Pofta Buna!: Mini Coconut Pumpkin Muffins

Recent studies have linked high-fructose corn syrup to Autism, vegetable oil to heart disease, and white flour to Type 2 Diabetes.

For the last couple of weeks I have seen many of these cards on my Facebook news feed. While they are supposed to invoke humor, they are posing a serious question: What are we feeding little kids on Halloween? It would be nice if we were able to avoid the high-fructose corn syrup, hidden vegetable oil, and acetone in Halloween candy.

I am not trying to say you should give your child a tablespoon of fermented cod liver oil as a treat for Halloween. But I would like to encourage vigilance about what we offer little ones when they come knocking at out door. Recent studies have linked high-fructose corn syrup to Autism, vegetable oil to heart disease, and white flour to Type 2 Diabetes. We can all try to be creative and avoid some of the worst offenders on the market.

As a sign of solidarity to everyone making an attempt to greet trick-or-treaters with wholesome, yummy desserts, I am offering a simple recipe for nutritious, minimally processed, gluten free, mini coconut pumpkin muffins with colorful, homemade cream cheese frosting. In today’s society, there are safety reasons for not giving homemade treats to neighborhood kids on Halloween. So I am not encouraging you to do that. But you can at least give these treats to your friends and family!

Happy Halloween, everyone!



• 1 cup of pureed roasted pumpkin

• 3/4 cups of coconut flour

• 1/2 cup coconut nectar

• 8 eggs

• 2 teaspoons of Vanilla

• 1/2 cup shredded coconut

• 1/4 teaspoons of salt

• 1 teaspoon of baking Soda


• 16 ounces of cream cheese

• 1/2 teaspoon of coconut nectar

• 4-5 tbsp beet juice

• 4-5 tbsp carrot juice

• 1/4 of an avocado

Makes about 40 mini muffins


You will need one pumpkin. You can choose to buy a can of pumpkin puree, but where is the fun in that? With the leftovers you can make pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin custard, even pumpkin smoothies! It has been a pumpkin week in the Glasser household. We are definitely eating in season! From a nutritional standpoint pumpkin is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. According to George Mateljan,

Pumpkin is one of the most concentrated vegetable sources of alpha-linoleic acid ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid that is very good for health. The deep orange color is reflective of the carotenoid phyto-nutrients-alpha caronetene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta cryptoxanthin-that it contains. In addition to being an excellent source of vitamin A, it is also a good source of vitamin C.  It also contains free-radical scavenging manganese and copper, energy producing B1 and B5, and sleep promoting trypthophan.” (From The World’s Healthiest Foods, p. 242)

If you don’t have time, pumpkin puree is fine for this recipe. However, the nutrient content will not be the same.

1. Perforate your pumpkin all over with a fork and place in the oven on a cookie sheet.

2. Bake it for an hour or so, or until it is soft throughout.

3. Peel the outside. This was probably my favorite part!

4. Once it is all peeled, slice it open and remove the seeds.

This is what was left after I peeled, sliced, and removed all pumpkin seeds.

You can always save the pumpkin seeds for a snack later. They are a great support for joint and prostrate health.

5. Place the sliced up pumpkin pieces in a large bowl.

6. Puree the pumpkin using a hand-held blender or food processor.

The finished pumpkin puree:

7. Combine 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract with 1 cup of pumpkin puree.

8. Combine the pumpkin mixture with half a cup of extra virgin raw coconut oil and eight eggs. Coconut is a great source of medium chain fatty acids which has antimicrobial, anti fungal, and antioxidant properties.

I like this kind of coconut oil best because it is never heated above 115 degrees and it is sold by a local distributor:

9. Add half a cup of coconut nectar to the pumpkin mixture.

Coconut nectar has a very low glycemic index — lower than maple syrup and commercial honey. It contains about 17 amino acids and is high in zink, potassium, and iron. However, it can be replaced with honey or maple syrup if you prefer.

10. Mix the wet ingredients with 3/4 cups of coconut flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

The coconut flour will expand significantly:

11. Next, add half a cup of shredded coconut.

Now you can officially start tasting the dough!

12. Line the muffins tins with these adorable, unbleached, chlorine-free baking cups. You do not need to use any oils or spay on the tins.

13. Use a cookie dough scooper to get these tiny guys in.

14. Place them in the oven at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. In the meantime you can begin the process of making homemade food coloring from beet juice and carrot juice. Wash the carrots and peel the beets. I got way too much produce for this process. I could have done with only a third of what I had — unless, like me, you like drinking beet, lime, and carrot juice while you are cooking.

15. Juice your veggies separately, carrots first, then rinse the juicer before juicing the beets, in order to avoid mixing the colors. I am not a big fan of artificial food coloring. While these colors are not as exciting as some of the crazy artificial neon food coloring I saw at the store, I would much rather ingest vitamin C, A, and Beta-Carotene than Hexane and Acetone.

(Remember to compost!)

16. Take the muffins out and let them cool off.

17. While they are cooling, blend 1/2 a cup of the cream cheese with 4-5 tablespoons of beet juice and 1/4 cup of coconut nectar or honey.

18. Blend  the other half of the cream cheese with 4-5 tbsp of carrot juice and 1/4 cup of coconut nectar.

19. You can use a pastry decorating bag to apply the colorful swirls of cream cheese frosting on top of the muffins. (Unfortunately I was not able to capture this step due to the large amount of cream cheese frosting all over my hands.)

20. Greet your friends and family this holiday with nutritious, minimally processed, gluten free muffins, full of healthy, medium chain fatty-acids and lots of good vitamins! Pofta Buna!

Diana Glasser is a food and nutrition writer at Eugene Daily News. Glasser is a European turned Northwesterner, currently earning her M.S. in Holistic Nutrition. Follow her blog The Kitchen Rag at http://kitchen-rag.blogspot.com/.

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