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Sweet Potato Mini Muffins

Vegan Sweet Potato Mini Muffins

So I think I mentioned my daughter’s recent dislike for all things muffins and cupcakes. Well I thought I’d add in a little “surprise” to entice her to try these sweet potato mini muffins and enlist her in making these. We recently signed up for CSA deliver through her preschool and I was excited to see the big sweet potatoes in the box.  They also send me a recipe – that I made a little more healthy with Quinoa flour and then add the chocolate chips to entice her. She just ate the chocolate chips. Everyone else enjoyed the entire muffin.

Ingredients

  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 2.5 Tbsp water)
  • 3/4 cup sweet potato puree (appx 2 med potatoes)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup  sunflower butter or chocolate chips

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line muffin tin with paper liners.
  • Prepare flax egg in a large mixing bowl and let set for a few minutes.
  • Add to flax egg, sweet potato puree, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla extract and mix. Then add almond milk and stir once more.
  • Carefully place whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a sifter and sift over wet ingredients. Then add oat flour on its own (or sub more quinoa flour) and stir until just combined.
  • Spoon batter into muffin tins until filled almost to the top. Then drop about 1 tsp sunflower butter or chocolate onto the center of each muffin and gently swirl around with a toothpick or knife.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes (or more) until golden brown and a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let rest in tins for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to let cool completely.
  • Makes approximately 36 mini muffins.

Apple Crumble Muffin

Vegan Apple Muffins

Vegan Apple Muffins

I continue on my path to make vegan treats, but somewhere along the way, my dairy-allergic daughter has fallen out of love with muffins and cake.  When did this happen and why?  Well the good news is, her friends all like it.  They seemed to enjoy it as a snack during a playdate.  I modified a Isa Chandra Moskowitz recipe from my battered Vegan with a Vengeance book. I used Braeburn apples because that’s what I had on hand, but I think Granny Smith apples would make this more tart.  Given how quickly these got woofed down, I think next time I’ll make mini muffins and eliminate the topping. The topping never came out crunchy enough for me.

INGREDIENTS

For Muffins

  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour AKA “white” whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 TBS sugar or 3/8 cup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup apple cider (I used apple juice)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup grated apple
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple (1/4 inch pieces)

For Topping

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2/4 tsp ground allspice
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 TBS canola oil

DIRECTIONS

For Topping:
Prepare the topping by mixing all the dry topping ingredients together in a small bowl. Drizzle the oil in while mixing with your fingertips until crumbs form. Set aside.

For Muffins:

Preheat oven to 375°F, line 12-muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Create a well in center and add the apple juice/cider, oil and vanilla.  Mix, then fold in the grated and chopped apple.

Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full (I use a ice cream scoop). Sprinkle the crumb topping over each muffin. Bake for 22 minutes.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been on a kick lately to improve the nutritional value of many of the things I make. I’ve been checking out the Sneaky Chef and have been incorporating purees into some of the foods I’ve traditional made. I’ve been pretty successful as keeping my activities uncover.

Recently we celebrated my niece, Maddie’s seventh birthday. Her sister Jessica is dairy-free and GF. I wanted to bring something for Jessica and I was very happy to find a GF chocolate chip cookie from the Sneaky Chef.  I modified her recipe and found that the cookies were hit – with Jessica’s dad.  I used coconut oil and felt that I could taste it. But I felt that the taste was mild enough that it wasn’t overwhelming. A few other tasters agree that there was a slight coconut flavor (they are all coconut lovers). You can always substitute Earth Balance. if you aren’t a fan of coconut.

INGREDIENTS

  •     1 cup GF Flour Blend (I’ve used the Trader Joe’s version with great success or see below)
  •     1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     8 tablespoons coconut oil or Earth Balance
  •     1/4 cup sugar
  •     1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  •     2 egg yolks
  •     1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  •     1/4 cup White Bean Puree (see below)
  •     1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (Costco, Target and Whole foods have non-dairy chocolate chips)

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove butter from refrigerator to let soften.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together GF Flour Blend, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars until creamy. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla, and White Bean Puree. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed. Stir in chocolate chips.
  •  Make small cookies by dropping heaping teaspoonfuls, spaced about an inch apart, onto nonstick or parchment- lined baking sheets. Spray tops of cookies lightly with oil and flatten with the back of a spatula.
  • Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on a metal rack.
  • Store cookies in airtight container at room temperature.

GF Flour Blend
2 cups rice flour (ideally “brown rice flour”)
2/3 cup potato starch (not “potato flour”)
1/3 cup tapioca flour (or tapioca starch)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

White Bean Puree
1 15-ounce can white beans (great northern, navy, butter or cannellini) – (If you are starting with dry beans, soak 1 cup for an hour, then cook according to instructions.)
2 tablespoons water
Rinse and drain the beans and put in the bowl of your food processor (I’ve tried this in a Vitamix and have been frustrated because the mixture gets trapped under the blades). Pulsing in on/off turns, puree the drained beans with just 1 tablespoon of water in processor until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl.
The goal is a smooth, but not wet, puree. (You are aiming for the consistency of peanut butter.) If necessary, thin with a little more water by one teaspoonful at a time until there are no flecks of whole beans visible.
Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze 1/4 cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers. Makes about 1 cup of puree. Double this recipe if you want to store another cup of puree.

