My favorite part of Thanksgiving has always been the morning.
The day begins bright and early, bundled into as many layers as Randy for a family 5k Turkey Trot fun run around town. We’re back just in time for the start of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, our soundtrack as cooking commences and ensues for the next several hours.
Aprons donned, hands dirty, the kitchen a little center of warmth and love. The hours of prepping with Mom and Nana is the essence and spirit of Thanksgiving for me. Not sitting down and eating at the end of the day, but the whole process of creating throughout the morning.
The one small part of the day that often gets overlooked is breakfast. We typically nibble on something quick and small as we dive head first into cooking, powered by post-run endorphins and pure energy from the day.
This year, I’m adding a healthy breakfast to our morning of culinary and memory creation. Deliciously filling gluten-free and vegan Morning Glory Pumpkin Muffins.
These muffins can be made in advance. Either way in advance and frozen, taken out the night before to thaw for Thanksgiving morning. Or, they can be baked a day or two before, stored in an airtight container.
A food processor and a large mixing bowl are really all you need to prepare these muffins. No dirtying a ton of dishes or adding more to Thanksgiving clean-up than necessary.
Gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats and pecans are pulsed into a coarse meal. Gluten-free oat flour and spices are added to the same food processor bowl, pulsed until combined then set aside in a large mixing bowl.
Using the same food processor bowl, the wet ingredients come together – pitted and chopped Medjool dates, pumpkin purée, apple cider, and vanilla extract. Pulsed into a batter, the wet ingredients are added to the bowl of dry ingredients until thick dough forms.
Portioned out into a muffin tin (an ice cream scooper comes in handy here), the muffins are ready in 20 minutes.
These are not your super sweet pumpkin spice muffins. They are subtly sweet, the naturally sweet essence of pumpkin, apple cider, and dates shining through the rich, deep oat and nuttiness.
Did I also mention that these muffins contain no refined sugar, oil, butter, or eggs?
Light and fluffy, but with a hearty texture. Moist and with good, good crumb.
Flecks of chopped pecans speckle the muffins, the pinch of cloves lingering with each bite.
There’s something about the muffins that’s addicting. I speak from personal experience…it’s very hard to eat just one.
These Morning Glory Pumpkin Muffins are a quick and healthy start to a day of feasting. Whether you prepared them in advance or plan to prep them first thing in the morning, the simplicity and fall flavors pair well with the festiveness of Thanksgiving day.
I would love to hear from you. How do you spend Thanksgiving morning? What do you look forward to most about Thanksgiving?
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup gluten-free oat flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 cup pumpkin pureé
- ½ cup apple cider
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (I love Rodelle)
- 1 cup pitted, chopped Medjool dates
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners, or spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Add the pecans and oats to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped and a corase meal forms. Add the flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, sea salt, and xanthan gum to the same food processor bowl. Run the food processor until ingredients are well combined. Pour contents into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Add the pumpkin purée, apple, chopped and pitted dates, and vanilla extract to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse and run the food processor, stopping to scrape down the sides once or twice, until a smooth batter forms (about 1 minute).
- Form a well in the center of dry ingredients. Scoop out the wet ingredients from the food processor bowl and place in the well. Fold the ingredients together until well combined.
- Scoop the muffin batter into the muffin tin, distributing the batter equally between the cups of the muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
- Cool muffins on a cooling rack, serving either slightly warm or cooled. Store muffins in an airtight container.
This recipe was originally shared on Landeelu, where I am a monthly gluten-free recipe contributor.