Fall has a special effect on people, it’s crisp outside and warm food next to a fire seems just perfect. Pumpkin is a natural go-to food for this time of year, but have you used cardamom? It’s a warming spice that pairs nicely with squash, like pumpkin. It is used primarily in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes, but what is not a widely known is it’s found in Scandinavian food as well. I first encountered cardamom in a Swedish pancakes recipe called an Aebleskiver (find my paleo Aebleskiver recipe here)! I use cardamom in soups, baked goods, roasted vegetables and sometimes put a pinch of it in my coffee, or tea. Fresh ground the cardamom is much “spicier” than pre-ground powder is normally purchased in stores. I would say it’s more warm than spicy; similar to cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. A little goes a long way, but it's a much needed addition to any spice shelf, trust me!
Pumpkin recipes have extra moisture which go great with cassava flour and tapioca starch, and are great at soaking up that extra moisture without making the end result a dense flat bread-like blob. These pumpkin muffins are light and fluffy without being dry and crumbly, which is sometimes the case in gluten-free recipes. These are a hit with my kids, even with the small heat from the cardamom, they think the mini size is fun too!
⅓ cup cassava flour (I use Otto's Naturals)
¾ cup tapioca starch
¾ cup macadamia nut meal (see below)
⅓ cup coconut palm sugar (I use this)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cardamom
¾ cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoon palm shortening (I use this)
2 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup chocolate chips ( I use this)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl mix all the dry ingredients together, add the butter, palm shortening, eggs and vanilla directly into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with an electric mixer. Hand stir in the chocolate chips and divide the muffin batter evenly among 24 mini muffin liners. Bake the mini muffins for 11 minutes.
*For regular size muffins bake for 18 minutes.
*Macadamia nut meal is not easily found in stores. Simple toss whole macadamia nut into a food processor and pulse until fine, DON'T over pulse or it will turn to macadmia nut butter.