gluten-Free Bakery in Middletown, RI. I was so excited to find this after we moved here and I still get just as excited about it. This place is a little gem. Ruth, the owner has grown this shop so much over the past year alone.

You’ll find amazing baked goods that are not only gluten-free but you will also find dairy free, and vegan options! She has also perfected an amazing bread recipe that baked fresh and comes in several different varieties (white, Italian, and baguettes). This bread is my favorite – you get about twice the size of ones that you can find frozen in your local grocery store and these are fresh!! Seriously, you can’t beat it and its only a few dollars more…but again, you get more than double the product! There are delicious cupcakes, brownies, cookies, pies, and cakes.

In the last year she has also branched out and started offering lunch options which include sandwiches (on her bread!), and fantastic soups. She is currently working on an egg-less version of egg salad, which I was fortunate enough to get a sample of and it is out of this world delicious. I’m not dairy, egg, or nut free but I would go in and buy this in a heart beat.In addition to trying the egg-less egg salad I was also given a turkey sandwich with homemade tarragon mayo and a cup of chili that was loaded with veggies and quinoa! Oh my goodness, I’m not lying when I saw I wanted to lick the cup…it was that good. The perfect amount of spice, yum yum yum. In addition to the awesome lunch options Ruth has started offering fresh juices. She asked me if I wanted fruit or veggie….I chose the veg because I’m a sucker for V8. She came back with a cup of the Carrot Cleanse juice – I pretty much inhaled it. Delicious, flavorful, and refreshing are the first three words that came to mind as I tried it. You can taste all of the ingredients, which I have come to find as rare in many dishes and drinks. I love knowing exactly what is in my food.

Check out their extensive menu here. You can even order many of these delicious products on-line!

On top of all these great selections she and her staff are simply wonderful people. Always willing to help, answer questions, and offer suggestions if you are torn on what to choose. So if you are in the area please stop by and say hello to them. Also check out their website because they are now in a bunch of local markets and  farmers markets!!

You can read my first post here!

Berry Cornbread Muffins

For me breakfast is the hardest meal of the day. For starters, I get up at 4:00 am and I just can’t eat that early, so I normally take something with me and eat it on my way to campus. My breakfasts usually consist of a Greek yogurt or a scone that I have baked.  This is also the only meal that I get jealous of people with out celiac disease, because they could eat just about anything they wanted for breakfast. We with celiac do not have the convince of stopping at Starbucks (which we have two on campus) to grab something quick to eat.

Making eggs, or pancakes in the morning is just not an option.  It would take too long, can’t really eat it on the go, and I would take the risk of making too much noise and waking up Bryan who gets to sleep in a few hours before he needs to head off to class. Stocking up on pre-made gluten-free items like bagels is also out of the question as we just can’t afford that. So I am on the hunt for new breakfast recipes that I can make on the weekends and have for the school week.

As I looked at the ingredients I had in the house: all-purpose flour blend, corn meal, frozen raspberries, various gluten-free flours, and an orange I thought why not try to make some cornbread muffins for breakfast. Thankfully it was a success! They are mighty delicious and you could use whatever berries you happen to have, fresh or frozen in this recipe. We tend to have a decent supply of frozen fruit on hand – they make tasty and healthy snacks and we love to make smoothies with then.

We are also cutting back on our sugar intake – so the amount in the recipe below is not a lot at all, however you can feel free to add 1/2 cup of sugar instead of the 1/4 the recipe calls for if you wish for a slightly sweeter muffin. I really wanted to taste the corn and berries in this, however I did sprinkle on a little bit of Wholesome Sweeteners Raw Cane Sugar from Malawi (love this stuff), for that “coffee shop” look to the muffins.

I think these muffins will be a very satisfying breakfast – they are filling but still fluffy and moist.

Berry Cornbread Muffins

1 Cup Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour

1/2 Cup Corn Flour

3/4 Cup Corn Meal

1/2 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum (only if your mix does not have it already)

1/4 Cup of Sugar (I use Wholesome Sweeteners Natural Cane Sugar from Malawi)

4 Teaspoons of Baking Powder (make sure it is gluten-free)

1/4 Teaspoon of Salt

Zest of one Orange (reserve some to sprinkle on top after removed from the oven) – You could also use lemon zest.

