Do You Know The Muffin Man?

The muffin man and I seem to be getting reacquainted lately. It’s been ages since I’ve made muffins and due to my desire to bake combined with sheer laziness, it just seemed liked the easiest thing to do. I wanted to try out some of the cookbook recipes and I just happen to have all the ingredients for the Raspberry Lemon Muffins in Color Me Vegan. Under the ‘Color Me Red’ chapter, these muffins are packed full of that magical red berry that are high in nutrients such as manganese, vitamin C and dietary fibre.

There’s really not a whole lot to say about these muffins, you’ve got lemon and you’ve got raspberries, mix em’ together and you get total yum. From what I can tell, all the recipes in the book that call for flour always give you the option of either all-purpose or whole wheat pastry, I had lots of ww pastry flour on hand so went that route. It doesn’t always work in every recipe (like cookies) but when it comes to muffins, loaves and breads it works great, you get that slightly nutty flavour that whole wheat flour has but instead of being dense, you still get a light fluffy muffin. I really like big, high-topped muffins and these didn’t meet my expectations in that sense but they were still a good muffin. Not too sweet, not too much fat, light but not crumbly, I think with a few alterations I could take this muffin up a notch, but even so, if you happen to have this book, try not to overlook this humble little guy, he may look like a wallflower but this muffin can bust a move.

When my parents were visiting I thought I would whip something up for them to have with their breakfast and the Garden Muffins in The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes seemed like a good recipe to try out. These babies are what would happen if veggies and whole grains had a love child, they’re made with whole wheat flour, oat bran, zucchini, carrot, raisins, walnuts and very small amounts of oil and maple syrup. The recipe actually calls for white whole wheat flour, but since I’ve yet to see any in my neck of the woods I subbed whole wheat pastry flour.

I’m not really into eating muffins for breakfast but these make a great snack. If you like a nice healthy muffin then you’ll like the taste of these, they’re very lightly sweetened with just a hint of maple flavour. Mine didn’t rise very much, which I was expecting with all the heavy ingredients, and although I baked them for the maximum time of 20 minutes they came out a little too moist in the middle, next time I would keep them in for an extra 10 minutes or so. Even with the moist centres they didn’t last very long around here, they were all gobbled up within a couple days. Due to all the veggies these are another one of those baked goods that attract the mold monsters, so if you’re not going to binge on them and have them gone within a few days then just keep them in the fridge.

I saved the best of the bunch for last (well the best if you’re a peanut butter fiend like me).  When it comes to bananas I think they’re great…when they’ve been pulverized and mixed into some other delicious concoction that is…one on one, we don’t really get along. I’ve tried to get along with bananas in their natural form, but unless there’s a buffer, like say peanut butter, it just ain’t gonna happen. Peanut butter on the other hand, I absolutely luuuuuurve! So if you’ve got issues with bananas like me, then maybe you should try these.

I put some chocolate chunks into the middle of a few of mine.

Mmmm, straight out of the oven

Peanut Butter & Banana Muffins

Makes 12 regular muffins
Adapted from It Ain’t Meat Babe

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup canola oil (or other light tasting oil)
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 6 Tbsp water
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 -1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup light spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of dried cherries or peanuts or chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease muffin tins or fill with paper liners.

Heat oil over med-low heat and stir in peanut butter until smooth and combined. Pour into a medium sized mixing bowl and let cool.

In a separate bowl, mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Mix ground flax seeds with water until well combined and set aside until thickened.

Add sugars, mashed banana, almond milk, vanilla and flaxseed mixture to the peanut butter and oil.

Combine dry and wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in dried cherries if using.

Fill muffin tins. Put the muffins in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 375 degrees. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool and then shove multiple muffins in your mouth.

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