• Sasha

Maple, Pecan and Nutmeg Gluten-Free Muffins

The softest, fluffiest and most aromatic Canadian-inspired muffins that are naturally sweetened and so good you'd never be able to tell are gluten-free!

This is a recipe that quickly became a favourite of mine when I was living in Canada a few years back. Of course, it's maple syrup heaven out there so I definitely took advantage of that, especially when it came to baking, and these muffins are just one of the many maple-based recipes that were born whilst I was there!


As maple syrup is naturally quite high in sugar, it's used as the sole sweetener in this recipe. As a result, its taste and sweetness is subtle but it works really well and pairs beautifully with the pecans and nutmeg. If you're looking to make them a little on the sweeter side, feel free to add more maple syrup. They make a great grab-n-go breakfast or a lovely accompaniment to a cup of tea!


The nutritional benefits?


Overall, these muffins are a great source of fibre and, thanks to the pecans and nutmeg, are also high in antioxidants, which protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals.


Some benefits of pecan nuts:

  • Loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid, which has been shown to improve immune system functioning and reduce inflammation

  • One of the best dietary sources of vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant

  • Rich in magnesium, which has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to help reduce the risk of inflammatory ailments such as arthritis and Alzheimer's disease

  • Good source of manganese, which is vital for nerve conduction and brain function

  • Contain vitamin A, zinc, folate and phosphorus which play a key role in maintaining good skin

Nutmeg is also known to possess several health benefits, such as soothing indigestion, improving cognitive function, detoxifying the body and boosting skin health.


Ingredients and substitutes


Gluten-free self raising flour


I used gluten-free self-raising flour by Dove's farm (the best in my opinion) but if you want to make these muffins more hearty, you could also use oat flour, just add 1/2 tsp more baking powder if you do!


If you're not gluten-free, you can substitute for regular self-raising flour.


"Buttermilk"


Traditionally, buttermilk is used in baking as a leavening agent and to give baked goods their light and fluffy textures. If you aren't dairy or lactose intolerant, you can go ahead and use ordinary buttermilk or you can even make your own in the same way I did, just using regular milk. Yogurt can also be used instead.


I made my own dairy-free version by adding a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to coconut milk, whisking it and letting it sit for about 10 minutes. Fresh lemon juice can be used instead of apple cider vinegar and of course, you can use any plant-based milk of your choice!

Maple, Pecan and Nutmeg Gluten-Free Muffins


Makes: 12

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 35-40 minutes


INGREDIENTS


350g gluten-free self-raising flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

350ml coconut milk, or any plant-based milk of your choice

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

70g unsalted butter, melted

200g pecan nuts, chopped (plus 12 extra for toppings)

200ml maple syrup


METHOD


1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Make the buttermilk by adding coconut milk and apple cider vinegar to a jug. Whisk together and let it sit for 10 minutes.


2. Mix flour, salt, nutmeg, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl until well combined.


3. In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract. Pour into the dry mixture and mix until everything is just combined.


4. Pour in the melted butter and mix. Stir in 150ml of the maple syrup and the chopped pecan nuts and continue to mix until well combined.


5. Spoon mixture into muffin tray lined with paper cases and fill until about two-thirds full. Use a spoon to drizzle the remaining maple syrup on top of the muffins and then top each one with a pecan nut. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until muffins are golden brown.


Store in an airtight container and consume within 4 days.


I hope you love this recipe!


Love,


Sasha

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