pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (or bread) – nut-free

Posted by on Oct 23, 2013 in breads & muffins, Dessert, nut-free | 14 comments

pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (or bread) – nut-free

This recipe is part of my review of the Blendtec Designer Series Blender. For a chance to win one, click the image below!

> Giveaway is now closed <

blendtec giveaway

A while back I came up with a grain-free flour blend that I really love; a combination of almond flour, arrowroot, and coconut flour.  Most of the recipes I was seeing were either all coconut or all almond, and neither of them yielded the texture I was looking for.  Everything was right about my three flour blend, except one thing: There are a whole lot of people out there who are nut-free. I get tons of inquiries on my baked goods recipes about how to make my recipes nut-free. And my reply has always been less than confident, because I can’t feel good about offering a substitution unless I’ve tried it myself.

the zenbelly cookbook

Well. Now that I am a proud owner of a Blendtec blender, I can say with confidence that YES, sunflower flour is a lovely substitute for almond flour in my favorite grain-free baking blend. Your baked good might turn a little green, but the texture and taste will be delicious. The green color is nothing to worry about, it’s just a chemical reaction that happens when it comes in contact with baking soda. This pumpkin muffin recipe is a perfect example. And since I love washing dishes as much as you do, I made it a point to make this recipe one that can be made 100% in your blender, from grinding the sunflower flour to pouring the batter into the tin. Multiple bowls not required.

Blend the wet ingredients, then add the dry. Blend again, and you've got yourself muffin batter!

Blend the wet ingredients, then add the dry. Blend again, and you’ve got yourself muffin batter!

The batter can be poured straight from your blender into your muffin tins (or bread pan)

The batter can be poured straight from your blender into your muffin tins (or bread pan)

Fresh from the oven (but let them cool before eating them, they're better that way!)

Fresh from the oven (but let them cool before eating them, they’re better that way!)


Sunflower flour does a funny thing where it turns green when baked... It's harmless, but not the most attractive food color. It doesn't affect the taste, so I'm totally fine with it.

Sunflower flour does a funny thing where it turns green when baked… It’s harmless, but not the most attractive food color. It doesn’t affect the taste, so I’m totally fine with it.

Delicious when made as a bread, too.

Delicious when made as a bread, too.

grain-free, nut-free pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

makes 12 muffins or 1 loaf

15 ounces / 1 can (scant 2 cups) canned or cooked pureed pumpkin
3 eggs, preferably pastured
1/4 cup palm shortening
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup sunflower flour *
1/2 cup arrowroot flour
3 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup chocolate chips

* To make sunflower flour: Place 3 cups of raw sunflower seeds and 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder in the jar of your Blendtec blender and blend on cycle speed 4 for 10-12 seconds. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated if you won’t be using it within a week or two.

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin pan with parchment liners, or grease a 7 inch bread pan
  2. Add the wet ingredients (pumpkin, eggs, palm shortening, maple syrup, vanilla and apple cider vinegar) to your blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients (sunflower flour through ginger) and blend again for 4-5 seconds. Scrape down the sides and blend again until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into muffin tins or bread pan.
  5. For muffins: Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through. For bread: bake for 55-60 minutes, or until cooked through.
  6. Allow to cool completely before enjoying.
Print Friendly


  1. The TEXTURE!!…Bravo for your sunflower seed flour “find”!!!…Your devised mix looks marvelous…Question…If I only have pepitas in my pantry…could I grind and use THOSE in this recipe for similar (perfect!) results?…I was imagining this just might wot with the pumpkin aspect to this muffin and bread recipe!! Thank you for this!

  2. This looks amazing! Added to my list of upcoming holiday items to make.

    Is it possible to have the ingredients in list form rather than paragraph form? I had to read through it 5 times to get all of the ingredients.

    • Crap! Yes, sorry about that. I wrote them out in a list like I always do, but somehow it got changed by the evil wordpress fairies.

  3. if you can use almond flour, is it the same measurement as sunflower flour?

    • Yes!

  4. My home smells heavenly! As we grow macadamia nuts, I used Mac meal as the flour. My daughter dragged a stool over to the cooling area and snitched a warm one :) Bravo! The rise held, the texture looks perfect and the recipe survived my incessant substitution and careless measuring.

  5. Made these last night using almond flour. Hands-down, best grain-free muffin I’ve ever baked. I left out the cardamom and chocolate chips, but added chopped pecans and chopped candied ginger in all, plus golden raisins and some chopped dried pears in a few. Raisins and pears FTW. Next batch- walnuts.

  6. This looks amazing! I’ve been looking for palm shortening and haven’t been able to find it. Where do you usually find this? Thanks!

    • I have seen it at Whole Foods, and you can also order it on Amazon: I think it’s just called “vegetable shortening”, so you might walk right by it! But if you check the ingredients, it’s just sustainably harvested palm oil. And if you eat dairy, you can use softened butter in this recipe, too.

      • Thank you! I found it at Whole Foods and picked some up tonight…can’t wait to try out this recipe.

  7. These are the very best grain free muggins I have ever made! They might be the best pumpkin muffins that I have ever made! Bravo! I think I read in into to another one of your recipes you said that you are not a baker. You have no idea what you are talking about! Between these muffins and your chocolate cake I am set for life! Thank you!

  8. These are amazing, I don’t miss the grain at all! Great combo of spices (especially cardamom, yum!)

    Unfortunately, the use of my Vitamix to make the batter was a dismal failure. I have a very old Vitamix which may have been an issue, or perhaps I was using the wrong type of blade. Either way, I’ll definitely make this again, but probably use the Vitamix for the wet ingredients, then pour it into a bowl or KitchenAid to blend in the dry.

  9. I’m on the autoimmune protocol diet (no seeds). Do you think plantain flour would sub okay for the sunflower seed flour? Thanks!!

    • Without trying it, I really couldn’t say. Have you subbed plantain flour for almond or sunflower flour in other recipes?


  1. How to Make Pumpkin Puree (and a Pumpkin Recipe Round-up) | Half Indian Cook - […] Pumpkin Bread from Zenbelly […]
  2. 2 matcha recipes and a giveaway | zenbelly - […] smoothies (see recipe below), sunflower flour from sunflower seeds (see the recipe I made with that here), almond milk, …
  3. 75+ Grain-Free, Paleo Pumpkin Recipes - The Real Food Guide - […] Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins from Zenbelly […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: