The autumn season is one of my family’s favorite times of the year because it brings the beginning of gatherings and celebrations. We also get excited about the goodness that autumn brings to our tables.
This gluten-free pumpkin recipe, infused with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, not only tastes good but also provides a natural boost to your well-being.
From a Western perspective, cinnamon is celebrated for its antioxidant properties, potential blood sugar regulation, and anti-inflammatory effects. Nutmeg, on the other hand, is rich in nutrients and is valued for its digestive benefits, calming qualities, and antioxidant content.
In the realm of Traditional Chinese Medicine, these spices take on additional roles. Cinnamon, known as "Rou Gui," is regarded as a warming herb that can help disperse cold, strengthen the body's vital energy (Qi), and improve digestion. Nutmeg, or "Rou Dou Kou," shares these warming properties and is used to relieve cold-related symptoms in the stomach, calm the mind, and even alleviate certain types of pain.
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Gluten-Free Pumpkin Loaf Recipe
3/4 cup sunflower seed butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
3 tablespoons coconut oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease a loaf pan or line it with parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine your eggs, sunflower seed butter, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth and creamy. (Note: You can also mix by hand if you prefer.)
- Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, ginger, and sea salt. Blend again until smooth.
- Transfer the batter into the loaf pan.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. You can test if it is done by inserting a toothpick. It will come out clean when the loaf is finished.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes
- Remove from the pan and let it cool entirely before slicing. Enjoy!
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days. If not eating right away, wrap and store
in the freezer for up to two months.
Bake in a muffin tin instead of a loaf pan. Baking time will decrease to 30 to 40 minutes.
Make it Sweet
Stir in a handful of dark chocolate chips to the batter before baking.
Serve it With
A cup of herbal tea or coffee.
Health benefits of cinnamon:
- Antioxidant Properties: Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants may also play a role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties that may help lower inflammation in the body, potentially benefiting conditions such as arthritis.
- Blood Sugar Control: Cinnamon has been studied for its ability to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. It may be particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing it.
- Heart Health: Some research suggests that cinnamon may help reduce risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
- Antibacterial and Antifungal: Cinnamon has natural antimicrobial properties, which can help inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi.
Health benefits of nutmeg:
- Rich in Nutrients: Nutmeg is a good source of essential nutrients, including dietary fiber, vitamins (such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and many B vitamins), and minerals (including iron, potassium, and magnesium).
- Digestive Health: Nutmeg has been used traditionally to aid digestion. It may help alleviate digestive issues such as indigestion, gas, and bloating.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Like cinnamon, nutmeg has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Mood Enhancement: Nutmeg contains compounds that can have a calming effect and may promote relaxation. It has been used traditionally as a natural remedy for insomnia and anxiety.
- Antioxidant Properties: Nutmeg contains antioxidants that can help combat oxidative stress and protect cells from damage.
Incorporating these spices into recipes like your gluten-free pumpkin loaf is a delicious way to enjoy their flavors and potentially reap some of these health advantages.