Healthy Gingerbread Muffins

gluten free gingerbread muffins

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There’s nothing like the feeling of comfort you get from seasonal flavors, and it’s a huge bonus when you can enjoy those options along with nutrients that support your active lifestyle any day of the week. So, I transformed one of my top recipes into these healthy gingerbread muffins, and I think they may even better than the original! They’ll have everyone raving at your holiday gathering, or be the perfect snack to prep for your family any week.

gingerbread muffin recipe with frosting

One holiday classic that I have always enjoyed in gingerbread! Growing up, gingerbread would mainly pop up on my holiday plate in the form of cookies but actual gingerbread loaves have become a staple, too. Rather than creating a gingerbread loaf recipe {though this recipe can be made as a loaf, too}, I decided to make gingerbread muffins to help you out with single serve holiday treats. It makes it much easier when you’re at a function and can just grab one instead of having to slice the loaf or cake for your guests. Even better, two of these topped with PB makes a balanced pre-workout breakfast, too!

gluten free gingerbread muffins

Healthy Gingerbread Muffin Ingredients

To keep up with my love for legumes and to satisfy any needs for gluten-free options you may have, this recipe calls for garbanzo bean flour. Just as in these banana muffins, the chickpea flour keeps the finished product nice and fluffy without any added gums or stabilizers.

The use of a plant butter alternative and flax eggs keeps these gingerbread muffins vegan as well, but you can certainly use dairy butter if that is what you have on hand. For butter alternatives to bake with, I’m a fan of Miyokos cultured butter or Earth Balance buttery sticks. I’ve also had success with coconut oil when I’ve been out of the former.

To me, maple syrup is a necessity in addition to molasses as a sweetener in gingerbread. So, it’s only a bonus that molasses is the most nutrient dense sweetener and maple syrup offers some antioxidants, too. There’s no better way to sweeten these healthy gingerbread muffins!

Fueling Physical Performance During the Holidays

Ginger is actually a go-to recommendation for endurance athlete clients or those who have a sensitive GI tract. Since athletes and active individuals thrive from eating adequate carbohydrates, these healthy gingerbread muffins could be a great snack an hour or so before training due to the delivery of both fast and slow acting carbs as well as the calming effects of ginger. If you need something a little lighter, or to take with you on an endurance hike, run or ride, try my gingerbread energy bites, too!

Now, if you’re worried about indulging this holiday season as an athlete, please don’t be! You can enjoy treats with good ole’ white flour and sugar. You can read more about my tips for navigating these decisions and more in this article on holiday nutrition for athletes. My round-ups on pre- and post- workout holiday recipes as well as holiday recipes for athletes for the rest of the day may be of interest, too.

Managing Blood Sugar During the Holidays

While the recipe keeps sugar lower than a typical muffin, it does get sweetness and flavor from molasses and pure maple syrup. The optional icing does use powdered sugar, because to me, there’s no substitute for the real thing when it comes to a frosting or glaze! Enjoying your food, even if it isn’t nutrient rich, is healthy for the mind, so I still consider these healthy gingerbread muffins with the frosting!

If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, or are trying to be mindful of sugar intake for anxiety management, you could use less of or skip the glaze and add some cream cheese or vegan cream cheese for a change of flavor or texture. Alternatively, you can have the muffin with frosting as is but pair it with more protein to limit blood sugar spikes. A hard boiled egg or a serving of roasted broad beans can do the trick. Or, just eat the muffin with or in close proximity to a protein and fiber rich meal. You can read more about diabetes management in my article for Performance Kitchen.

holiday ginger molasses muffins

gluten free gingerbread muffins

Healthy Gingerbread Muffins

With fiber from chickpea flour, pumpkin, and flax, sweetness from maple syrup and molasses, and pleasant aromas from your favorite winter spices, these healthy gingerbread muffins will have everyone raving at your next holiday party.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 18

Ingredients
  

For the muffins:

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 flax or chia eggs (2 tbsp ground seed + 6 tbsp warm water)
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter, ghee, or coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpea flour (garbanzo bean flour)
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp clove

For the optional glaze:

  • 1 tbsp vegan butter or ghee
  • 6 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp non-dairy milk of choice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with olive oil cooking spray or grease lightly with coconut oil, ghee, or a vegan buttery spread.
  • Make flax or chia egg in a small ramekin or bowl and let sit.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, baking soda, spices; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, molasses, honey, vanilla extract, eggs, butter or coconut oil; mix with hand mixer until well combined and creamy.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Pour heaping 1/3 C of batter into prepared muffin tin and smooth top. Bake on middle rack for 14-16 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then carefully invert, remove and place back on wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once cooled,  drizzle the glaze over the muffins for a touch of sweetness.
Keyword gingerbread muffins, gluten free, vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

healthy gingerbread muffins

I hope you enjoy this easy recipe with your friends and family this season! What is your favorite holiday recipe?




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  1. Happy Holidays, Kelly! Hope you are well!
    Say, do you have a recommendation for a garbanzo flour substitute on this recipe? Thanks!!