Immune Boosting Pumpkin Muffins

  • PREP 5- 10 minutes
  • COOK TIME 25 minutes
  • SERVES 12
Img 4900 1 880x625 Acf Cropped

Functional Foods Highlight

Fall means it's pumpkin season! But it also, unfortunately, means Flu season too. Luckily, Mother Nature is a smarty-pants and has made everyone's favorite fall flavor a great source of immune-boosting nutrients that will help keep you healthy this season. These pumpkin muffins don’t have any flour, are super spongy and fluffy and are filled with health benefits. They make the perfect on-the-go breakfast that have protein, fiber, and fat to keep you satisfied and nourished all morning. They take 30 minutes to make. Plus, no mixing bowl required! You can whip these babies up in a blender and call it a day.

Food Farmacy

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (try to get one without any added sugar..just pure pumpkin)
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cups raw cashew butter (I know. This seems like a lot of nut butter! But don’t worry, it ends up being about one tablespoon, which is half a serving, per muffin)
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon each of nutmeg, all-spice, and ground ginger (or use 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice mix)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Two handfuls of chopped nuts and seeds of your choice. We used walnuts, pecans, almonds and dried figs.
  • optional: 2-3 tablespoons ground flax seeds

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Line muffin tray with liners or rub with coconut oil
  • Mix all ingredients in a blender
  • Blend together until smooth
  • Fold in nuts and seeds
  • Pour mixture into muffin tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until knife comes out clean
  • Enjoy!

From the Chef:

Make a version of these with ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and you’ve got yourself a tasty and healthy dessert! You can also toast and spread with apple butter or your favorite jam.

 

From the Doc:

Zinc plays a vital role in our health. It is important for DNA synthesis and replication, and for the development and function of the cells of your body’s immune system (4,5). Studies have shown zinc to even reduce the incidence of lower respiratory diseases(6). Since our bodies do not make zinc, it’s important that we add foods rich in zinc to our diets. Other foods high in zinc besides nuts are oysters, beef, shrimp, cocoa powder, and chickpeas.

Sources

1. Moriguchi S, Muraga M. Vitamin E and immunity. Vitam Horm. 2000;59:305-336

2. Hoffmann PR, Berry MJ. The influence of selenium on immune responses. Molecular nutrition & food research. 2008;52(11):1273-1280. doi:10.1002/mnfr.200700330.

3. Efficacy of Zinc Against Common Cold Viruses: An Overview. Hulisz, Darrell. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association , Volume 44 , Issue 5 , 594 – 603

4. Prasad AS. Zinc in human health: effect of zinc on immune cells. Mol Med. 2008;14(5-6):353-357

5. Prasad AS. Zinc: role in immunity, oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2009;12(6):646-652

6. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/zinc#impaired-immune-function

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