These are hands down the best pumpkin muffins I have ever made. They're tender, not too sweet, and make a perfect quick breakfast or bedtime snack. Substituting canola oil with coconut oil provides healthy fats that are great for keeping your brain strong and help to cut out omega-6 fats found in vegetable and canola oils that are far to high in the typical American diet due to the high amounts of fast food and processed foods we consume. By replacing brown sugar with coconut sugar, you're still getting the sweet and caramel-y flavor, but with an unrefined sugar that is lower glycemic (doesn't send your blood sugar skyrocketing as quickly as refined sugars). A sprinkling of toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or nuts on the top of the muffins add a nice crunch and dose of omega-3 fats, which are great for heart health.
Before you get started measuring, place the 2 eggs out on the counter to come to room temperature, turn the oven on to 400 degrees F, and place the 1/4 cup of coconut oil on top of the stove to melt while the oven preheats.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients until combined. Seeing the brown spices evenly distributed will let you know everything is mixed together well.
In a larger bowl, whisk together the coconut sugar, molasses, coconut oil, and 1 egg. Add in the second egg. Next, fold in the pumpkin and vanilla until the mixture is just combined.
To combine the wet and dry ingredients, pour half of the dry mixture into the bowl with the wet. Fold in the dry until almost all of the white flour is mixed in, then add half of the buttermilk and stir. Repeat this step, folding to make sure to incorporate everything from the bottom and sides of the bowl until you can't see anymore flour.
Line a traditional muffin pan with cupcake liners and using a spoon or cookie scoop (easy measuring!), fill each muffin cup. I like to put one spoonful or scoop in each of the 12 cups first, then see how much batter I have left and divide it evenly amongst the remaining cups to make them as even as possible. Finally, if you're using any toppings, sprinkle them evenly on top of the muffins.
Bake the muffins for 20 minutes (I recommend setting the timer at 18 minutes in case your oven runs hotter than mine) or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin from the middle of the pan comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pan and on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before removing the muffins from the tin and placing them directly on the cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
To freeze the muffins, make sure they are completely cooled and place them in a freezer bag or container (squeezing out all of the air if you're using a bag) and freeze them up to several months. To reheat, wrap a muffin in a piece of wax paper and microwave for 20-25 seconds.
*Please make sure to purchase whole grain PASTRY flour because the texture of pastry flour is finer and gives this muffin it's tender texture. Regular whole grain flour will not produce the same results.
**The easiest way to grind nutmeg is using a tool called a microplain which you can purchase at a cooking store, or even at Target or of course on Amazon.