Category Archives: muffins

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed creating food. Before I was old enough to be in the kitchen alone, I was outside letting my mud cookies “bake” on a wooden board out in the sun. When I realized that I could tie my passion for animals and baking together, my heart almost exploded.  I truly love it when someone is wowed by something i made, or surprised that vegan food “can actually be good”! (Geez, its mind-blowing and sad to me how disconnected some of us are from eating real homemade foods with no preservatives!) I love showing people that you don’t need to use dairy/eggs in baking. I love teaching others what I like to call “compassionate cooking”!

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Okay, I know… I really need better pictures of these – You’ll have to forgive me. I was in a rush – to eat them. I will take better pictures next time, which will be soon! Hey, I never claimed to be a photographer, I’m just your vegan neighbor who likes to make yummy food!

This recipe is more or less straight from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s book “Vegan Brunch”, which may be my favorite of her’s.  I actually own all her books except the pie one, which will be on my Xmas wish list! Chef Isa might slap me if she knew I used lemon juice from a jar instead of fresh lemon juice, but sometimes when you get a craving, you Tim Gunn it… and by that, i mean, you “MAKE IT WORK”. So, Isa’s original recipe contains fresh lemon juice and also 2 Tbsp lemon zest. Next time I’ll make Isa proud, but this time, it was still good enough to where my daughter said “Can i have another cupcake?” when it was gone! Now that’s a good muffin!

I actually had the pleasure (or should I say honor) of meeting Isa Chandra Moskowitz today! She came and had a reading from her new book ‘Isa Does It’ at our local bookstore Avid Books in Athens GA. (BTW, the book is filled with really simple amazing recipes I cant wait to try! Very pantry-friendly recipes & full color pictures! I highly recommend you go buy it!) This past weekend was VegFest in Atlanta, which unfortunately I was unable to attend, though I was happy to be able to be a part of Isa’s visit to Athens. She was very down to earth – and totally funny! Ahhh… just another reason to love her!! I also got to meet & briefly chat with another one of my favorite bloggers, “Vegan Dad”, who was in town for VegFest and was there for Isa’s appearance as well! 🙂

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Me & Isa – Too bad the guy in line behind me was a terrible photographer! It’s a little fuzzy and the light is terrible, but I’m just glad I got a picture! I didn’t want to take up anymore of her time asking for a re-do!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 5 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a muffin tin or line with paper cups.

2) In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds and salt.

3) Mix liquids in a small bowl separately. Make a well in the center and add the liquids. Mix gently until dry ingredients are moistened and no pockets of flour remain. It will look a little lumpy.

4) Fill muffin tins evenly and bake 23-27 minutes, until tops are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. When cool enough to handle, move out of the tin onto a cooling rack. Devour!

*Please note: I am working on taking better pictures of my food. I think day light is key to a good picture with my particular camera & I made these at night and I just couldn’t get a good shot. I know how important the pictures are to all you “foodies” out there, so just bear with me! 🙂

Banana Coconut Spelt Muffins

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Wow! These muffins are amazing! I love making muffins because they are a great breakfast, snack and healthy addition to my daughters sack lunches.  I made this recipe gluten-free* and soy-free. I really love using coconut oil instead of canola when I can. In my experience, it makes for a moister bread. Also, the benefits of coconut are awesome!  Next time I think Im going to try to make them into jumbo muffins 🙂

* Spelt flour is a good substitute for people with a low intolerance for wheat, though people with serious wheat allergies, such as those with celiac disease, are also allergic to spelt, as it is not 100% wheat-free. If necessary, you can replace the spelt flour with a 100% gluten free baking mix (most grocery stores carry a blend for general flour replacing).

