Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Muffins & My Gluten-Free Journey

October 13, 2011

Today I have a guest post featured on the vegan, gluten-free blog, xgfx. This blog is a wonderful resource that I learned about when I attended Vida Vegan Con in August. My post is here and it’s talks about my experience with eating gluten-free. In that post, I also feature a Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Muffin recipe that is also free of added sugar and fat.

“What?” you’re wondering, “You’re gluten-free?” The answer is yes, for now. I describe my gluten-free experience in my guest post, but the reason is because of the hives and food allergies I developed roughly 3 months ago. I’m doing a lot better now, but I have occasional hives and still have to take a daily, over-the-counter allergy pill.

When I was doing research to figure out what the heck was causing my allergies, I discovered that gluten and grain intolerances are pretty common. I was advised by Dr. Fuhrman to avoid common allergens such as gluten and other foods like high-histamine foods, soy, nuts, etc. Since I was already vegan, I didn’t have to worry about any animal products causing the problem (there is so much scientific evidence linking dairy to allergies that it’s not even funny). At this point, I’ve narrowed it down to the high-histamine foods and some random possibilities like gluten, some nuts and sulfites.

So, for the meantime, I’ll be following a restricted diet. Sure, it’s frustrating to avoid certain foods that I love (chocolate, strawberries, pineapple, etc. are high-histamine foods), but feeling better makes it worthwhile. And, making muffins like the ones pictured above isn’t all that bad. In fact, I really enjoyed them! Here’s the printable recipe:

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baked Goods
Ingredients
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 2 cups garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 10 large pitted dates
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and lightly coat a 12-well muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Chop walnuts and place in a large bowl. Add flour, pumpkin pie spice, flax meal, and raisins. Stir to blend.
  3. In a high-speed blender, combine dates, pumpkin puree, vanilla, non-dairy milk, and applesauce. Process on high for 1 minute.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to blend. Distribute mixture evenly among the wells and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden on top. Set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes before gently removing muffins.

 

So on Tuesday afternoon when I was driving home from visiting some friends a few miles away, my car’s transmission went out! It was scary but luckily Alan was with me and he recognized what was happening. We drove carefully home and had the car towed yesterday to the shop. My car is 10 years old now but my car guy thinks I can get many more years out of it. I hope so because it’s pretty darned expensive to buy a transmission.

On a happier note, I got my acceptance letter to the online dietetics program where I will be finishing up my R.D. coursework. Yay! My first class will be a prereq next spring (Medical Terminology, oh joy), but then I’ll be doing much more interesting nutrition coursework starting next summer and through the spring of 2013 when I’ll be finished with both my MPH and R.D. coursework. After another year of R.D. internship, I should be all done (fingers crossed) by fall of 2014.

Tell me about your food allergy experiences and how you manage them, I’m interested!

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Robyn :) October 14, 2011 at 12:09 am

As far as I know I have no food allergies. I have cut back on dairy, though. I will buy milk to drink once in awhile from the local dairy (or Braums as their nonfat milk is the bomb!! But they are 45 min away), but for cereal and cooking I use soy, rice, almond, or flax.

I do have medication allergies, though. Erythramyacin , which is normally given for sore throats if you cannot take amoxicillan, makes me sick(but I can take a z-pack antibiotics which has an erythramyacin base. Go figure) and Compazine, which they give you for nausea, makes me anxious. Some pain meds make me itch, too.

I have taken about 3 medical terminology classes before LOL

Reply

Ginny October 14, 2011 at 5:09 am

Oh no! Did your hives only start a few months ago, or do you think you may have had some kind of food allergy prior to just w/o the hives? So weird that as healthy and good as you’ve been eating, there’s actually an allergy now. I don’t think I’m allergic to gluten, I just feel better not consuming it. I have a lot of digestion/stomach issues though that I’ve been trying to figure out for quiet some time now. I hope you’re able to get past the allergy and feel better soon.

Congratulations on your acceptance letter dietetics program – how very exciting!
Ginny

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Carrie October 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Hi Ginny! I forgot that you had been having stomach issues, have you tried a gluten-free diet? I have never had any food allergies before so this is a new phenomenon for me. My mom just e-mailed me to say that my dad used to get hives so now I’m wondering if it is genetic? So weird but it seems like I have it under control for now. Earlier this summer my whole body was covered with them, it was scary. Have a great weekend!

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Ginny October 15, 2011 at 7:18 am

Oh gosh, yes, I’d imagine how scary that would have been. Good to hear you aren’t experiencing the hives anymore.

After 2 years of gas and bloating the GI dr. ordered a Hydrogen Breath Test. I tested positive for SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). I took an extremely high dose of antibiotics, felt better for weeks following, and just the other day the bloating returned. I have another test in 2 week, and if I still have it, they will prescribe an even higher dose.

I’m not a fan of antibiotics, but if this higher dose will finally get rid of it (mind you, I thought the first dose was going to), then I will take it for sure. I’ll keep you posted.

I’ve been (pretty much) gluten free since June, but here and there will eat something w/it in it. Doing away w/gluten has helped, but the bacteria lives on sugar, so even though it’s helped to remove gluten from my diet, I still eat things w/sugar, even if it’s not artificial. Fruit, grains, wine, etc.

