Posts Tagged With: muffins

Vegan MoFo 2015, Day 3: Quick, Easy, and Delicious

3 Quick, easy and delicious.

I’m usually pretty good at getting lunch on the table by noon, our scheduled lunchtime. When it comes to supper, though, I tend to be a little less organised. Supper is at 5.30, and sometimes it’s 5 when I realise, “Oh, um, maybe I better fix something.” It’s our lightest meal of the day, which helps. So, what do I make when I have only half an hour?

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*Whip out some muffins. If I preheat the oven right away and don’t waste time mixing them up, I can generally have those ready in half an hour. And who doesn’t like muffins? I’ll frequently serve them with popcorn and fruit of some kind. The ones above are piña colada muffins – recipe here.

smoothie

*If I don’t have time for muffins, I’ll often do popcorn and a smoothie. I posted about smoothies here and also here. Usually I do not bother with a recipe for smoothies, because smoothies, like soup, are one of my catch-all, whatever-I-happen-to-have-around kind of things – but my absolute favourite smoothie recipe *ever* is Sarah Matheny’s Sunrise Smoothie from More Peas, Thank You. About once a year I’ll buy some mangoes for that and it is SO HEAVENLY.

Happy granola is happy.

*If I don’t have time for popcorn and a smoothie, I’ll bring out the granola (assuming any is made – usually I have it), rolled oats, and dried fruit, and we’ll have that with milk or fruit sauce or yogurt or whatever happens to be available in the fridge at the time.

I posted a granola recipe here some time ago, but I have a new favourite that is now my standby! Here it is, adapted slightly from Give Them Something Better.

Note: If you’re gluten-free, you can use gf oats and a gf flour blend in this to make it suitable!

In a big bowl, combine:
12 cups of rolled oats
1 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c unsweetened cocoanut
1 1/2 c nuts, chopped (my fave is sliced almonds, or a blend of almonds+cashews, but any will do, including sunflower seeds if you’re broke)

In a smaller bowl, combine:
1 1/2 c water
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c oil
2 T vanilla
1 1/2 tsp salt

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones. I use my hands to mix up the granola, because that’s how I roll. Then I pack it into two glass 13×9 baking dishes (packing it seems to help it be chunkier after the first stirring, which I love). Bake at 300 and stir every 20 minutes until done. It’ll usually be about 2 hours.

A lot of times I’ll double this and freeze half until we need it. It freezes wonderfully and makes my life a bit less complicated. If you do this, you’ll want to make sure you rotate your pans when you do your stirring.

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Categories: breakfast, recipes, vegan, vegan mofo 2015 | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

2015, a Recipe Odyssey: February Edition

Things that have happened this month:

  • I broke my blender jar – again (SIGH)
  • I ran out of regular sugar, which has forced me to be Creative with Liquid Sweeteners, because I have plenty of those, and also kept me from making cookies, which is good for my body and not good for my sugar-loving mouth
  • We had our annual nonfire and it was fun
  • I tried a bunch of new recipes!

Here’s what I made! Grouped by source.

From Veganomicon:

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1 and 2. Chickpeas Romesco with Saffron-Garlic Rice – These were both fantastic and went together great, just as they suggested. Definitely would make again!

3. Chili Cornmeal Crusted Tofu – Failed to get a picture of this one. I liked this just okay. I think my cornmeal wasn’t quite fine enough and I didn’t have lime zest so it lacked that lime punch. The coating stuff was like twice as much as I actually needed though, so I froze the rest of it for later use.

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4. Potato Leek Cassoulet – I wasn’t super duper impressed with this one; it seemed bland. I imagine that more salt would probably have been the answer, but while I can add salt to the stew, it’s hard to add salt to already-cooked biscuits. The leftovers I heated the next day I added some more salt to anyway and it did help a lot. So I may possibly make this again and just keep that in mind.

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5. Beanballs – So I had some kidney beans in the freezer from a while ago and when I saw this called for kidney beans it was an immediate sell. They were really easy and tasty. Neither of my children were impressed, however.

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6. Double Pea Soup with Roasted Red Peppers – I subbed frozen lima beans for well over half the peas called for because I thought I had more frozen peas than I did. Oops. Anyway, I was concerned I wouldn’t like this soup because of all the random seasonings in it that I would never ever use in pea soup. I didn’t really like the soup, but it was actually not to do with the seasonings, I just found it really blah somehow.

