Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Muffins {Gluten-Free}

This is my first fall and incidentally my first holiday season that I am unable to eat gluten*.  But instead of feeling sorry for myself (okay I felt a little sorry for myself) I decided to crack the code on gluten-free baking.  I have had a few many failures.  I know there are many recipes online already that may be very good but I do not like overly complicated recipes.  My criteria is easy with simple ingredients.  This doesn't exactly jive well with gluten-free baking, especially if the product needs to emulate a product made with regular (wheat based) flour.  But the lesson for today is if you fail enough times eventually you succeed.  This pumpkin muffin was loved by myself AND non gluten-free people, to me that's success.  
The texture is a little denser than non gluten-free muffins but still has a crumbly, fluffy texture moist with pumpkin.  You can make these with regular flour as well, simply substitute 1 1/2 cups regular flour, omit the tapioca starch and reduce the eggs to 2.

Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Muffins {Gluten-Free} - 12 Months+
3/4 cup GF Oat Flour (be sure it is certified Gluten-Free)
3/4 cup Coconut Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
2 tsp Tapioca Starch (sometimes called tapioca flour-omit for non GF muffins)
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground Cloves
1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg
1 1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree (canned or homemade)
1/4 cup Coconut Oil, melted to liquid state (or other cooking oil)
1 ripe Banana, mashed
3 eggs
3/4 cup pure Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Pecans, chopped
1/2 cup dried Cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (f).  Line a 12 muffin pan with liners.  Sift oat flour and coconut flour into a medium bowl (this step is important for the end result texture).  Whisk in baking powder, soda, salt, starch and spices and set bowl aside.  Using a standing mixer or beaters beat the pumpkin puree, oil and bananas until well combined.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each egg.  Add sugar and beat again for 1-2 minutes till mixture is well combined.  Add the dry ingredient mix in 2-3 additions beating on low after each addition.  Beat just until the batter comes together, do not over-beat.  The batter will be pretty thick.  Stir in the chopped pecans and dried cranberries.  Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full (they do not rise very much).  Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Muffins should be firm and browning slightly on the tops.  Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before eating.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature of up to 3 days of in the freezer up to 3 months.  

Bonus: I've included my Pumpkin Puree recipe in case you want to make some from scratch.  

Pumpkin Puree - 6M+
1 small pumpkin (called a baking or pie pumpkin)

Slice the pumpkin in half, horizontally and scoop out the seeds, discard seeds. Lay the 2 halves on a lightly oiled pan inside facing up, with about ¼ inch layer of water on pan.  Roast in a 350F degree oven for about 60-80 minutes (until tender).  Scoop out soft pumpkin from the skin and puree in a food processor until smooth. This recipe will keep up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.  It will fill about 3 ice cube tray (15-30 servings).

*I currently cannot eat gluten, dairy or soy.  It is treatment for Celiac Disease and Endometriosis.  


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