Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bites

My inspiration for creating a pumpkin recipe came first when I was at work yesterday and my last customers of the day were a little boy and his mother.  The boy had a delicious looking pumpkin cookie and was smiling happily while he chewed.  It's not nice to steal cookies from a child (and it was likely gluteny anyway) so I knew I had to make my own pumpkin dessert.

My second inspiration was coming home to a freezing cold apartment. (I later discovered that one of my radiators is broken.)  What better way to heat the apartment than to turn on the oven?

After reviewing some gluten-free pumpkin cookie recipes and muffin recipes, I either didn't have the proper flours/starches or the recipes just didn't appeal to me.

I was looking for something healthy and wanted something all my own.

So I got to work in the kitchen, taking some hints from regular gluteny recipes and trying to figure out how to substitute with gluten-free ingredients and make my creation healthier.  I cut down on the sugar and butter recommended in most other recipes and added in some healthy(ish) flours and quinoa flakes!

At first I wasn't sure if this would create a cookie or a muffin... and after a failed pan of cookies that looked more like muffin tops, I decided this was a mini muffin mix.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bites (Mini Muffins)

Group 1
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar (also works with 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup white sugar (also works with 3/4 cup)

Group 2
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
2 tbsp blackstrap molasses

Group 3
1 cup Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Mix
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup quinoa flakes
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice

Single Ingredient
1 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350*.

Use fork to mix together ingredients in Group 1 in a big bowl.

Add each ingredient from group 2 and beat with fork for one minute.

In a separate smaller bowl, mix together ingredients in group 3.

Add half of dry mixture and 1/2 cup pumpkin to the sugary wet mix.  Mix well until smooth.  Add the rest of the dry mix and pumpkin and mix well.

Add optional ingredient if you would like and stir.

Fill the mini muffin pan(s) with a spoonful of the mix so each one is approximately level with the pan surface (don't smooth the surface) and cook for approximately 18 minutes.  Turn tray halfway through if needed.

Cool on rack and enjoy!  Perfect for Thanksgiving and other gatherings in the fall.  Heck, it's good any time.

Makes approximately 4 dozen mini muffins.

I used Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Dark Brown Sugar, Organic Sugar and Organic Blackstrap Molasses. Wholesome Sweeteners is a gluten-free environment!

If you're wondering why there is yogurt in there... since I forgot I don't have baking powder, an internet search indicated that I needed to add yogurt with my baking soda to create the same effect. 

I added some blackstrap molasses because it is a great source of vitamins and minerals.  I am also iron deficient (what's new?) and molasses is a really good source.  Over the next few weeks, I will be experimenting with molasses in more recipes.

The quinoa flakes act as oat flakes but they do not leave the same amount of "chewiness" as oat flakes in the finished product.  Quinoa adds protein, fiber and minerals to the recipe.  Honestly, I didn't even taste the quinoa flakes and I may try to add more to my next attempt.

I'm in love with this recipe... I ate my Pumpkin Bites for breakfast and took some to work on Sunday for a snack.  I also had a couple for dessert after dinner.  They are quickly disappearing.  Good thing I have leftover pumpkin and can make more!

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