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7. Spinach Noodle Kugel – I had such high hopes for this. I subbed kale and collards for the spinach because that’s what I have at the moment, and only about 1/3 the weight called for – and, guys, I just really don’t like collards and kale. There also seemed a tremendous imbalance between the greens and the pasta. I can’t imagine using 30 oz of frozen spinach in here, let alone that much kale.  I would like to try it again, with spinach.

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8. Lemony Potato Wedge Things – (yeah I’m too lazy to go look up the actual recipe name) I had these going for probably about an hour, the last half of which I cranked the oven up to 400. They never really browned like they were supposed to. BUT, they really tasted good!

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9. Soup With a Really Long Name – (see comment on previous recipe’s title) This was SO good! I subbed oregano for the thyme, because I ran out of thyme. Somehow that always happens when I go too crazy making Isa recipes! :-p Anyway, I would definitely make this again.

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10. Rosemary Foccacia Bread – DE. LISH. US. My children adored it as well. We ate it with seasoned pinto beans.

From the interwebs:

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11. Cranberry Paleo Muffins – Another recipe I found to try using my Christmas cocoanut flour in. These were the most disgusting things I have ever tasted in my life. Even my husband couldn’t eat them. If he can’t eat them, they really must be bad. Seriously, do paleo people actually EAT this stuff???? I took a tiny bite and gagged, as did both my children. Mr Pine Nut gamely picked out the cranberries from his, but declined to take a second one.

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12. Cranberry Orange Upside-down Cake I had exactly enough cocoanut flour from my Christmas bag left to make this. Of the three recipes I tried, this was easily the best, but it was still weird. I think I should have baked it a little longer, and arrowroot just has a weird texture. The flavour was good. It’s all about texture, which is kind of also a big deal. I won’t be in a rush to make it again, and I have no desire to run out and buy more cocoanut flour, because I’m simply not impressed.

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13. Tofu Mr Pine Nut made tofu once, a very long time ago (when we lived in the trailer). It came out soft, but good. I like, nay, LOVE tofu, and because of our finances right now I was thinking maybe I better learn to make it and save us some money. Well, the process went great until the cold water step at the end, when my blob of tofu decided “Hey, I’ll disentegrate into a bajillion bits!!” Not cool, tofu. Not cool. I’ll definitely try again, but preferably on a day when I’m not also doing a ton of other things like I was this day, and ask around for some input from tofu-making connoisseurs.

14. Okara Crab Cakes I had plenty of perfectly good okara out of the lame tofu deal, though! So I tried this recipe. It was good. Not my favourite thing ever, but good.

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15. Okara “Chicken” Nuggets – These were SO good! This is definitely going to be a go-to with future okara. I did the procedure a bit differently than outlined – I wrapped the mixture directly in foil and dumped it in a steamer basket in a covered pot. I did not do the breading and frying, which I’m sure would be good, but these were good just on their own too! We ate them with carrots and mac and cheese.

From Isa Does It:

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16. Spicy Slurpy Spaghetti Sauce – Oh MAN this was hands down the best sauce EVER I will never make another sauce again! (Yes, crazy Pinterest peeps, I’m mocking you.) Seriously though, this was the best sauce I’ve ever made, and it was so easy. I subbed a combo of paprika/smoked paprika for the pepper flakes, since Mr Pine Nut is not a fan of heat, and I blended it in my food processor to hide the “stuff” (tomato chunks, onions) from GooGoo. GooGoo is not a fan of tomato anything, but she slurped this stuff right down with her linguine. Score!

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17. Classic Baked Tofu – Loved the flavour; didn’t love the texture. I think next time I’ll cut thinner slices and skip the parchment paper; I like my baked tofu to have a bit more of a chewy crust than this one ended up with (even after being in the oven way longer than called for!) But I’ll definitely make it again. I had it with steamed broccoli and chicken rice. It was a super delicious meal.

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18. Meaty Beany Chili – This was okay; I did not add the sweetener and I’m glad I didn’t; I like my savoury food to be savoury, and somehow the cloves made it seem sweet enough already. Not sure I’ll make this again.

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19. Lentil-Quinoa Stew – I had only 3/4 cup of quinoa and I probably used only 1/2 pound of kale. Despite the kale (I am so not a fan) it was very good!

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20. Dilly Stew with Rosemary Dumplings – This was amazing. I forgot to put the navy beans in (I don’t even know, guys) but it was still insanely delicious. When I heated the leftovers the next day I added in some of the navy beans with them. Either way it’s great.

