One year ago, my life had a massive void in it. It was a void of all things familiar. I was easing out of an internship and into my first job in the Real World. I had very few friends in the City, and my family lived hundreds of miles away. But because I had a desire to fill that void, I was able to quickly discover what it was I wanted to patch those empty spots with forged ahead in bringing those things into my life. Where there’s a void and a desire to fill a void, a lot of learning happens, and fast.
I found new friends, I found outlets for my writing, I found a comfortable path at my new full-time job, I found places I could experience solitude and nature, I found a way to live a lifestyle in which I felt mostly balanced (which, to be fair, included an unending dose of challenges).
A year later, despite facing just as many challenges as ever, I feel much less of a void in my life. Though I’m anything but a settled New Yorker, I’m in a place where I feel my life is full of many of those original desires I had last fall. In peaceful moments like these, the biggest void I feel is that feeling that hits me in the gut every year the air starts to crisp and the leaves start to change. Know the feeling I’m talking about? It’s like Mother Nature is kicking me in the behind and giving me the softest hug all at the same time. It’s like she’s urging me to soul search while exuding unending joy.The changing season is unsettling, but deeply comforting. And this void is one that can be filled rather easily with warm sweaters, hot tea, and lots and lots of pumpkin baked goods.
Almond Flour Pumpkin Muffins
Makes 10-12 muffins
Adapted from Power Hungry
2 1/2 cups almond flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
3 large eggs
⅓ cup unsweetened pumpkin puree or pumpkin butter
2 tablespoons honey, agave nectar or maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted) or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vinegar (white or cider)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 10 cups in a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners. In a large bowl whisk the almond flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, honey, oil and vinegar. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until blended. Divide batter evenly among prepared cups. Bake in preheated oven for 14 to 18 minutes until set at the centers and golden brown at the edges. Move the tin to a cooling rack and let muffins cool in the tin 30 minutes. Remove muffins from tin. Fill that void!