1/4 Cup Egg Beaters (Or 1 Large Egg)

1 Cup Soy Milk (Almond or other nut milk would work just fine)

1/4 Cup Canola Oil

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract (pure if possible)

1 Cup of Frozen or Fresh Berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together all of the wet ingredients until well combined.
  4. Slowly add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Do not over mix the batter, as it will result in tough muffins.
  6. Gently fold in the berries.
  7. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  8. Scoop the batter evenly into each paper lined muffin cup.
  9. Optional – Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a little bit of the Wholesome Sweeteners Raw Cane Sugar from Malawi.
  10. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  11. Insert a toothpick into the center of the muffins, if it comes out clean or will little stuck to it, the muffins are done.
  12. Optional – Sprinkle with reserved zest
  13. Cool in the pan for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  14. May be eaten warm with a little butter, honey, or agave  if you wish.


EvaRuth’s Wheat Free/Gluten Free Bakery

We live on Aquidneck Island in Rhode Island and around us we have limited options for gluten-free items.  There is one specialty grocery store near us, but we can’t afford to shop there very often, but if there is something specific that I need for a recipe, I would go there first.  Over the past six months we have realized that shopping at just one store for groceries isn’t going to cut it, you need to go to at least two…and if you want any form of gluten-free baked good, well you are pretty much out of luck and have to make it yourself.  Which I don’t really mind but somedays I want someone else to bake it for me.

About a month or so ago I was searching for a gluten free bakery or anything of the sort around me, thinking that like all my previous searchings I would come up with nothing, or if I did find something it would be about 45 minutes away.  To my surprise there was a gluten-free bakery, EvaRuth’s not that far from us!! Yesterday Bryan and I had an afternoon date to the movies and an early dinner but before we headed there we stopped over at the bakery to check it out.  It is located on Aquidneck Ave in Middletown, RI, located behind a little shopping center.

EvaRuth’s is owned and operated by Ruth herself.  Ruth is a very kind and inviting woman who also has celiac disease.  Here is a little information from her website about her and EvaRuth’s:

EvaRuth’s Foods, Inc. is owned and operated by Eva Ruth Flynn, CEO. The mission of EvaRuth’s is to create delicious wheat-free and gluten-free desserts that are convenient to eat and capable of satisfying even the choosiest of customers.

In 1995 Ruth was added to the ever-growing population of people diagnosed with celiac sprue disease. She experienced firsthand the difficulty of finding authentic tasting gluten-free desserts. So combining her love for business with her love for cooking, Ruth dedicated herself to creating true-tasting GF cookies, cakes, muffins, and brownies and the company from which they are sold. Prior to owning and operating EvaRuth’s, Ruth worked as the New England cardiovascular sales representative for GE Medical Systems.

EvaRuth’s is what is called an “old fashion bakery” which simply means, if they don’t have any seats, sell drinks and don’t offer you a fork/knife they don’t have to charge sales tax!! How awesome is that?  Well it gets better…They offer a great selection of freshly baked wheat free, gluten-free and many dairy free options: Cupcakes, Muffins, Scones, Cookies, Brownies and yes fresh-baked Bread. They also make cakes and pies that you can order. I was in love. I had the opportunity to taste some of EvaRuth’s Italian Garlic Herb bread, Pumpkin Muffin (dairy free!), Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Scone and I bought a Cranberry Muffin to take home with me.


The Italian Garlic Bread (they also had available yesterday some tomato herb bread and white bread) is very delicious and super moist.  Ruth said that all the breads slice well and are good as is for about 3-4 days or you can pre-slice it and freeze it like that. Next up with the pumpkin muffin – fresh out of the oven and perfectly flavored, not too over powering of pumpkin but just perfect, very moist and you could still taste the cinnamon, so good.  The Chocolate Chip and Cranberry scone was great too, I really enjoyed the combination of the two flavors.

Along with Ruth yesterday were two students from Johnson & Wales.  The bakery was very clean (which is always nice to see!), everything was measured out on scales to make sure that everything would bake evenly.  Also one of the staff was making a fresh batch of scones, measuring all around the dough with a ruler! I was impressed to say the least.

I had my cranberry muffin for breakfast this morning, and I can’t believe I actually waited until today to eat it.  It looked so pretty and smelled yummy yesterday but I restrained myself. This is probably one of the best gluten-free muffins I have had.  Hands down, awesome.  Fresh cranberries, moist and delicious.  I will definitely be back for more gluten-free goodness and some of that delicious bread.

