In Vancouver we are nearing the end of what has been a phenomenal October. It has been so dry, and sunny that we’ve actually been able to experience fall colours at their finest, instead of our typical rain + dead leaves = mushy mess. This amazing weather has led to a bumper crop of pumpkins in BC, which has been good for pumpkin growers, and pumpkin lovers alike.  To celebrate, I’ve got a yummy grain-free, paleo-friendly pumpkin muffin recipe to share, but first let’s take a look at why Pumpkins are so much more than a festive gourd we carve to welcome trick-or-treaters.

5 Reasons You Should Carve Your Pumpkin & Eat it Too

  1. Improves eye-sight – Pumpkins are especially rich in Vitamin A weighing in at 171% of your RDA per 1 cup of pumpkin puree (1). This powerful punch of Vitamin A will help protect mucous membranes in the body, protecting the surface of the eye and preventing dry eyes, inflammation of the eye and other eye specific bacteria and diseases. Vitamin A also helps prevent night blindness, keeping your eyesight sharp, even in dim light.
  2. Keeps your skin young and glowing – Pumpkin is rich in anti-oxidant vitamins A, C & E and if you eat the seeds too, you’ll also get a boost of Zinc. Vitamin A, or retinol, is widely acknowledged for its contribution towards healthy skin by promoting cell turn-over and preventing acne (2). As anti-oxidant vitamins, these nutrients are agents that neutralize the oxidant effect of free radicals, which can damage collagen in the skin, thus preventing dryness, fine lines and wrinkles (3) – all of which will keep your skin looking healthy and young. 
  3. Boost your immunity – Rich in both vitamin C and beta carotenes, eating pumpkin can help you ward off colds and flus, and other ailments. Vitamin C and beta carotene can stimulate the production and activity of white blood cells, (4)(5) which are your body’s soldiers against pathogenic invaders. So it may be perfect that pumpkin season falls right in line with the start of cold and flu season. 
  4. Keeps your digestion system running smoothly – Pumpkin is rich in fiber, particularly soluble fiber, with 1 cup of canned pumpkin providing 7 grams, or 28% of your daily value (6). Fiber is important in keeping the pipes flowing…if you catch my drift. Getting enough fiber in your diet will help keep you regular, preventing constipation and preventing a buildup of toxic waste in your intestines. 
  5. Replenishes muscles after exertion – Fun fact: there is more potassium in a serving of pumpkin than in a banana! With 564mgs of potassium to a banana’s 422mg (7), pumpkin can be a great post-work out snack. It’s important to replenish your potassium stores during or after a workout to avoid muscle cramping, weakness, fatigue, heart palpitations and constipation (8).

And now for the recipe! This grain-free treat is like a bundle of autumn in every bite. You can make these with or without the cream cheese, depending on your dairy-tolerance level. I happened to have some cream cheese on hand as I was experimenting with making whey and cream cheese from yogurt (more on that later!)

Gluten & Grain Free Pumpking Muffins with Cream Cheese Center
Yields 12
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
186 calories
15 g
98 g
12 g
4 g
5 g
76 g
215 g
9 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 186
Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
Saturated Fat 5g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 98mg
Sodium 215mg
Total Carbohydrates 15g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 9g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1/2 cup coconut flour
  2. 5 eggs, pastured
  3. 1/4 cup grass fed butter or coconut oil, softened
  4. 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or homemade - not pumpkin pie filling
  5. 1/3 cup grade B/No. 2 Maple Syrup
  6. 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice, or add more to your heart's desire
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 2 tsp vanilla pure extract
  9. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  10. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  11. 1/4 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
  12. 1/4 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips, optional
  13. 1/2 cup cream cheese, optional
  14. 2 tbsp grade B/No. 2 maple syrup
  15. 1 tsp vanilla pure extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease 12 muffin tins or line with muffin cups and set aside.
  2. Add coconut flour, eggs, butter/oil, pumpkin and maple syrup to bowl. With a hand mixer mix until well combined and smooth. Let bowl stand for a few minutes for the coconut flour to absorb the moisture from the accompanying ingredients.
  3. Add the spice, salt and vanilla and mix again with the hand mixer. Add in baking soda, baking powder and apple cider vinegar and mix again. Your batter should be thick, but not too dry.
  4. If adding chopped nuts or chocolate chips, add these now, and fold in using a spatula or a wooden spoon.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and 1 tsp of vanilla and set aside.
  6. Begin spooning your batter into your muffin tins. If you have a dairy allergy, and are skipping the cream cheese, fill your muffin tins 3/4 of the way.
  7. If you are adding cream cheese, put a small dollop of batter in the bottom of the tins. Then spoon in a drop or two (however much cream cheese you'd like) into the tins on top of the batter you just added. Then add additional batter on top of the cream cheese to seal it in. By the end your muffin tins should be 3/4 full.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes. (Start checking the muffins at about 30 minutes).
  9. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Aly Lewis, R.H.N.