Vegan Pignoli Cookies

Vegan Pignoli Cookies

My mother-in-law has a recipe for pignoli cookies that my sister-in-law has perfected. Golden pignolis with a chewy center. The cookie is great because it’s gluten free. But now that I’m working towards being a vegan, I wanted to try a version without eggs so I turned to my favorite vegan baker, Isa Chandra Moskowitz. They did not disappoint. I actually prefer these because them seem less sweet – my mother-in-law’s recipe has sweetened coconut that makes the cookies sweeter.  Here’s Isa’s recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces almond paste, sliced into 1 inch cubes (not marzipan)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2  cup pine nuts (I used a lot more to get my messy cookies)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons almond milk for dipping

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a medium sized baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Pulse almond paste, salt, baking powder and 1/3 cup sugar in a food processor until mixture is crumbly, about 1 minute.
  • In a large bowl cream together margarine and remaining 1/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add almond paste mixture and almond extract and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Sift in flour and beat until a slightly crumbly yet soft dough forms. Dough should form a soft mass when pressed together.
  • Pour pine nuts into a shallow bowl and pour 2 Tablespoons of almond milk into a small saucer. For each cookie, roll 1 tablespoon of dough in palms to form into a ball, dip one end in almond milk and press moistened end into pine nuts. If necessary press pine nuts into surface of ball. Place dough balls, pine nut side up, on baking sheet at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 14 minutes until cookies have puffed and spread a little, and nuts are are just slightly toasted. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes to firm up before carefully transferring to cooling rack. Store in a tightly covered container.

From Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

I have to say, I held my breathe when my in-laws (sisters-in-laws and mother-in-law) tried them. They all liked them and thought they tasted just as good as my mother-in-law’s recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb almond paste (in a can, not marzipan)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweeten coconut

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Beat egg whites until frothy, add almond paste, sugar, coconut.
  • Refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
  • Roll pieces of dough about the size of a quarter in pine nuts. Dough will be very sticky.
  • Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Bake 15 minutes or until slightly browned (all over blush color)
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Yummy in my tummy pumpkin muffins!

We’ve had a lot of pumpkins left over from Halloween. And I finally took the plunge and decided to roast my pumpkin to get fresh pumpkin instead of from a can. Oh boy, so glad I did.

I roasted the pumpkin without removing the seeds or skin.  Just cut in half and roasted for about 90 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. Then I was able to scrape out the seeds easily as well as the pulp.  I spun it around in a food processor to make it smooth. So easy!

I used a vegan pumpkin recipe from my favorite vegan cook, Isa Chandra Moskowitz. The original recipe suggested soy milk. Since we have a soy allergy in our house, I use a combo of coconut milk (not from a can) and rice milk – whatever was in the fridge.

Ingredients

    • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 cups sugar
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (Fresh or from a can; do not use pumpkin pie mix)
    • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 tablespoons molasses

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a twelve-muffin tin.
    2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, soy milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.
    3. Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Notes

Variation: Fold in a cup of either chopped fresh cranberries or chopped walnuts, or a mixture of the two.

vegan, banana mini-muffins

I’ve been making this recipe for over a year. Always a hit with the kids and an easy way to use up those really brown, almost black bananas. To make it extra special, throw in a few mini-chocolate chips. I wanted to veganize it.  And found it was so simple to do.

Banana Mini Muffins | yields 18-20 muffins

1 medium egg  1 Tbs of ground flax seed mixed together with 3 Tbs of water plus 2Tbs of almond milk (unsweetened) or any other non-dairy milk
1/3 cup packed soft light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large, very ripe banana
1/4 c sunflower or vegetable oil
2/3 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions | preheat oven to 350° F

Line mini muffin pans with liners or spray with cooking spray

In a large mixing cup, mix flax seed with water and set for a 3-5 minutes. Mixture will become very thick.  Add the brown sugar

Whisk together:  Add the vanilla extract and beat together until thick

Mash the banana and add to egg mixture.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Or whisk together.

Stir together dry and wet ingredients until just combined.  At this point, the mixture seemed really thick so I added in 2 Tbs of almond milk. You may not need it.

Fill the liners (2/3 full) and back 10-12 minutes until risen and firm.

These are super light and pop into your mouth a little too easily. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Vegan Almond Cherry Muffin

I’ve never baked with fresh cherries before.  But this past weekend, we had the opportunity to go cherry picking in the Leona Valley. It was great. The trees were fairly small, so my little QT who doesn’t quite measure 3 ft tall, could still easily fill her pail with cherries.

We brought home 15 pounds of these sweet cherries.

I’ve been eager to make Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s almond cherry muffins – but who had fresh cherries? And when we did have them, we gobbled them up quickly. Lastly we didn’t have a cherry pitter. Knowing we were going for a large amount of cherries, we decided to invest in an awesome Leifheit cherry pitter. And we got a cute one for the QT so she could “help”.

If you aren’t familiar with Isa’s many cookbooks – you should. I modified the recipe from her first cook book, Vegan with a Vengeance.  You can also check out her web site: The Post Punk Kitchen.

The muffins turned out great – just lightly sweet. I would actually put in more than the ¾ cup of pitted cherries that I used.

Recipe

Preheat oven to 400ºF and lightly spray 12-muffin tin with cooking spray or if you are lazy use paper cups.

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp of baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 six-oz container of So Delicious coconut yogurt
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (divided)
  • ¾ cup fresh Bing cherries, , halved and pitted (I plan to increase to 1 cup – next time)

In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder , baking soda and salt.  Create a well in the center and add the oil, almond milk, yogurt and almond extract.  Mix until combined.  Fold in 1/2 cup of almonds and all the cherries.

Fill the muffin cups three-quarters full (I use an ice cream scoop); press the remaining almonds into the tops of the muffins.  Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

I’ve been enjoying these all week!

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