I have a bit of an addiction of downloading free cookbooks onto my kindle… And it doesn’t have to be a vegan cookbook either – veganizing recipes is fun and usually pretty easy! Yes, you could say I’m  bit of a sucker for a bargain – a trait I definitely acquired from my Dad! It’s a blessing and a curse… I truly love scouring through thrift stores to seek out unique treasures to bring home! (My home is filled with such things!) And yet I am simultaneously trying to declutter! It doesn’t help matters much that I’m also a major recycler… I try to recycle everything. Like sometimes instead of throwing something out, I will try to repurpose it… this may explain the boxes and piles I have stashed away that I often pretend are invisible! Overall, I see my recycling efforts as positive. A lot of good things have come from my repurposing! 🙂

The base of this recipe came from one of the free kindle books I got called ‘Smart School Time Recipes’. The original recipe was from ‘Andrea at Bakerymanis.wordpress’, to give credit where it is due, though I did end up altering it quite a bit.

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I found these adorable Snoopy cupcake liners at Michaels Craft Store!

Banana Coconut Spelt Muffins

  • 2 cups whole spelt flour
  • 1  tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes (I used shredded coconut and browned it in a skillet – watch carefully, it browns quickly!)
  • 1 cup mashed banana (this was about 1  1/2 bananas)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup sucanat or brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup soy milk +  1 tsp cider vinegar (I used almond milk)
  • Topping: 1/3 coconut flakes + 2 tbsp. turbinado sugar (I subbed brown sugar  because I just happened to be out of turbinado! It turned out awesome!)

1) Preheat oven to 350. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with baking cups.

2) Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt & toasted coconut) and set aside.

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Toasting the coconut is easy!

3) Peel the bananas and mash gently into measuring cup to make 1 cup. Blend in a food processor along with the oil, sugar, non-dairy milk + vinegar. Blend until smooth.

4) Add wet to dry and mix. (The great thing about baking with spelt is you don’t have to worry about over-mixing as you do with gluten-filled flours!) Fill muffin tins equally with batter and distribute topping evenly among the 12 muffins.

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Before baking…

5) Bake 23-25 minutes until they start to turn golden brown on top. Let cool for several minutes… then DEVOUR!!!

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Yum! Yum!

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I love me some muffins!

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Apple Rosemary Scones

Since we have a seriously enormous rosemary bush growing in our front yard, I am always wondering what I can make that includes this delicious aromatic herb. Our rosemary bush is so large, in fact,  that it is now blooming in age with beautiful purple flowers. We use rosemary regularly in pastas, sauces & in general cooking… sometimes we even place a bunch of stalks of rosemary in a jar of water to freshen up the room, but… in a scone?  I admit I was a bit hesitant to try this combination (which you can guess means made my kids extremely hesitant to try it!), but, how will you know if something is for you or not unless you give it a try, right?!  Once again, an important lesson I try to teach my kids daily comes out through baking! (One more reason to love the kitchen!)

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Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh rosemary?!

Warning: The wonderful aroma of these scones will fill up your house and make your tummy growl! These scones are perfect for spring or fall. They are light & crispy on the outside, & soft on the inside. I think they are best served warm. Add butter if you like.  If your kids are anything like mine, they love to help in the kitchen  – so send them out to help pick the rosemary… or perhaps even the apples, if you are so lucky!!

Tip: If you make big scones, you can heat them up the next day in your toaster oven, carefully cut the scone in half horizontally and add a soysage patty to make a mini biscuit-sandwich! Can you say “Wow?!” Oh sorry!… I didn’t realize your mouth was full! Mmmmmmmmmm………….. Delicious!

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Apple Rosemary Scones

  • 1  1/4 cups non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed gently
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (I use Spectrum)
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1  1/2 cups diced sweet red apples (about 3 small apples)
  • 1/8 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 Tbsp dried & crushed)
  • a little sugar for sprinkling (raw sugar or brown sugar)

1) Preheat oven to 375. Mix the milk and vinegar in a large measuring cup. Set aside.

2) Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add the shortening in clumps, mixing in well with a pastry cutter, a fork or your hands. Break it up until it is in little pea like crumbles. Add the rosemary and apples.