If you are living around Aquidneck Island and are gluten-free, have a family member who is or are looking for a treat to bring to a friend’s house who is this is the place to go.  EvaRuth’s 796 Aquidneck Ave, Unit D, Middletown, RI 02842 (View Larger Map)

Bacon Cheddar Corn Muffins

Bryan loves cornbread, and so don’t I but he loves it way more than I do.  Over the past year I’ve made him a few batches of the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Corn Bread Mix, which he has grown to like.  It’s a great mix and the closest thing I have come to the real thing.  To him it will never be the same and I get it but thankfully he likes it enough to eat it and even ask me to make it.

Today I thought I would get up early and make him some “breakfast cornbread”.  I opened up a package of the Bob’s Red Mill mix, fried up some bacon, defrosted some frozen corn kernels, grabbed some shredded cheese and brought all the other ingredients to room temperature (per the package instructions) and started mixing away.  I have to say for an experiment they came out pretty darn tasty!

Breakfast Cornbread

1 Package of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free CornBread Mix

6 Strips of Bacon (check package to make sure its Gluten Free)

1/3 Cup of Frozen Corn Kernels – defrosted

1/3 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese

  • Mix according to package instructions.
  • Cook bacon until nice and crispy, but not burnt and then set aside on paper towels to drain off some of the grease.
  • After bacon is drained a bit chop it up into good size pieces (You want to be able to see and taste the bacon in the muffins).
  • Mix in the chopped bacon, corn and cheese into the pre-mixed batter.
  • Scoop cornbread mixture into pre-greased (I use a spray) muffin tins and bake according to package (about 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees) until the tops are a light golden brown.

I made some scrambled eggs to go on the side, but honestly these are pretty filling and are great for breakfast on the go.  They came out nice and tasty and full of flavor!  You can add more cheese if you want, or even adding some chopped green onions would be a nice addition to the flavors already going on.

Canyon Bakehouse – Gluten Free Bakery Products (Review)

Some time last week I was asked by Canyon Bakehouse if I would like to sample their products and review them.  Of course I said yes!  I have been reading all of these amazing reviews about them and couldn’t wait to try them for myself.

The past month has been a bit crazy with packing everything up that I need to ship and trying to figure out what to sell/get rid of and the next month is going to be even more intense.  I’ll be living with some friends for my last month in California to save some money (Thanks so much guys!!), so posting may not be as often until we get settled.

With the big move and all the shipping going on money has been tight so I’ve been trying to make meals that can either make good left overs or be turned in to something else.  One thing I don’t normally buy is bread products because fankly the ones that are out there (especially at Trader Joes) stink!  They are like eating bricks, the feel like one, look like one…you get the point.  I try to make my own, but I had to throw out my bread pan recently because it too stinks.

I come home on Friday after work to find a box full of tasty tooking/smelling products from Canyon Bakehouse.  I opened it up and couldn’t resist trying them right away.  The breads are fluffy and squishy (I’m sure plenty of people do this when they shop for bread..they squeeze first, who wants hard bread?).  Not only did it come with a sample of each of their breads: San Juan 7 Grain, Cinnamon Raisin, Mountain White, and Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia but it also comes with a sample of their Cranberry Crunch Muffins! A little surprise was also in the box…a sample of their hamburger buns (not currently on their website, but watch out for them!).

I first dug in to the Focaccia bread, had to try a little sample of it dipped in some nice warm olive oil.  For dinner last night was some cinnamon raisin toast.  Not only was this bread, soft and fluffy but it has the consistency of real bread that you would buy at any normal grocery store.  The flavor and texture is amazing,  you truly can’t tell there is not gluten to this bread. I think the Focaccia bread would bake for an awesome panini sandwich with some mozzarella cheese, basil and prosciutto (roasted red peppers for Bryan).

Today for breakfast I cut one of the muffins in half and grilled it (with just a little bit of butter).  I’m in love with these muffins…they are the perfect size, just the right amount of cranberries with the added crunch from pumpkin, poppy and sunflower seeds!  Cranberry nut muffins have always been my favorite type of muffin and these have stood up to the test and exceeded my expectations.

I’ve spent most of the morning and afternoon packing things up and sorting through everything else and left no time to go grocery shopping, so I’ve been very thankful for this box of goodies.  I looked around and thought oh I can make an egg sandwich for lunch! And so I did…on the San Juan 7 Grain Bread.  Just a lightly fried egg with some shredded/melted cheese on some toast bread.  Again, you can’t tell the difference with the consistency of the bread.  It’s extremely flavorful.

