Enjoy the rich taste of pumpkin in a muffin that is loaded with nutritional benefits. It combines the wonderful consistency of buckwheat with ground flaxseed and brown-rice flour – all of which are naturally gluten free. Or, if gluten is not an issue, you can substitute whole-wheat pastry flour for the brown rice flour. Either way the result is a unique treat that will add healthy breakfast or anytime snack to the season.

Buckwheat, which unlike most other grains is a not a grass but a plant crop, has a rich, nutty flavor. It is believed that this ancient crop was first cultivated in China around 1000 AD and reached England in the 1400s. It blends well with brown rice flour, which is ground from un-hulled rice kernels. The results are both hearty flavor and texture with a good amount of fiber. The ground flax adds more fiber and also contains beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

Of course the overriding flavor is derived from the pumpkin. Its name originates from the Greek word pepon, which not surprisingly means “large melon.” The French pronounced it pompon. Shakespeare referred to it as pumpion and the American colonists called it pumpkin. No matter, its taste is the very essence of late autumn and winter flavor.

Moist, with a hint of cinnamon and orange, these muffins provide a mouth watering treat that is sure to please. Best of all, they are low fat, high fiber and packed with vitamin A.

Pumpkin Muffins with Buckwheat – Makes 12 servings.

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • ¾ cup brown rice flour (whole-wheat pastry flour may be substituted if gluten free is not desired)
  • 3 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger (optional)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup non-fat milk
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • ¾ tsp. orange peel, finely shredded
  • ¼ cup orange juice (with or without pulp)
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Coat 12, 2 ½-inch muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. In medium bowl combine dry ingredients. Form a well in center of flour mixture and set aside.

In separate bowl combine eggs, pumpkin, milk, oil, orange peel and juice, beating gently. Add this mixture and raisins, if using, to the flour mixture. Stir gently until moistened – the batter should be a bit lumpy.

Spoon batter evenly into muffin molds.

Bake until muffins are light brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Place muffin pan on wire rack to cool about 5 minutes.

Carefully remove muffins from molds and serve warm.

Per serving: 140 calories, 4.5 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 22 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 240 mg sodium.

The Author:

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $91 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, AICR is part of the global network of charities that are dedicated to the prevention of cancer. The WCRF global network is led and unified by WCRF International, a membership association which operates as the umbrella organization for the network .The other charities in the WCRF network are World Cancer Research Fund in the UK (; Wereld Kanker Onderzoek Fonds in the Netherlands (; World Cancer Research Fund Hong Kong (; and Fonds Mondial de Recherche contre le Cancer in France (

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