3) Mix the oil and vanilla into the milk/vinegar mixture. Create a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour the liquid into the center. Mix until it is all just moistened, flipping and folding the batter this way and that, trying not to overmix.  A few dry-looking spots are okay.

4) Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop & drop the scones onto a parchment covered baking sheet.  You should get 12-16 scones, depending on the size you scoop them. Sprinkle the tops with some sugar, then bake 18-22 minutes until the tops & sides are lightly browned. Transfer to cooling rack to cool and enjoy warm! Devour!

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Apples + Rosemary = Heaven (who knew?!)

Mint Chocolate Chip Muffins

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I don’t know if it’s the cold weather, Christmas or WHAT that makes me start to crave peppermint.  Peppermint tea, candy canes, mint chocolate chip ice cream, mint chocolate cookies… and in the olden days, Girl Scouts Thin Mints (which sadly are NOT vegan). You know, people think you have to give up SO much to be a vegan… Well, I have given this a lot of thought and I don’t think that is true at all. Sure, I did have to give up some things.. but then again, no, I didn’t…  What I actually gave up was convenience. If I want a thin mint now, I have to work for it by baking my own. But to me, that is the best part about being vegan (besides making the planet a cleaner and kinder place) – being in the kitchen more, eating better ( & usually healthier) homemade food, sharing time making something with my family.  There are so many memories that can be created in the kitchen. It’s one of my favorite places to spend time with my kids, whether they are coloring at the table or trying to help me mix & bake. There’s something magical about creating food, no matter what it may be. Putting ingredients in a bowl and watching it change and turn into something else… it IS magic!

Which brings me back to these awesome muffins.  They are kind of like magic too – just a taste of one makes me smile! I love chocolate… I love mint… I love muffins – and these muffins bring all my favorite things together! (Now only if I could add some coffee in there!) Note: These are NOT cupcakes. They are without a doubt muffins, but they are the sweetest most chocolatey delicious muffins. Perhaps they should be called… dessert muffins?

Sometimes I need to remind myself why I started this blog. I love sharing all kinds of recipes, but sometimes I forget that not everybody has arrowroot flour, flaxseeds and nutritional yeast in their kitchens (though I highly recommend stocking your cabinet)! But seriously… the most important reason I’m doing this blog is to show others that PRACTICALLY ANYTHING CAN BE MADE VEGAN.  (It’s actually pretty easy to find vegan versions of those special treats, like vegan Twinkies or “Fauxstess” Cupcakes!) My goal is to find a good middle ground – where the food is on the healthy side but is also allowing the “everyman” (aka non-vegans) to be able to cook my recipes without too much fuss.  So, I hope I’m more or less achieving my goal and that you are enjoying the recipes you find here!

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Mint Chocolate Chip Muffins

FYI – the crushed candy cane topping is going to melt onto the muffin tops, which leaves a nice crunchy minty delicious muffin top! I suppose if you left it really chunky it may leave some pretty red/white spots as well. I like to dust the tops of mine with powdered sugar for a snowy effect!  Oh – and if you want these extra chocolatey, I recommend using chocolate soy or almond milk!!

You will need:

  • 1  3/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 12/ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp Ener-G-Egg Replacer* + 4 Tbsp water (the equivalent to 2 eggs)
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp mint extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (opt)
  • 1 crushed candy cane for sprinkling on top
  • powdered sugar for dusting on top

(*Ener-G-Egg Replacer can be found in most supermarkets! It is in a yellow box, usually in the “healthy” section. This stuff is great for replacing eggs in baking.)

Preheat oven to 400 F.

1) Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.

2) In a medium bowl, whisk together the “egg” vigorously.  Add the oil and milk and mint extract.  Whisk well. Add the liquids to the dry, stirring just enough to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips.

3) Spoon into the muffin pans, filling them 3/4 full. Sprinkle the tops with crushed candy cane. Bake 15-17 minutes until a toothpick or knife inserted in center comes out clean.

