(Almost) Vegan Pumpkin Apple Muffins

Time to kick off the autumn season with two favorite fall flavors and smashing them together in the same scrumptious muffin.   This challenge is special because it was done in the kitchen where Food Challenge: ACCEPTED was born and it was completed with a friend who graces that kitchen with her excellent baking skills on a regular basis.

It was this fantastic friend who suggested this recipe by Minimalist Baker. The idea for a vegan muffin recipe worked out because there weren’t any eggs on hand.

No eggs, no problem.  We were set on baking one (actually, twelve) very healthy muffin-s (sort of like these!).

We needed:

  • 1 cup unbleached flour + 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats + extra for topping
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon + more for apples
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 2.5 Tbsp water)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 Tbsp non-dairy butter

Why did we end up with ALMOST-vegan muffins?  Because we had to use regular milk and dairy butter instead.

I also learned that using flaxseeds in place of eggs is a common vegan baking trick, and apparently, you can’t really tell the difference between baked goods that use flaxseed from those that use regular eggs.

The flaxseed needed to be prepared first.  That means adding a bit of water to it and setting it aside.

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Next, we peeled and chopped up two apples to saute with butter.  Instead of granny smith apples, we used Jonathan apples, which I have on good authority (from an apple expert at an apple festival I attended last weekend) are excellent baking apples.

This apple is particularly disturbed to find his friends like this.

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Then we proceeded to mix our wet ingredients:  the pumpkin puree (which came from a can)…

pumpkinapple2

…and the milk, brown sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and flax egg.  Then we folded in the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon – and added in the sauteed apples and oats.

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After a good mix, they were spooned into a muffin tin and then sprinkled with oats.  Our apple buddy is excited about the oat sprinkles.  So healthy!

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After about 20 minutes, these golden brown beauties emerged from the oven.

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Looking good.

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We waited for these tasty apple-pumpkin-infused muffin miracles to cool and tried them out.  The recipe remained true to its word – we were pleasantly surprised with how moist they were, thanks to the pumpkin puree.  The apples proved to be the more dominant flavor (likely because there are chunks of apples baked into them, of course), but the subtle pumpkin taste highlights that these two popular fall foods compliment each other well. This recipe is a celebration of fall’s favorites and a reminder that taste collaboration is a great thing-  just like the teamwork that made this food challenge possible!

Assessment

Presentation: The oat sprinkles just shout, “Hey, I look healthier than a Starbucks muffin and you will feel less regretful when you eat me!”
Edibility:  So edible!
Tastiness: I’m willing to guess there weren’t many left the next morning.
Rematch?: I’ve never baked with flaxseed before, and this was a great first try.  I can see this as a go-to breakfast/snack muffin in the future!

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