Purely Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

December 8, 2011

I remember when the very first Starbucks opened in my town. I was a senior in high school and loved going into the shop to smell the freshly brewed coffee and look upon the piles of sweet baked goods sitting in the glass case.

The thing I loved most about this holiday time of year, and the opening of a “big name” coffee shop, were the holiday spiced muffins and scones and breads. Oh yeah, sugar, sugar, and more refined sugar. Oh, and gluten. But that was when not gaining weight was easy… or was it because I was 17, had a huge issue with an eating disorder, and if I ate it, I would quickly negate it?

Nonetheless, it’s been years since I’ve picked a baked good out of any shop and I don’t miss them one bit!

And yes, that is a lie. No, I certainly don’t miss the sugar-filled cake-like wonders of diabetes-waiting-to-happen (ok, one won’t hurt anyone, but I believe they load those things with crack so you’ll keep coming back for more…). I do, however, love myself a spiced, cinnamony, warm and fresh out of the oven muffin now and again. And just because I want to be healthy doesn’t mean I can’t have one!

No Sir! … Ma’am.

Here’s a muffin that isn’t sugary, starchy or devoid of nutrients. These muffins are rich in beta-carotene, contain high quality protein, and aren’t swimming in sugar. The delicately sweet flavor will satisfy and have you coming back for more (from my blog)!

Just for fun, let’s view the nutritional content, shall we?

TWO Paleo Pumpkin Muffin equals: 142 calories, 4g fat, 21g carbohydrate, 13g sugar, 7g fiber, and 7g protein.

One Starbucks Pumpkin Bread equals: 390 calories, 14g fat, 61g carbohydrates, 38g sugar, 2g fiber, 6g protein.

Clearly we have a winner. You could eat half this recipe and still get more nutrients in (and far better kind of sugar) than one baked coffee shop good.

This recipe could even be included in Tuesday’s Paleo Breakfast Ideas!

Do you remember the first Starbucks in your area? I don’t mean the 5th or 6th one, just the first.

What is your favorite type/kind of baked good?

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Cristina March 27, 2013 at 5:08 PM

These look great! The other day my fiancΓ© wanted paleo pancakes… Google said pumpkin. I bought the largest amount of pumpkin I could. And I only needed 1/4 cup. Now I’m left with WAY TOO much! Do you know if these would freeze well?


Ashley October 2, 2012 at 9:52 AM

These look great and I will definitely try them; just a heads up that olive oil should not be used for baking/cooking according to those of us that eat strict paleo. Also, vegetable oil is NOT paleo!!! Coconut oil is the way to go!


Lisa August 26, 2012 at 7:17 AM

Lori, Thanks for a great recipe. I just switched to wheat free this week, moving to Paleo. Got up this morning and thought ugh, I can’t eat eggs today. Came accross your recipe and ran to the kitchen to try it. I added 1 tsp of vanilla powder, 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 2 tsp of melted coconut oil and 1/4 cup of coconut milk. One commenter said she had tried two of your recipes and they were both dry. IMO she should should thank you for the kickstart and experiment on her own! I loved these muffins, they were perfect and moist with just the right amount of sweetness. I was satisfied with two, whereas, if they were traditional muffins I would have immediately craved more. Thanks for sharing!!


Lori September 30, 2012 at 7:37 AM

I’m SO glad that you liked these! I know sometimes ingredients, same amounts, still vary slightly and that can change a recipe completely.

Thanks for commenting and I hope you try out more recipes soon!


Kelly July 31, 2012 at 6:00 PM

These are truly great muffins. I added a little coconut milk as my attempt at the mix was very thick and a little allspice. I also added chia seeds. My daughter and her friend, both nine years old, gave them a 9.75 rating. (Kids are the toughest critics) They didn’t give it a 10 because I added chia seeds. In any case, thanks much for a healthy and tasty recipe.


Danielle March 22, 2012 at 9:51 AM

First off I want to say awesome blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I’ve had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Many thanks!


Ashley February 26, 2012 at 7:57 AM

These look great! How many ounces of pumpkin purΓ©e did you use? My store has several sizes. Thanks and can’t wait to make them!


Christine February 16, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Hi Lori. I love your website and recipes BUT there is one problem. I have now tried two of your recipes following the ingredients and directions to a T and the consistency has been so dry. I have been sick this past week and trying to stick to Paleo but it’s frustrating to try a recipe and the consistency is totally off. It honestly makes me not want to try any of your other recipes. I hate to say that and I never write bad reviews but after the second recipe I was frustrated. I have now tried the Paleo Choc Pumpkin pancakes with instant coffee as well as the pumpkin spice muffins. Any words of advice?