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21. Cheddary Broccoli Soup – Not a huge fan of this, although Lou Who snarfed down three bowls and had the rest tonight for her supper, cold, because she was in too much of a hurry to wait to warm it up! GooGoo was also not a fan. It tasted vaguely vomitlike to me when I first tasted it out of the pot, and when I reheated it for our Friday night supper it at least no longer tasted like vomit. It was, however, ridiculously noochy, and I’m really not a huge fan of nooch. It was worth a shot, but I don’t think I’ll make it again.

From Vegan Brunch:

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22. Toasted Cocoanut Chocolate Chip Muffins – I loved the mango ones from last month, so I tried the chocolate chip variation. I had to do a lot of subbing because I’m out of, oh, sugar, and getting low on oil. So I used melted cocoanut oil and instead of the dry sugars used 1/4 cup agave. They turned out nicely and tasted great.

From Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World:

23. Carrot Cake Cupcakes – These were really good, despite the fact that I do not believe raisins belong in a carrot cake. I would leave them out next time, but I did very much like the overall flavour! I did a double batch in a 13×9 pan to take to a potluck.

Cookbooks [or other sources] represented in February: 5

Did I meet my goal? Yes, plus 3. Yay!

See you next month, with March’s recipe report!

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Categories: bread, challenges, entrees, side dish, soup, tofu, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

2015, a Recipe Odyssey: January Edition

So, I’ve unofficially decided on a personal challenge this year, which is far more fun than a New Year’s resolution. Early this month, I cracked open Veganomicon, looking for a use for some tofu I had in my fridge, and ended up with a pot of barbecue sauce simmering on the stove – and I made some tofu-cashew ricotta that was DELISH.  So I decided to attempt to try roughly 5 new recipes every week. I’ve been bouncing around a lot of cookbooks this month; I may try to be more focused next month. Or not! Spontaneity is the name of the game!

Here’s what I made! Grouped by source.

From Veganomicon:

1. Basic Barbecue Sauce – I’m honestly not sure why I made this, aside from the fact that I just happened to have all the needed ingredients, because I’m not a huge fan of BBQ sauce. It just sounded fun for some reason! We ate a little bit of it with some leftover something or other and I froze the rest until I can think what to make with it. It’s good.

2. Cashew-Tofu Ricotta – YUM.

3. Messy Rice – Good, but I thought a little more salt would have been nice. Also, I let it sit too long before eating, so it got a tiny bit too dry.

4. Chickpea-Quinoa Pilaf – I thought this was pretty fab fresh. Mr Pine Nut dismissed it as “kinda brown and monotaste”. The leftovers weren’t appealing to me, but I think I’d make it again!

5. Pumpkin Cranberry Scones – VERY good. Will opt for the longer bake time next time, because these were more muffins than scones with the shorter time.

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[6-13 REDACTED UNTIL PERMISSION GRANTED]

From the interwebs:

14. Carrot Cake Muffins – I got some cocoanut flour for a Christmas present and so I found this recipe to try. The flavour was really quite good, especially considering that there was no salt, but the texture was weird.

15. Kamut-Wheat Pizza Crust – I remembered that Vegan Richa did a pizza series for MoFo one year, and I wanted to use the abovementioned barbecue sauce on a pizza AND branch out and try a new pizza crust. So I decided on this one. It was very tasty; I managed to gum up my grain mill with the cashews because I’m brilliant that way. (I was trying to grind the wheat, kamut, and cashews together, because I ain’t got cashew flour. Don’t try this at home.) Anyway, I don’t think I’ll make it again unless I come into possession of pre-ground cashew flour, but I did really like it!

And in case you were interested, I topped the pizza with the BBQ sauce, chickpeas, minced chives and green onions, and Daiya. It was great!

From Vegan Brunch:

16. Toasted Cocoanut-Mango Muffins – SOOOO YUMMMMM. I want to try it with dried pineapple next, and I also must try the chocolate chip version sometime very soon.

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17. English Muffins – These tasted good, but I think my next try will be better. The only other time I tried making English muffins resulted in some indigestible leaden discs, so this definitely was better than that, but I think there’s some skill to be gained from practise. Figuring out exactly how long to pan-fry, how to be sure they’re baked through – it’ll come with time. They were good and went fast!

