Are you a big lover of turmeric? Tahini? Pumpkin? Me too, I am obsessed with all three. Especially because it is officially pumpkin season, with the leaves quickly falling. I was in a fall baking mood so I made these delicious and healthy pumpkin muffins. But my stomach has been feeling extra sensitive lately. I don’t know about you but whenever I go on long roadtrips going to leaf peeping in the mountains. Now my large intestines get aggravated. So this recipe is for those who want to indulge in the fall festivities with no harm to your gut.
This recipe has a ton of yummy twists that create a healthier muffin without the consequences. Lets look into the benefits of turmeric, tahini and pumpkin according to Traditional Chinese Medicine so you can understand how this pumpkin muffin recipe may benefit you. Giving you a better understanding of how the 5 elements relate to the food we eat, the cycles of the seasons and how it all impacts our bodies.
Health Benefits of Fresh Turmeric
Turmeric (Yu Jin, Jiang Huang) according to Traditional Chinese Medicine is used to move blood stagnation and blockages in the meridians and helps warm a cold constitution. Used for treating cold extremities, amenorrhea, pain due to trauma, and arthritis. The movement if stagnant qi is also effective with abdominal pain and dissension. Helping to reduce swelling, skin lesions and inflammation.
Known best in the west for its anti-inflammatory properties helping to treat age related diseases like heart conditions, cancer, Alzheimers, and depression. This is done through moving qi, invigorating blood circulation, breaking up blood stasis, dissolving accumulations, and relieving pain. Over time this can be a great plant medicine for many with the right diet and lifestyle.
Fresh turmeric root is typically my preferred way to use it in my everyday cooking. I love having the powder on hand to just in case the fresh goes bad. Adding in this one ingredient to your everyday oatmeal, curry, soups, coffee, smoothie adds a zingy, tangy flavor.
Sesame Seeds According to TCM
Sesame is another incredible longevity plant that helps combat diseases associated with aging. These nifty seeds work to tonify precious yin fluids and blood. Yin fluids are responsible for moistening and cooling the body. Strengthening the liver, large intestine and kidneys especially in the case of yin deficiency.
With demulcent properties which helps lubricate the intestines and the five yin organs (heart, kidney, spleen/pancreas and lungs). Relieving wind obstruction also known as constipation, dry cough, blurry vision, ringing in ears, blood in urine, back pain, headaches, nervous spasms, stiff joints, weak knees, dizziness, anxiety, numbness, paralysis and dried up mother’s milk.
Grounding sesame seeds into a paste or butter or soaking them over night make them easier to digest. Black sesame seeds are considered slightly more medicinal than white seeds. Pairing black sesame seeds with hemp seeds and Angelica root to can help promote bowl movements.
Pumpkin Benefits According to TCM
Pumpkin is considered a superfood in Traditional Chinese medicine. Commonly used in Chinese cuisine with a long history of culinary and medicinal use. Pumpkins contain significant sources of complex carbohydrates, zinc, vitamin C, potassium, iron, riboflavin, fiber, magnesium, vitamin A, and carotenoids.
Pumpkins thermal energetics are cooling, sweet and slightly bitter. Specifically indicated for relieving damp conditions. Which can be dysentery, eczema, and edema. Working to balance blood sugar and help benefit the pancreas. Effective for diabetes and hypoglycemia by educing blood pressure and protecting the heart. It even promotes discharge of mucus from the lungs, bronchi, and throat. Cooked pumpkin and seeds can even help destroy intestinal worms. Making this a key food for the Earth and Metal element time of year.
Orange foods are specifically indicated for the Earth element because of their sweet, nutritive properties that support the health of the stomach, spleen and pancreas. Ultimately benefiting the digestion process. As well as menstruation, fertility and postpartum. While strengthening the prostate and helping UTI’s. Pumpkins help improve circulation moving moving out dampness, cold, parasites and intestinal worms . Supplementing qi (our energy and life force) and immune system.
Pumpkin is a incredible food for breakfast in the morning because it I the optimal time where our digestive organs are most active. So add it to your muffins, congee, or porridge daily to feel the effects.
Typical Pumpkin Muffins and Your Gut
Pumpkin products in the US are loaded with sugar and often times don’t have any real pumpkin in them. They are addicting and can quickly aggravate the gut by feeding bad micro flora. But that doesn’t mean you have to say no to all things pumpkin. I like giving classic foods that I grew up with a healthy TCM twist because it helps me understand how my food can heal. Food is medicine after all. So I hope you stay open minded and try these healthy, scrumptious pumpkin muffins loaded with zingy turmeric and creamy tahini.
How To Make The Pumpkin Muffins
These muffins are super simple to make. I used canned pumpkin to make it easier but you can easily roast a pie pumpkin and puree it in a food processor. I prefer things to not be overly sweet so these muffins are lightly sweetened with minimally processed coconut sugar. They can easily be eaten for breakfast or a mid afternoon snack. If you want to sweeten them up even more I suggest smearing them with some whipped cinnamon honey and creamy vegan butter.
I personally love using rice flour as my gluten free flour of choice. It is much cheaper than using almond flour and it is easier to find organic and in the bulk food section. But you can mix in any flour mixture you like for this recipe. They stay super fluffy and moist with the pumpkin and tahini. Add in your favorite nuts and dried fruits for an even tastier morning muffin.
Turmeric Tahini Pumpkin Muffins
- 1 can of pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup of coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup of tahini
- 1 2-3 in chunk of fresh grated Turmeric
- 1/2 cup of coconut cream
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 2 cups of rice flour or gluten free flour of choice
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 2 tbsps of flax meal
- 2 tbsps of pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup of dried currants
- Pre heat oven to 375 degrees
- Line a muffin pan with brown paper muffin liners
- Mix together wet ingredients in 1 bowl
- In a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients
- Combine dry and wet ingredients
- Fold in dried currants or other dried fruit or nuts of choice
- Fill each muffin liner to the top with batter. They will rise slightly
- Enjoy these healthy, easy to digest muffins for breakfast with a smear of vegan butter and creamed cinnamon honey.
Don’t forget to indulge in these with a mug of metal element herbal chai available in the Farmacy.
For more metal season recipes click this link.