Ali February 4, 2012 at 12:41 PM

These look delicious! Question: I have a slight allergy to coconut, could I substitute almond flour instead, and if so, do you think it would affect the moisture? I’ve recently become a Paleo eater and I’m LOVING it! Thanks for such a great site :).


Lori February 6, 2012 at 10:33 AM

You could sub almond flour for coconut flour but take note that the amount of water needed will greatly decrease. Coconut flour soaks up a lot of water so just be aware when adding in any liquids.


Suz @ Paleo Australia January 30, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Mmmm they looks fantastic! I like to make up Paleo things that I can store in the fridge for a few days and grab on the run! I wonder if they’d work without the sugar aspect?


Lori January 31, 2012 at 11:26 AM

These are FANTASTIC for on the go meals! Seriously. Without sugar they’d still taste really good. There is already some sweetness from the pumpkin. πŸ™‚


Jackie January 25, 2012 at 5:57 AM

Hi there – I’m new to your site – but had to let you know that I baked these last night and they were perfection! I ate 3 warm from the oven (just to “test” :)….my son ate one too and loved it. Thanks for the recipe – I’ll definately be making these again.


Alex Boake December 21, 2011 at 1:04 PM

I haven’t really done much baking since I went primal/paleo, but the cold weather reminds me of when I used to be baking lots of cinnamon-packed goodies. This looks like a fantastic and nutritious alternative to (even homemade) refined sugar-filled, cinnamon-y gluten-bombs! Yum.


Alisa December 9, 2011 at 9:36 PM

Ha, I feel so old! Starbucks wasn’t around (or at least not a mass chain) when I was in high school! Honestly, since I never drank coffee, and just started drinking tea about ten years ago, I don’t even recall when the coffee shops started popping up!

Those muffins look heavenly Lori. I definitely need to bake this weekend!


Lori December 10, 2011 at 7:15 AM

You may feel old but you certainly ARE NOT old… at least you don’t look old. lol But it’s so weird how some businesses or things can just become completely normal in “everyday life” so quickly!


Pure2raw twins December 9, 2011 at 7:55 PM

YUM! you know we love our pumpkin πŸ™‚


Lori December 10, 2011 at 7:16 AM

And I love all of YOUR pumpkin recipes! I need to make more of them!


Christin@purplebirdblog December 9, 2011 at 9:33 AM

I have some cute little silicone baking cups that are just begging to have these inside them! *giggle* πŸ˜‰


Lori December 10, 2011 at 7:17 AM

Great! You let me know if you make them!


Chuck December 8, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Yum! As always, lol. I have a couple new recipes for paleo energy cookies and bites for my mid workouts that I can’t wait to try, but I need to get some shredded coconut.

Is the nutritional information based on the 18 muffin or 12 muffin recipe?


Lori December 10, 2011 at 7:19 AM

Oops! The nutritional value is based on 12 muffins- so if you made 18 they’d be even less of everything. They’re pretty awesome in the nutritional value department!

I can’t wait to see your recipes! let me know when you post/try them. πŸ™‚


tea-bagginit December 8, 2011 at 9:21 PM

wow, seeing those nutritional stats stacked up next together is really eye opening! i haven’t had a store bought, “traditional” muffin in years and i honestly don’t miss them. fresh baked white bread, that i miss but i’ve always been able to resist muffins & other pastries!


Lori December 10, 2011 at 7:20 AM

As long as you make your own, you’re golden. EVEN if you use white flour and sugar. Homemade is always better for you, I feel. πŸ™‚


Jen@FoodFamilyFitness December 8, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Wow. Love the nutritional stats!!! They look delicious as well πŸ™‚
We have one starbuck’s in our city and it opened just a few years ago.


Chef Katelyn December 8, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Ahhhh yum! I’m a fan. I woves de punkin.


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table December 8, 2011 at 10:18 AM

I don’t remember the first store, but I DO remember being shocked at the calorie and sugar content in the Starbucks muffins. I make my own low cal and low sugar muffins to have for breakfast now. Yours looks like a good one to try next!


Lori December 10, 2011 at 7:20 AM

Hmmm… I’m going to have to stalk your site for a while to get some of your recipes!


amy@healthyhungryhappy.com December 8, 2011 at 9:59 AM

looks great!! im always looking for baking recipes that dont have a TON of sugar in them. im seeing banana a lot….must be a good sub for sugar? thanks for the recipe!


Lori December 10, 2011 at 7:21 AM

Banana is definitely a great sub in baking for moist-factor and sweetener. Also a bit of a binder, too. Pumpkin or zucchini is great, too.


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