In my short time as a wannabe vegan chef, I’ve found that while people are often surprised at how good certain dishes taste, nothing has the power to mystify an average joe/jane more than a stellar vegan baked good.
Exhibit A: my picky, junk-food loving roommate was a primary taste tester for all my baking experiments this year, and was dumbfounded at the absence of refined sugars, dairy milk and butter in my vegan versions of classics like chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, muffins and brownies.
Exhibit B: The banana date breakfast muffins which I baked earlier this week, for a friend’s birthday:
These received a stamp of approval from a slew of friends, my older brother (whose eating habits have been known to be even more atrocious than the aforementioned roommate’s), and of course the birthday girl herself who deemed them “not bad, for vegan muffins!”
Considering that they’re naturally sweetened, wholegrain, and low in fat – I’d say they’re not bad at all.
In fact, I’d say they’re pretty darn good.
Banana Date Breakfast Muffins
Yields 12 muffins
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of ground cloves and nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp water)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 overripe bananas
- 1/2 cup soy or almond milk
- 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp date molasses
- 2 tbsp coconut or canola oil
- 1/2 a cup of chopped dates, rolled in some flour so they don’t stick together
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Pre-heat your oven to 176 C/350 F.
- Mix the flax egg and set aside to gel.
- Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and other spices in a large mixing bowl and mix well
- In a food processor or blender, blend the wet ingredients with the bananas until smooth. Alternatively, mash the bananas well by hand and whisk in with wet ingredients.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir till just combined then mix in the walnuts and chopped dates.
- Scoop batter equally into 12 lined muffin cups, sprinkle some rolled oats on top and bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick/knife comes out clean from the center.
In case you’re wondering, the reason I opted for breakfast muffins (as opposed to cupcakes) is because the day’s celebrations were supposed to start with “waking up” the birthday girl at her house the whisking her off for a day full of activities. Of course we didn’t arrive until about noon, way past breakfast time, but that’s beside the point.
An in all honesty, while I do enjoy cupcakes, muffins are most certainly my baked good of choice. Especially chewy, whole grain, hearty and (un)sinfully sweetened ones like these.
(Ps. I apologise, once again for my sporadic presence on the blog – a few freelance jobs and a new internship means a lot more of my time is accounted for nowadays, but as always I will do my best to post more frequently!)