This may make me a bit basic but I am one of those people that goes out and buys everything pumpkin as soon as fall hits. I may or may not have bought about 8 boxes of Purely Elizabeth Pumpkin Fig cereal when they went on sale…and I might have gone crazy when I found gluten free pumpkin puffins at target… Anyways, I have gotten in the habit of making muffins to eat pre-run in the morning. I give myself about 30 min from wake up to the time I run and I am very serious about eating before running. Eating before running helps your body metabolize food better post run and also gives you the energy to get up and go. I have gotten myself used to eating something 30 minutes before running but I try to keep this on the lighter side and I typically get my fuller breakfast post run. If 30 minutes is too close for you I recommend waking up a bit earlier so that you can at least get something in before working out. It makes a big difference! I have an issue with my blood sugar dropping on runs if I have not fueled properly which ultimately prompted me to come up with a good pre-run option made of sustaining whole grains, a little protein, and minimized fat (fat tends to be harder on the stomach and is not as quickly converted to usable energy). I was relying on a Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffin but wanted something new. When I ran out of those last week, my initial thought was of course that I need to make something pumpkin! I would have done just that if I hadn’t had the wonderful idea of making homemade flatbreads for dinner with butternut squash puree as the sauce. When I was making the puree that night I ended up having much more than I needed for the flatbreads which got me to thinking. Why don’t I mix it up a bit and use this puree in a muffin?? So I saved the leftovers and came up with this recipe:
- ½ cup Bi Pro Unflavored Protein Powder
- ½ cup Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Oatmeal
- ½ cup almond meal
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup tapioca starch
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¾ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup butternut squash puree
- 4 dates (soaked in 1 cup warm water with ¼ tsp. lemon juice and a pinch of salt for at least 30min.)
- ½ cup date water
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 6 tbsp. Lilys dark chocolate chips
Butternut Squash Puree
- 3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- To make butternut squash puree preheat oven to 400 and combine butternut squash and garlic in a bowl. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and salt and toss to evenly distribute. Spread out on cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minute or until squash is fork tender. Place squash in blender with maple syrup, ¼ cup water (if needed), and 1 tbsp. olive oil if necessary. Blend until smooth.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and grease 2 cupcake tins with coconut oil.
- In a large bowl combine the Bi Pro, oatmeal, almond meal, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
- In a blender or food processor blend the dates and date water for 15 seconds. Then add the eggs, vanilla, butternut squash puree, and the maple syrup. Pulse the ingredients until just combined.
- Now add wet to dry and mix until combined. Once ingredients are combined fold in the chocolate chips.
- Using an ice cream scoop, scoop a little less than a full scoop and place in cupcake tin. Should make about 15 muffins so fill the rest of the tins half full with water.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Store in the fridge or freezer.
Now you will see in the picture above that I put a little topping on the muffins. This topping is my Pumpkin Cashew Butter, I had to make something pumpkin! This recipe was inspired by Purely Elizabeth’s pumpkin peanut butter recipe featured in the October Magazine. This stuff is addicting so beware!
Pumpkin Peanut Butter:
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup pumpkin
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 and spread raw cashew out on baking sheet. Place in preheated oven and watch carefully. Once cashews have started to brown and are fragrant remove from oven and our into food processor or high speed blender. Process or blend cashews until finely ground.
- Add remaining ingredients to blender or food processor and blend until all ingredients have become thoroughly combined. If necessary you may need to add a bit of water. Stop and scrape down sides as necessary.
- Store in a glass jar and keep refrigerated.
Aside Posted on Updated on
I know it sounds weird but honestly I think it could have used a little MORE chocolate. I created this recipe for the Crunchmaster Recipe Challenge because I have recently become obsessed with creating and entering recipe contests…don’t ask. Anyway, this chili was a perfect balance of spice and heat with the chocolate bringing out the smokiness in the chili powder and paprika. I like a little heat but in light of my roommate who was joining me for dinner I held out a bit. However, I can definitely tell you I wasn’t missing out. The smoky flavored developed by the addition of the chocolate made it taste mildly spicy without leaving your mouth burning and eyes watering. If you make this and want more heat I suggest a dash of red pepper flakes or using spicy Italian sausage as opposed to the mild version.
I ate this chili with multi-grain sea salt Crunchmaster crackers and some avocado cornbread. I love avocado and I love cornbread so I couldn’t wait to try this when I saw the recipe on food52. I replaced the flour with almond flour and used Saco buttermilk powder, adding it to the dry ingredients and adding 1 cup of water to the wet ingredients. In addition, when serving this cornbread I drizzled a bit of honey over the top and that really hit the spot! I have plans to tweak and create my own version of this delicious cornbread but until then see the link below for the recipe
My gluten free substitutions:
- Almond flour in place of flour
- Saco buttermilk powder added to the dry ingredients
- 1 cup of water added to the wet ingredients
The best part of this whole chili recipe is how easy and quick it is to make. Good thing, because my stomach doesn’t have any patience after practice. So here it is, the moment you have all been waiting for, the recipe! ENJOY!
P.S. I included my regular gluten-free cornbread recipe for anyone interested!
Dark Chocolate Chili, Serves 6-8
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 medium/large yellow onion diced
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 12 oz. mild italian sausage
- 2 tap. chili powder
- 2 tsp. italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 2 cups diced red/green/yellow bell peppers
- 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 10 oz. can rotel tomatoes
- 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 2 15 ounces cans black beans
- 12 oz. water
- 1.5 oz. dark chocolate (go ahead and add a little more if you like I personally think I will add more next time I make it)
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and salt and saute until soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and stir. Let the garlic cook about 2 minutes and then add in the sausage. Break up the sausage as it cooks. Once the sausage begins to brown add the chili powder, paprika & peppers. Stir everything together and let cook about 3 minutes.
- Now add in the tomato sauce, rotel tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, italian seasoning and the water. (I used the tomato paste can, filling it up twice to add the water. This helps to get more of the tomato paste out of the can). Stir everything together and let come to boil. Once the mixture has come to a boil reduce the heat to simmer and stir in you dark chocolate. Continue stirring until the dark chocolate has completely melted and has been thoroughly mixed in.
- Let the chili sit about 10min to let the flavors really come together. After 10min it is ready to serve!