As we watch the trees releasing their leaves in the fall, we are reminded that nature’s cycles are mirrored on our mats and in our lives. Fall is a time for releasing things that no longer serve our highest self-everything from clothes that no longer fit and expired milk, to toxic relationships, bad habits, and resentment. All the world’s religious traditions pay tribute to such acts of letting go.
Buddhist teacher Sharon Saltzberg writes in Lovingkindness about letting go: “Generosity has such power because it is characterized by the inner quality of letting go or relinquishing. Being able to let go, to give up, to renounce, to give generously — these capacities spring from the same source within us. When we practice generosity, we open to all of these liberating qualities simultaneously. They carry us to a profound knowing of freedom, and they also are the loving expression of that same state of freedom.”
Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 T molasses
2 T honey
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin purée
2 cups gluten-free flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup raisins
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup confectioner’s powdered sugar, sifted
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. In a mixer, beat the butter, molasses, brown sugar, and honey together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. (Start on low speed and increase to high speed to get the mixture light and fluffy.)
2 Add the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and pumpkin purée. Beat until well mixed.
3 In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients-the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the pumpkin batter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
4 Use a wooden spoon to mix in the pecans and raisins.
5 Arrange paper cupcake holders in a muffin tin. Portion out the batter into the cupcake paper cups, filling them close to the top of the cups. Bake about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven to a rack. Let cool completely before frosting.
6 In an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add maple syrup and confectioners’ sugar and mix to combine. Once cupcakes have cooled, apply the frosting.