After all the packing the last thing I wanted to do (obviously if you can’t tell by my last few meals I just wrote about) was to cook a meal.  I was planning on sushi but it just didn’t work out tonight so instead I headed down the road to the little pub and ordered a gluten free cheeseburger to go.  I came home and tried out one of the hamburger buns.  These also are fantastic.  The burger from the pub was a little bigger than my sesame bun and when getting towards the end of my burger I noticed that the bread was starting to fall apart a little bit, but over all it was very good.

I would buy all of these products over and over again.  In fact I already told Bryan that I will be trying to get these in the Whole Foods nearest us when we move and if we can’t find them we need to order them online for sure.  When you are out shopping next time look  for these products.  Here is a little blurb from their site if you can’t find them in your stores:

“You can find our products at the following stores. We are working to expand into additional stores in additional states. If you would like to see our products in your community, please send your suggestions and support to stores@canyonbakehouse.com.”
A very big thank you to Canyon Bakehouse for the samples and the amazing products that you are making…keep it up!  You all are doing an amazing job.  I truly do not miss “real” bread when eating your products.  I truly think this is the best manufactured gluten free bread that I have had.  And yes….all of their products are gluten free!

Blueberry Muffins

I’ve been searching for some new breakfast ideas.  In the past I’ve made some bagels, muffins, or the old stand by crustless quiche. Lately I’ve just been having some yogurt or eggs for breakfast. Usually my weekends are my baking time but not so much this weekend,  I had to work on Saturday and today was spent watching one of my best friends and her mom cross the line of the Big Sur Marathon, then off to hang out and relax with them for the day.  – Way to go Lisa and Lorraine.  But tonight when I got home I was determined to make some muffins before The Amazing race started.  I picked up a bag of frozen blueberries today and blueberry muffins would be made tonight!  I went to one of my favorite Gluten Free Cookbooks – The Allergy Free Cookbook by Alice Sherwood (if you haven’t tried any recipes from this cookbook you really should).

Blueberry Muffins (page 63) – The Gluten Free Version

1/4 cup butter

2 cups GF all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1/4 cup superfine sugar plus extra for dusting (optional)

2/3 cup milk + 1/4 cup – per the gluten free version of this recipe (I use soy)

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

1 cup blueberries

1/4 cup chopped pecans*

ground cinnamon for dusting*

* I added the pecans and cinnamon (into the mix) which weren’t called for in the recipe.  The cinnamon was just suggested for dusting.

Line 6 large or 10 small sections of a muffin pan with paper muffin cups or butter the pan well.  (I have cupcake tins so I needed all 12 of mine lined) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Melt the butter in saucepan.  Remove from the heat and let cool.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.  Stir in the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Make a well in the center, pour in the milk, lemon juice, vanilla extract and egg.  Fold the mixture quickly to combine, but don’t worry if there are a few lumps.  Fold the blueberries and pecans carefully into the mixture.

Spoon (I use an ice cream scoop) the mixture into the prepared pan (they will be almost full).

If desired, sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and sugar.

Bake in the oven until risen, lighlty golden in color and the centers spring back when lightly pressed, about 25 minutes.

Transfer to wire rack, dusk with superfine sugar and let cool.

These muffins are so good!! Same great texture of a real muffin, awesome flavor and I think the addition of the cinnamon and pecans into the recipe was a good idea :)  Eventually I would like to get a muffin tin to make slightly larger ones but for now my cupcake tin works just fine. The great thing about this recipe is you could add pretty much any fruit you like to it…next time I think I’ll add some cranberries, orange zest and a little bit of walnuts, hmmmm.

I love this cookbook and the recipes I have tried out of here.  This is also the cookbook that I get my bread recipe from.

Quinoa Muffins

Quinoa Muffins
(Makes 12 Muffins)

1 cup quinoa rinsed
¼ cup vegetable oil, such as safflower, plus more for pan
1 ½ cups all-purpose gluten free flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for the pan
½ cup almond flour
¾ teaspoon of xanthan gum
¾ cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ crasins
½ chopped nuts
¾ cup whole milk (I use soy milk)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

~ Preheat oven to 350°F
~ In medium saucepan, bring quinoa and 1 cup water to boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, 11 to 10 minutes.
~ Meanwhile, brush a standard 12-cup muffin pan with oil; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
~In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, crasins, nuts and 2 cups cooked quinoa (reserve any leftover quinoa for another use)
~In a small bowl, whisk together oil, milk, egg and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir just until combined; divide batter amount prepared muffin cups.
~Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 25-30 minutes.
~Cool muffins in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
~Store in an airtight container up to 5 days

Adapted from Martha Stewart: Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2008 pg. 142