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18. Cocoa Raspberry Muffins – I subbed chopped frozen strawberries for the raspberries because that’s what I had. These were tender and delish, not too sweet (unless you ask Mr Pine Nut, who thinks everything is too sweet 😉 ) I’d like to try these with cherries next! They were good the next day also, and then I refrigerated them and they were still good. Can’t say that for some muffins.

19. Bakery-Style Muffins – I did use a little whole wheat flour and reduced the sugar a smidge, but these were decadent and delightful. I may or may not have eaten six.

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20. NYC Coffee Cake – This was astonishingly delicious. I don’t think I’ll ever make another coffee cake again. No, really.

From Isa Does It:

21. Creamy Potato-Leek Soup – I liked this, but wasn’t over the moon about it.

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22. Jumbo Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – I’m lousy at math, but I did figure out the following: I did a double batch and consumed 30% of the dough before the cookies were done baking. These were WAY easy and the dough was amazing. The cookies were really great as well.

23. Carrot Cake Pancakes – These were really good!

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24. Creamy Sundried Tomato Penne – Also very pleased with this. It looks kinda complicated, but it actually was really easy and came together quite fast. I used some cauliflower as well because I had some along with broccoli that was dying in the refrigerator.

From Appetite for Reduction:

25. Arabian Lentil Soup – Many other PPKers were raving about this soup, and so I made it. It was very good; not to die for, but it was very simple and I’d make it again.

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From Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar:

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26. Key Lime Shortbread Rounds – SO good. The dough was grand, and the baked cookies were no less exceptional, even considering I didn’t have quite enough lime zest as was called for.

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27. Sweet Chocolate Pretzels – these were just okay to me. They weren’t bad, but I wasn’t thrilled with them either for the amount of work they were. The dough was tasty though! Tastier than the final cookie. And the end result did look charmingly pooplike, if you’re into that kind of thing.

From Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World:

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28. S’mores Cupcakes – So, one of my gripes about this book is how many of the recipes call for non-dairy yogurt. I have some yogurt at the moment, so I was all “lemme make some cupcakes!” And as I was paging through I realised that actually a lot of them don’t actually call for yogurt. So… I guess it seems one way when I have no yogurt vs. when I do. ANYWAY, these are really good. The cupcakes really do taste like graham crackers. I was too lazy to make a chocolate ganache, would would have been easier to eat and more chocolatey than the chocolate chips, but hey, it looks pretty! Would definitely make again.

Cookbooks [or other sources] represented in January: 8

Did I meet my goal? Yes, plus 8. Yay!

See you next month, with February’s recipe report!

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Categories: brunch, challenges, cookies, dessert, soup, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Piña Colada Muffins!! or, Another Recipe Unearthed from the Bottomless Pit That Is My Drafts Folder

I had the better part of a can of pineapple slices in my fridge. I also had cocoanut milk. This means piña colada muffins NEEDED to happen. (You could also make doughnuts out of these, if you have a doughnut pan.)

I actually wrote this up aeons ago, and it’s been sitting in my drafts folder ever since. I’m pretty sure that these were awesome.

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1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c pineapple juice (from the canned pineapple
1/3 c sugar
1/2 c pineapple (chunks or tidbits, your call)
1/2 c cocoanut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 T cocoanut oil, melted

Option: Top with 1/2 c cocoanut (I used 1/4 c each of sweetened baker’s cocoanut and unsweetened flaked)

Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl, and wet ingredients, including melted oil, in another bowl. Combine them together just until mixed. Drop into greased or papered muffin tin, top with topping if using, and bake at 350 for… I have “X MINUTES” written down, so that means I either forgot to pay attention to my baking time or… or something. Start with 18 minutes and go from there. That’s usually safe for muffins. Toothpick test will tell you when they’re done!

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Categories: breakfast, brunch, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Literary Post: Blueberries for Sal. Blueberry Muffins.

This year, I’m going to have a Literary Food Post the first Wednesday of every month. (At least, this is my very real intention.) Mostly this will be children’s books, but I may throw in a non-juvenile book on occasion if I feel like it.

For my first one, I’ve chosen a favourite from my childhood: Blueberries for Sal.

Robert McClosky clearly had children, because “Blueberries for Sal” is alarmingly true to life. Last summer during blackberry season, GooGoo went through the following routine every time we went out picking:

  • picks berries to put in her bucket
  • once she has about 3, she eats them
  • then she tries to take a handful out of my basket
  • I tell her she needs to pick her own berries because we’re saving these ones for winter.

Somehow I feel old just writing all that out.

