My husband is from Bogota, Colombia and let me tell you, Colombians love their pan (the Spanish word for bread)! On our last visit, my son showed major interest in our daily visits to the neighborhood bakery.
Las Tias (the aunts) loved feeding all of us and got great joy to see the newest family member become a fan of all of the traditional Colombian breads. I didn’t think much harm would be done with this cultural experience until my son began asking for the pillowy pan daily. Uh-oh! I could not with a clear conscience give him bread at every request. To make a long answer as short as possible, I basically don’t like to give my son bread as a staple in his diet because it does not contain large amounts of nutrition. For example, white flour is highly processed which removes most or all of the fiber, minerals and vitamins. Bread is also very filling, so I would rather he satisfied his hunger with a food that is supporting his growing body, then him merely eating empty calories.
I began creating a recipe that I could give the family when a bread desire arises. These muffins do not resemble bread completely but they do have a great texture to sink your teeth into with lots of good ingredients. So when I get asked for pan, I offer these muffins and I never feel bad about giving out second or third helpings.
So what is in these babies? A little bit of sweet comes from the vanilla, carrots, and raisins. A lot of nutrients come from the almond flour, garbanzo flour, coconut oil, eggs, and, my secret ingredient, pumpkin puree. Keep reading if you want to know why these nutrients are so good.
Pumpkin puree is one of those alternative baking ingredients that can replace butter easily. It also has the capability to fluff up baked goods. I love the long list of health benefits pumpkin has for adults, toddlers, and babies over six months old. These include pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber, which supports the digestive system. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A and C, manganese, and folic acid that are essential for a healthy immune system.
Almond flour and garbanzo flour are good sources of protein. They also provide iron when combined with vitamin C that is present in the pumpkin and carrot. This is because the body is able to absorb iron (specifically, non-heme iron) from plant sources more readily when eaten with a food containing vitamin C.
Eggs are something I recently started to include into our diets because they are a good source of B12 and contain all nine essential amino acids, making them a complete protein. If you are able to get eggs at your local farmers market this is the best option. Otherwise, The Vital Farms brand are a good alternative because they support a more humane way of treating the chickens. Egg yolks from happy chickens have a more golden color and taste better.
Did you know that there are “fake” and “true” cinnamons? Yup, that’s right. Not all cinnamons are created equal. Ceylon cinnamon, with a tan-brown color is the one you want to reach for. It is the true cinnamon that has been used as a traditional herbal medicine for centuries. Watch out for the Cassia type of cinnamon that is cheaper and dark-brown red in color. You can buy Ceylon cinnamon here or at your local health food store. Most supermarkets will carry the cheaper, fake cinnamon
I love baking with coconut oil for its healthy fats, also called medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). The MCFAs in coconut oil go through a 3 step process to be turned into fuel, whereas other fats have to go through a 26 step process. These healthy fats in coconut oil are easily turned into energy and are not easily stored as fat in the body.
For you new moms out there, coconut oil is a great source of energy for children’s rapidly growing brain because the fatty acids provide the perfect building blocks for healthy cells. MCFAs also support breast milk production. Dr. Claudia Pillow says, “Coconut oil contains large amounts of lauric acid, a powerful anti-microbial fatty acid that protects the immune system of the fetus and newborn. Pregnant and nursing mothers should eat coconut oil to increase the quality of the womb environment and breast milk”. This is a great article to read more about this topic.
*If you have cholesterol issues, like my husband, I recommend omitting the coconut oil in this recipe and adding ¾ cup of almond milk in place of it.
SOME BUNNY LOVE YOU MUFFINS
You will need these ingredients:
Makes: 24 small muffins + 12 large muffins
Tip: When buying your organic pumpkin puree, make sure you do not buy pumpkin pie filling. Organic pumpkin puree is simply pumpkin and nothing else. While pumpkin pie filling has added sugars and spices.
Step by step:
To begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your muffin tins with parchment paper cups or grease them with a little bit of coconut oil. Get all of your ingredients ready by pulling the eggs out of the fridge so they can adjust to room temperature, open your can of pumpkin and make sure your coconut oil is melted. If your coconut oil is solid so you will need to melt it by placing the glass jar in a hot pot of water ( I do not recommend this for plastic jars as the plastic can leech into the coconut oil when heated). You want it completely melted until it turns clear.
In a food processor, pulse the carrots to bits and set aside. Also in the processor pulse the raisins and set aside. If you don’t have a food processor (get one here) you can chop these by hand. I like the carrots and raisins to be small as possible so that they will be evenly divided in the muffins.
Lets get baking! In a large bowl, put all of your dry ingredients: garbanzo flour, almond flour, rice flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Give it a good whisking to break up any clumps and to combine the ingredients evenly. Place the carrot shreds in the bowl and toss until the carrots are completely covered in the flour mixture. I like to use my hands for this. Make sure the carrots are well floured and there is no substantial flour sitting on the bottom of the bowl.
Next, fold in the pumpkin puree. Do this by folding the floured carrots on top of themselves. This will create your “dough”. Mix the raisins into the dough so that they are evenly scattered. Since the raisins are sticky in tiny pieces you will need to separate them by rubbing them into the dough at the same time you are folding the dough over the raisins. Make sure there are no large clumps of raisins. I like to turn the bowl after each fold so that I make a complete circle by the time I am done.
In a separate bowl it is time for the wet ingredients. Place the coconut oil, vanilla, and eggs, adding them one at a time. As you add the eggs whisk (with a whisk or a fork) them into the oil and vanilla until all ingredients are combined and a beautiful yellow color.
To bring it all together, take the wet mixture and add it into the carrot/flour dry mixture. It is almost like you need to scramble the wet ingredients into the dry, forcing them to combine. Once the wet and the dry have created one batter you are ready to bake your muffins. Spoon a heaping tablespoon into each muffin tin. You want the muffin cups to be almost filled to the top.
Bake the mini muffin tins for 17 minutes and the large muffin tins for 30 minutes. A great little test is to insert a toothpick into the center of the muffin. If the toothpick slides in and out without any batter sticking to it they are done. After they bake, if you don’t use parchment paper cups, you may need to go around the edges of each muffin with a silicone spatula to unstick sides before you remove from the tins.
This pan’s for you! Enjoy and remember, some bunny loves YOU,