4) Let sit for 5 minutes then remove to cool on a wire rack.

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Getting ready to bake… the candy cane will melt and make a nice sweet crunchy top!

Variation: If you want a chocolate muffin without the mint, simply leave out the mint extract. (Use chocolate milk for extra chocolatey-richness.) Add to the dry mixture 2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp cloves. Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts if desired! I made them this way first and they were great!

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Here is a close up where you can see some bigger pieces of candy cane bits that made it through the baking process, giving it some pretty red specks!

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Mmm! Yummy candy cane bits!

Practically Perfect (in every way) Pumpkin Muffins

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… you all know the song… Well, these muffins definitely just topped my list of a few of my favorite things! They are so tender and moist and… well, perfect… they are “practically perfect in every way”, just like Mary Poppins. (Hey, Julie Andrews – WHY  do these muffins keep reminding me of you?! Well, I’m can’t answer that! But I will name these muffins in your honor!)

You know, I really love how soft and delicate things baked with spelt flour turn out!  My sister & my niece were coming over to visit so it was the perfect reason for baking something… And since my sister steers clear of gluten (with the exception of spelt, which has a very low gluten content) it was the perfect reason to experiment! 🙂

*Please Note: I tagged this recipe as gluten-free, though spelt does contain a small amount of gluten. If you are 100% gluten intolerant, I would replace the spelt flour with a 100% gluten-free baking mix.

I had an idea these muffins would be pretty phenomenal since I got a few ideas from vegan baking goddess Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Post Punk Kitchen website (www.theppk.com)…  I really liked her idea of using of coconut milk in her pumpkin bread for a nice moist bread so I decided to use that instead of soymilk. I also used spelt flour and added a little coconut in and on top of my muffins as well.  My conclusion can be stated in 3 letters… OMG!

Practically Perfect (in every way) Pumpkin Muffins

dry ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup sugar (I prefer fine raw sugar, not white)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • extra coconut for sprinkling over the top

wet ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin (canned is fine)
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk – (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1  1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1) Mix dry ingredients well in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well!

before baking

just out of the oven

cooling off

Distribute evenly between 12 greased muffin tins** and sprinkle coconut over the tops. Bake at 400 F for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. The coconut on top should be done browning nicely at that same time 🙂 Cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan and then carefully remove the muffins.

** FYI: filling a muffin/cupcake tin over 2/3 full will cause your “muffin top” to spread and flatten out. These muffins are very delicate and you should know that the tops are prone to wanting to lift off if they aren’t cooled enough before removing from the pan or if the tops are too heavy… You can make the muffins a tad bit smaller (13 or 14) to help keep this from happening if you wish.

Variations (If you dare mess with perfection): You can substitute almond or soy milk for the coconut milk if desired.  I think that lite coconut milk would also work just fine if you wanted a lower fat muffin.  Sometimes I replace half the oil with applesauce when baking, though I have never tried that with this recipe. The coconut can be omitted all together as well if you aren’t into coconut. You may also use regular unbleached flour if you prefer over spelt.

I would imagine that you could easily substitute pureed sweet potato for the pumpkin in this recipe… maybe you could even pop a vegan marshmallow down there in the middle! Mmmm! Sweet Potato Casserole Muffins! Sounds good to me! 🙂

Vegan Zucchini Bread

On Saturday morning, farmers markets around the country will be offering many fresh delicious veggies.  Make sure to pick up 2 good-looking zucchini’s for this bread!  You won’t regret it!

I recently found myself baking more zucchini bread. (I also have a delicious zucchini bread/muffin recipe that uses spelt flour, if you prefer!) I guess the kids and I were ready for a snack… because in less than an hour from being out of the oven, the loaf was already half gone!  This recipe is definitely one to be made repeatedly and to be shared!   It is great for all seasons, freezes beautifully & also makes a nice gift (if you do that kind of thing)… plus my kids absolutely eat it up! I have used this recipe to make both loaves & muffins.  In fact, this bread is SO great, I would recommend that you go ahead and double the recipe so you can freeze a loaf!  This bread actually forms an amazingly soft sweet “crust”  on top that literally melts away in your mouth!

