Gluten-Free Perfect Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

Perfect Pumpkin Muffins (gluten free)

How could I possibly let Halloween slip by without sharing a pumpkin-inspired recipe?! Though it’s coming a little late, this fall-fantastic recipe is fitting for the season and sure to make your eyes and tummy equally happy.

Quick note: make sure that if you are making this recipe gluten-free (like I did), that you use baking flour (you’ll see other options like GF all-purpose/multipurpose flour) and have xantham gum on hand!

Now, without further adieu, my pumpkin muffin recipe with an optional sugar glaze.

Perfect gluten free Pumpkin Muffin recipe (gluten free)


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin purée
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or a blend of 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon allspice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix (again, make sure it is a baking mix, not all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
  • 1 tablespoon xantham gum (if using gluten free flour)

How to Make Apple Crumble:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners or grease cups.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the oil, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, molasses, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla.

3. Add the baking mix, stirring to combine.

4. Mix in the nuts, if you’re using them.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin. Allow the batter to rest for 10 minutes before baking.

6. Bake 22-25 minutes, let stand in tray for 5 minutes before removing.

7. Allow muffins to cool; Add optional drizzle.

Optional Sugar Glaze/Drizzle

pumpkin muffin sugar glaze


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1tsp vanilla

How to Make the Sugar Glaze:

1) Mix all the above ingredients in a small-medium sized mixing bowl. Voila! You’re done!

Gluten-free Apple Crumble/ Crisp Recipe

photo 1 (1)

Yesterday may have been the perfect Autumn day. The sun was peaking through fluffy clouds, the air had just the perfect chill, and the trees seemed to have reached their colorful peak of red, orange and yellow.

A friend and I ventured to the east side of Cleveland to Patterson Fruit Farms to take a walk through the ripe orchards and snag some local fruit. (Because really, what else can you do on the perfect fall afternoon?) As soon as we entered the shop, the sweet aroma of bubbling cider and tart, apple treats met our noses. From that moment, I was ready to start baking myself.

Here’s the recipe for our gluten-free apple crumble.

photo 3


  • ¾ cup crushed almonds
  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ⅔ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 8 tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 4½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Optional: fresh yogurt, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

How to Make Apple Crumble:
1. Heat oven to 375°F.

2. Mix crushed almonds, gluten free oats (I used a maple flavored variety), brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon in a bowl. Cut in the butter. Use enough butter to so the mixture holds loosely together.

3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine apples, lemon juice, granulated sugar, vanilla, and of cinnamon. Toss to combine.

4. Layer sliced apples in a 9 x 12-inch (or approximately the same size) baking pan. You can also use large ramekins.

5. Sprinkle crumble mixture over apples.

6. Bake 35 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling and apples are tender. (Check after 20-25 minutes.)

7. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Original recipe here

photo (7)

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Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating

Apple Cinnamon Muffin Recipe

Apple Cinnamon Muffin Recipe

I describe myself as a cook, not a baker. The science of baking soda is lost on me… But I’m making an attempt to break into the world of baking, one little baby step at a time….

Step 1: Buy baking supplies. (muffin tin, bread tin, mixing bowl, mixing spoon)
Step 2: Buy baking essentials. (baking sugar, baking powder and soda, flour, xanthan gum-important ingredient for gluten-free baking, vegetable oil, pam spray, etc.)
Step 3: Foster intent to bake.
Step 4: Tell other people I plan to bake, creating accountability for baking.
Step 5: Suck it up; bake something.

These muffins were insanely easy to make (thank goodness). My only complaint is that the recipe only makes about 9 muffins… Don’t get me wrong, those 9 muffins were scrumptious, but I feel like baked goods are meant to be shared in mass quantities!

Apple Cinnamon Muffin Ingredients


  • 1 box of Hodgson Mill Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • ½ cup of 2% milk
  • 1 egg

How to make gluten-free Apple Cinnamon Muffins:

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Combine muffin mix and sugar into a medium size mixing bowl.

3. Blend in oil, milk and egg; Mix well.

4. Grease 9 muffin cups (or line with paper liners); Spoon batter evenly into each.

5. Bake 14-15 minutes. Serve warm.

How to Make Apple Cinnamon Muffin

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Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating

Quinoa Stuffed Red Pepper

Quinoa Stuffed Red Pepper

quinoa stuffed pepper recipe ingredients

Who doesn’t love a good stuffed pepper?! This recipe is healthy, gluten-free and packed with protein. Other perks? The ingredients are all inexpensive and making multiple servings is a breeze! Hope you enjoy making it as much as I enjoyed eating it.


    • 1 bell pepper
    • fresh garlic
    • ½ cup of diced onions
    • ½ quinoa
    • salt
    • pepper
    • cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
    • 2 eggs

How to Make Quinoa Stuffed Red Pepper:

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Boil ½ cup of water (always prep 1:1 for quinoa).

3. Dice garlic and onion. Sauté in olive oil over medium heat.

4. Add quinoa to boiling water, cover, and reduce to medium-low heat, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Add garlic and onion to quinoa. (You can also add salt and pepper for additional flavor.)

5. Place bell pepper halves on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

5. Remove bell peppers from the oven, drain any moisture from the inside, and stuff each bell pepper half with a large scoop of the quinoa mix.

quinoa stuffed pepper prep

6. Place the stuffed bells in a large casserole dish with the cherry tomato halves. Crack an egg over each pepper.

7. Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes (or until the egg whites are set). Check after 25 minutes.

quinoa stuffed pepper

Spicy Crab and Corn Chowder Recipe

Crab and Corn Chowder Recipe

There’s nothing better than snuggling up and digging into a warm, savory dish like this on a chilly Autumn day! ‘Tis the season for soup, chili and chowder. Hope you enjoy!


