A new year… and a new wheat-free baking challenge

Welcome to my first post in 2014. I’m glad you’re joining me here 🙂

After celebrating the Jewish new year this past fall, sitting mindfully through the Days of Awe and repenting through Yom Kippur, I feel less moved by the turn from 2013 to 2014. In past years I have spent the morn of New Year’s Day writing down my intentions for the year and my hopes for people in my life. This year I assumed that I’d revisit the intentions and hopes I wrote 01/01/13, write anew, and so say goodbye to 2013. I did not do that. This year, I was moved to busy-ness and spent time on New Year’s Eve and Day organizing and cleaning my living space. I let go of trinkets that I’d been mindlessly holding on to and streamlined my environment (from wall hangings to bookshelves- not the shoe closet though!). It felt necessary and I was happy upon completion.

I still have not sat to revisit last year’s hopes nor write down my new intentions. I feel as though I set those intentions during Yom Kippur when I asked for forgiveness and focused on doing better for my self during 5774. Still, the end of the fall felt rushed – mostly due to teaching 4 college-level classes while beginning a new full-time university position. I did not consistently put myself first during this time and I suffered in return. So, the beginning of the Gregorian new year has offered me the opportunity to remind myself of that commitment.

Despite my lack of connectedness to the beginning of 2014, the move into this calendar new year has brought about new experiences. At the end of 2013 my medical team asked me to transition to a wheat-and artificial sweetner-free diet for at least 3 months. So, that means the end of traditional challah (and other breads), randomly bought baked goods, take-out pizza from the local shop with my boyfriend, and diet pepsi. Wow. A lot of change. But, I am committed to baking for Shabbat and for my self. I enjoy baking and blogging too much.

Today is only Day 2 of my wheat-free existence and I did feel a pull toward wheat- a craving. We’re in the midst of a blizzard and this afternoon all I wanted to do was eat carbs, drink coffee, and hibernate. So, I baked wheat-free Nutty Pumpkin-Chocolate Muffins. The recipe was an adaptation of one for Apple Cinnamon Muffins found on the back of Trader Josef’s Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour. I halved the recipe, traded out the applesauce for pumpkin, switched the sweetner and oil, created a mix of flours and added baking powder.

I enjoyed my treat this afternoon and, I found that my carb-craving was completely satisfied. With this recipe I satisfied my needs to bake, eat and blog, and I successfully kept Day 2 wheat-free (yes, I’m celebrating day-by-day successes here- Yay me!) I hope you enjoy the recipe.

Note: This is not an overly sweet muffin (purposefully). If you want something extra sweet, I’d add more sweetner and/or substitute a white/brown sugar blend for the maple syrup.

Nutty Pumpkin-Chocolate Muffins (wheat-free)

  • Image1/2 cup Trader Josef’s Gluten-free All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Almond Flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Line muffin pan (makes 8 muffins)
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients (flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt). Whisk dry ingredients together.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, maple syrup, oil, almond milk and vanilla.
  5. Create a well in the dry ingredients. Pour wet mix into well. Stir until wet and dry ingredients are just combined.
  6. Stir in pumpkin.
  7. Add pecans and chocolate chunks. Stir until just combined.
  8. Scoop batter into pan.
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  10. Enjoy 🙂

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