This recipe is slightly adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking, by Colleen Patrick- Goudreau.  I highly recommend purchasing this cookbook.  It actually won Cookbook of the Year from VegNews magazine in recent years and every recipe I have tried is fantastic!

~Zucchini Bread / Muffins~

makes 1 loaf – OR – 12 muffins – OR- 2 mini loaves

  • 1  1/2 Tbsp ground flax-seed + 1/4 cup water (whisk & set aside)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (OR you can use 1/4 cup canola + 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, which I prefer)
  • 1/2 Tbsp vinegar (apple cider or white distilled)
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1 – 1/2 cup grated zucchini (about < 2 small)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1  1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I prefer unbleached white flour)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional, but I definitely recommend using these for added nutrition and yumminess!)

Preheat oven to 325 F. Make your flax “egg” in a small bowl by mixing the ground flax & water. In another small bowl, whisk together canola oil, vinegar & sugar. Take your flax”egg” and whisk that into the mixture as well.  Whisk it all up really well. Stir in the grated zucchini & vanilla.  (Go ahead and use up all your zucchini, even if it goes a little over the 1 1/2 cups – the more the merrier!)

Mix the dry ingredients separately in a large bowl. Add nuts, if using. Using a  rubber spatula, mix the wet into the dry.  (Try not to over-mix, which causes a tougher bread that isn’t as fluffy… definitely don’t use a whisk here!) Disperse evenly between 12 muffin cups or make one loaf. Bake until a knife inserted in center of bread comes out batter-free.

Bake muffins 30-35 minutes / Bake standard loaves 60-70 min   / Bake mini-loaves 40-45 minutes

Spelt Scones

I’ve been doing a good bit of baking lately.  My sister (who is GF) recently had her first baby, so I have made her these scones a multitude of different ways… with raspberries, strawberry-walnut, and banana-walnut.    These scones are very versatile and I have found that practically any fruit works wonderfully!  I really enjoyed them when I used 1 cup of bananas and 1/4 cup of chocolate chips 🙂  I can truly say I dont think anyone would know that these are gluten free*.  And the best part about using non-gluten flour is that you dont really have to worry about overmixing!  These scones are lightly sweetened with agave nectar & are so light it is almost as if they fell right out of the sky. I love them!

* Spelt flour is a good subsitute for people with a low intolerance for wheat, though some people with serious wheat allergies, such as those with celiac disease, are also allergic to spelt. In that case, you should try replacing the flour with a 100% gluten free baking mix (most grocery stores carry a blend for general flour replacing).

Spelt Scones

  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar (i use the amber kind)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1 heaping measuring cup of fresh or frozen fruit of choice
  • > 1/2 chopped nuts (optional)

1- Preheat the oven to 375.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk the spelt flour, baking powder and salt.

2- In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, measure the oil, agave nectar and vanilla and whisk together until fully combined.  Add to the dry mixture.  Stir in the hot water, then gently fold in the fruit and nuts, if using. (If I recall , the first time I made these I questioned the appearance of the batter… too mushy? not enough?… but I’m telling you, they will turn out beautiful.)

3- Sccop the batter (I like to use my 1/3 cup) onto the baking sheet.  If you make them smaller you can actually make 12.  However, I found I prefer the size of the scones when I make 7-8 (making each one < 1/3 cup). You may lightly brush the tops with oil, if desired.

Bake for 17-20 minutes until golden.   Once they begin to turn golden, I usually peek under a scone to check how dark the bottom is to decide when to pull them out! Let cool slightly and then devour!

Ahh.. a satisfyingly simple strawberry gluten free scone!