It’s been a long time since dealing w/this, too long. I hope to find some resolution soon.

Hope you’re well, and I’m loving your posts!!! :)

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Carrie October 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Hi Ginny, wow, you have been through a lot. There is a book I heard about but haven’t read, it’s called “The Body Ecology Diet” and I believe it’s about that issue that you have. Have you also been taking probiotics to restore your healthy gut bacteria? Good luck, I know how frustrating it is to have something like this.

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Jennifer November 30, 2011 at 2:38 am

Ginny- Antibiotics are not good for the body and after a while they just are not effective anymore. In our house we use colloidal silver it is a much better alternative to antibiotics. It has wiped out a my twins asthma, & stomach bugs in a matter of minutes. I always keep it in the house. The problem with antibiotics is it wipes out not only the bad stuff but good as well. This then causes a over growth to occur. This is usually why people start to have chronic / recurring problems such as yourself. If used Responsibly and AS NEEDED colloidal silver is extremely effective. Do some research on it. hope this helps you out!

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Lisa October 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Congrats on your acceptance! How exciting!
I am following a restrictive diet right now too, and I added back in a little dairy to see what would happen. I wish it was easier to pinpoint what is causing what!
It’s such a process… good luck figuring it all out :)

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Carrie October 16, 2011 at 12:23 am

Thanks Lisa! Yeah, I’ve heard it’s easier to pinpoint reactions if you keep a food diary. I haven’t done that but I probably should. Have a great weekend!

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Sara (The Veggie Eco-Life) October 16, 2011 at 9:11 am

I’m lucky enough for not having any food allergies. It’s weird that it can come just like that..
Congratulations on being accepted! I hope everything will work out fine :)

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Carrie October 17, 2011 at 2:26 am

Thanks Sara! :)

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Amanda @ Hungry Vegan Traveler October 27, 2011 at 5:26 am

I’m *mostly* gluten-free. I had stomach, IBS, and acid reflux problems all through my childhood and teen years. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I started to pay closer attention to what I ate and how it effected me, and I did an elimination diet on my own. I quickly discovered that wheat products triggered all of the pain and discomfort I felt for most of my life! I can handle eating a cookie or a couple of crackers, but my bread and pasta days are long gone, and I don’t miss it at all.

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Carrie October 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Hi Amanda, so glad to hear you are feeling great and don’t even miss bread or pasta. I’m learning my tolerance level with gluten and other food allergies and it’s certainly been a challenge. But, I think I feel the same way you do that the challenges are worth feeling better.

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Martha October 29, 2011 at 2:14 am

Check out naet.com. NAET is an alternative treatment for allergies, sensitivities, etc. These treatments help your body clear – actually eliminate – allergies. I’ve been doing these treatments for 13 years and have seen many miracles and lots of people regain their health and eat more healthy foods. (Including myself!)

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Jennifer November 30, 2011 at 2:43 am

Carrie-
I would suggest using raw honey, but being that your vegan I’m assuming that that would not be a good option for you. I ‘m not Vegan but vegetarian. I am also dairy free but have used local RAW honey for about two years no and no longer have an issue with allergies. Let us know if you find another alternative to relieve your allergies.

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Carrie November 30, 2011 at 2:54 am

Thanks for the suggestion, Jennifer, on the raw honey. I don’t use honey anymore mainly because I don’t consume any concentrated sweeteners, but I’ve also heard that raw honey or bee pollen is good for allergies, although I don’t know that there is scientific evidence to support that claim.

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Jennifer November 30, 2011 at 2:44 am

I also forgot to add in my prior post that a Neti pot works wonders for allergies and sinus pressure!

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Ann February 21, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Hi Carrie,

Very interesting, and thanks for posting it! I looked at the histamine link above, but didn’t see a list of high histamine foods other than animal products and fermented cabbage. I see you list strawberries; are there other high histamine foods that would otherwise be OK on a Dr. Fuhrman diet?

Ann

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Carrie February 21, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Hi Ann! Thanks for the comment. Are you looking for a list of high-histamine foods that fall within Dr. Fuhrman’s guidelines? If so, some of them include citrus fruits, tomatoes, spinach, chocolate (or cocoa or cacao), eggplant…that’s all I can think of right now. Does that answer your question?

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Corri December 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Hi Carrie! These muffins taste great with a smear of fruit-only cranberry spread–very seasonal tasting! I was wondering, since this is made with garbanzo flour, would it be considered a “bean” serving by ETL guidelines? (In other words, not a whole grain?) I’m keeping track of my beans and grains :-) Thanks for this recipe, I enjoy it!

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Carrie December 30, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Hi Corri! I’m glad you liked the muffins and that is a fantastic question about the flour falling in the bean or grain category. That’s a tough one, though. The garbanzo bean flour is not starchy like a grain, yet it probably has a higher glycemic index than a whole bean because it is ground up. I honestly would count it as half and half, does that make sense?

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Corri December 31, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Thank you for the advice–totally makes sense! Happy new year, continued health and happiness to you!

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