  • 1 medium poblano chile**
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion (about half of a large onion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 cup half-and-half, (divided 3/4 and 1/4 cup)
  • 1 (8-ounce) russet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used Hodgson Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose)
  • 1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1 (8-ounce) container crab claw meat, shell pieces removed

**I might grab two. The pepper really adds the spice to this dish, and with poblano’s it’s hard to tell the level of heat until you cook them!

How to Make Spicy Crab and Corn Chowder:

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Place poblano on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 8 minutes on each side or until blackened. Place pepper in a small zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel off the pepper’s burnt outer skin and chop.

3. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, salt, sugar and red pepper to pan; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add corn; sauté 2 minutes.

5. Remove 3/4 cup corn mixture from pan. Combine 3/4 cup corn mixture and 3/4 cup half-and-half in a blender; process until smooth.

6. Add potato to pan; sauté 1 minute. Stir in 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Cook 4 minutes or until potato is almost tender. Reduce heat to medium.

7. Combine remaining 1/4 cup half-and-half and flour in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Add flour mixture to pot. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

8. Return corn puree to pan, stir.

9. Stir in poblano, milk, and crab; bring to a simmer. Cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

How to make Spice Corn and Crab Chowder Recipe

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Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating

Buckeye Recipe

How to Make Buckeyes Recipe 2

5 Things I Learned Growing up in Ohio:

1. The only way chili should be served is poured over spaghetti and smothered in cheese. (If you’re from Cinci, you know that this is the only way to start such a list…)

2. A distance should be conveyed in minutes, not miles. I suggest using a major city for reference, like Dayton!

3. Weather is never forever… You can even experience snow, sunshine and rain in one day! Woo-hoo!

4.  Everyone else has an accent. EVERYONE.

and lastly…

5. What a buckeye is: a tree nut, a fanatic sports fan and, most importantly, a delectable confectionery treat.

photo (4)    Buckeye Recipe

This week, in honor of fall and football season, I decided to make a batch of my favorite peanut-butter-and-chocolate treats: buckeyes! I even enlisted the help of a true Ohio State Buckeye for authenticity.

Buckeyes are no-bake, easy to make, gluten-free and delicious! But let me warn you, they’re addictive…. I used the recipe below. It can also be halved or (I recommend) doubled.


  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  • 4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

How to Make Buckeyes:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. I suggest adding the sugar last, and in small quantities at a time. The dough will look dry.
  2. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.How to Make Buckeyes
  3. Press a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until smooth.
  5. Dip the frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving

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Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating

Sugar Substitute Comparison Chart

Sugar vs. Sweetener…The great debate.

Artificial Sweeteners | Sugar Substitutes

When I grab a coffee from the Starbucks down the street, I always head to what I (fondly) call the “sugar bar.”  I’ll stand and stare at the sweet assortment, mulling over my options…  I’ll often snag one of the pastel packets, patting myself on the back for dodging a few calories…. I’m not alone either.

According to a 2006 survey from Mintel Reports, 61 percent of U.S. women use artificial sweeteners daily. But should the number of calories in a tablespoon-sized packet be priority in our decision-making?

Recently I fell upon some startling sugar substitute statistics… (yeah, try saying that 4 times fast.)

Artificial sugars are dramatically sweeter than raw and table sugar. This might be obvious, but seeing just how much sweeter, was shocking to me (chart below). This knowledge in mind, it made sense that artificial sweeteners could disturb the body’s ability to count calories or cause unnatural cravings… I think it’s time to put down the colorful packets and pick up the white (or even better, brown). The numbers made the difference for me… How about you?

Click on the chart to expand it!

sweetener comparison

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Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating

Smoked Salmon Salad

Smoked Salmon Salad

I’ve really been embracing salad recently.

Honestly, it wasn’t too long ago that I turned my nose up at leafy greens, but now I’ve started craving them. This salad is one of my favorites. It falls very low on the effort scale, but very high on the flavor scale. Here’s my smoked salmon salad!


  • 2 cups of fresh “spring mix” greens
  • 1 serving of cherry tomatoes (around 10)
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • 1 fillet of seasoned smoked salmon
  • Oil & Vinegar
  • Pepper

How to Make This Smoked Salmon Salad

Easy! Wash your spring mix, halve the cherry tomatoes, chop up the hard boiled egg and throw it all together with your salmon on top! Sprinkle some oil, vinegar and pepper to taste, and voila! You’re done!

The salad ends up at just around 300 calories, so I usually serve this will some wild rice or quinoa. Hope you enjoy!

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Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating

Cat’s Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

My friend Cathryn had me over for dinner recently. She knows about my dietary restrictions, and like the amazing hostess she is, was more than accommodating with her menu!

She made a delicious spicy black bean chili, and it was so great snagged the recipe to share! It took less than 30 minutes to prep and cook, and is packed full of flavor!

This is an incredibly easy fall/winter dish. Enjoy!


  • 3-4 tablespoons margerine
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 2 15oz cans black beans
  • 1 15oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 15oz can low sodium corn kernels, undrained
  • 1 4oz can diced green chiles, undrained
  • 1 16oz jar salsa verde (the green kind)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes


  • sour cream
  • mexican blend cheese

How to Make Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

  1. Dice onions.
  2. Melt margerine in large pot over medium heat.
  3. Saute onions until soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium low.
  5. Rinse & drain black beans
  6. Add tomatoes, corn, green chiles, salsa, & black beans to pot; mix well.
  7. Add red pepper flakes.
  8. Bring just to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 6

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

(I would suggest using a bigger pot)

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Alternative Eating | Lo Martinez
exploring gluten-free, paleo & clean eating