Blueberry muffins are kind of a staple, aren’t they? Pretty much everyone likes a blueberry muffin, and they are most comforting to me at least. I have lots of memories of eating them growing up. My mom usually paired them with chicken soup and I remember anxiously watching as she took them out of the muffin tin, put them in her large shallow “muffin bowl” and covered them with a cloth to keep them warm, and then we’d all sit down to table and I’d try to grab several while they were still practically too hot to eat. My dad preferred the ones not “corroded with blueberries“, whereas I loved the ones with huge pockets of juicy berry goodness.

I loved this illustration growing up. It’s so homey, complete with wood stove. I used to just look at it for the longest time.

My mom always used a recipe from a card she got free in the mail, if I remember correctly. This is the recipe (veganised, with notes).

Basic Blueberry Muffin

1 3/4 C flour (I do 1 cup white, 3/4 cup whole wheat)
1/3 c sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c blueberries, frozen, fresh, or dried (I’ve subbed other berries too)
3/4 c non-dairy milk
1 T ground flax + 3 T hot water
1/3 c vegan margarine, melted (or cocoanut oil works wonders too)

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in blueberries.

Add milk, flax egg, and oil. Stir just until mixed.

Pour into 12 muffin cups. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

***

I welcome your suggestions for favourite children’s books that involve or allude to food in some way – I’ll gladly consider all suggestions and post about whichever ones get my creative juices going!

Categories: book-inspired food, breakfast, brunch, nut-free, recipes, vegan | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Chocolate-Ginger Muffins

I really need a flour sifter.

I keep looking, but the antique stores charge too much for something that’s used, and the thrift stores haven’t turned up one for me yet. And I’m too cheap to go buy a new one. Maybe that’s lame, but there it is.

Anyway, so I use a fork in the meantime to smush up my dry ingredients if I have dry lumpy stuff like brown sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda in.

Speaking of recipes with dry lumpy stuff, here’s a recipe. For THESE.

Chocolate Ginger Muffins

Ever since my secret sister at church gave me some dark chocolate-covered ginger from Trader Joe’s a while back, I’ve become a little obsessed with the combination. At first I was like, “Uh… chocolate? Ginger? How does that even go together?”

But it DOES. It’s actually really amazing. So I’m on a quest to ginger-ify various chocolatey things.

I found this basic vegan chocolate muffin recipe and adapted it a bit for my purposes. Here’s my version.

Chocolate Ginger Muffins

Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl:
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c white flour
1/2 c cocoa powder (just regular – I used half carob in the pictured batch because my cocoa stash was very depleted)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger powder
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used a little under 1/2 cup)
1/4 c minced candied ginger (optional)

(If you have a flour sifter, that’s awesome. If not, use a fork.)

Add in the following:
1 1/2 cup natural unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla

Stir just until combined. Spoon into 12 regular prepared muffin cups or 24 mini ones. Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

And then eat them.

Update since I originally wrote this post: I NOW HAVE A FLOUR SIFTER.

Categories: breakfast, dessert, nut-free, recipes, snacks, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Strawberry (or whateverberry) Shortcake That’s Better For You

So, I love shortcake, but I hated the sensation of my arteries clogging every time I ate it, just at the thought of all the shortening involved.

I was browsing through my Betty Crocker cookbook from the 1980s one day and found a plain muffin recipe that I adapted a little and have been perfectly delighted with ever since as a shortcake substitute that causes me Much Less Guilt.

1 egg or equivalent egg replacer
3/4 c non-dairy milk
1/4 c oil
1/4 c applesauce
1 c white flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1/3 c brown sugar
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt

Prepare either 12 muffin cups or 9×9″ pan by greasing well.

Beat egg or egg replacer well. Stir in milk, oil, and applesauce.

Add dry ingredients all at once and then stir just until moistened. It will be lumpy.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

***

Note: A doubled recipe fits well in a 13×9″ pan.

***

TOPPING:

I thaw frozen berries of whatever kind, and if I have fresh berries I mix those in. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, even sometimes a bit of very finely chopped apple.

I add no sweeteners to the fruit. If you’re used to sweetening your fruit, try using agave instead and then gradually wean yourself off it. Fruit really, truly tastes SO much better naked!

EDIT on 2012-03-09:

I made this batch in mini muffin tins and did a blended fruit sauce with blackberries, peaches, and a little apple and pineapple juice.

Because this post needed a picture. Incidentally, I left the sugar out of the pictured batch completely and they were still Most Tasty.

Categories: dessert, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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