Meatless Monday – Berry Muffins

Once a month I teach the preschool Sunday school class. Yesterday’s lesson was about being fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image, which means we are smart, and helpful, and creative (among other things).

We focused on the “creative” part and gave the kids lots of time to paint with watercolors, or color, or make paper airplanes. Some kids chose to create with play dough, while others created tree houses from blocks or created scenarios to act out with toy cars. We let the kids have a lot of free play while we noticed aloud their various creative efforts and how great it is that God made us all creative and unique.

I came home floating on cute kids’ creativity and decided I needed to express some creativity of my own. One of my favorite forms of creativity? Making delicious food for the people I love. Just the evening previous, I had come across a recipe for berry muffins that I knew I could vegan-ize, and I had some over-ripe bananas practically begging to become banana bread.

Muffins are a family fav because they make a quick breakfast, an easy lunch bag option, or a tasty after school snack. I’d wrongly anticipated this batch of 18 muffins would last most of the week, but today was a no-school day and the kids plowed through them with only a few leftover. Good thing they haven’t yet discovered the banana bread!

Berry Muffins

1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c organic sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flaxmeal + 3 Tbsp water, set aside 5 min)
1 c non-dairy milk
2 Tbsp agave
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1 c fresh or frozen berries
cinnamon sugar, optional

Preheat over to 350. Grease or line with paper 18 muffins cups. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine flax egg, milk, agave, and applesauce in a small bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Gently stir in berries. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. If desired, lightly sprinkle cinnamon sugar on each muffin before baking (the recipe itself isn’t very sweet). Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Meatless Monday – Banana Oat Bran Muffins

I cannot for the life of me believe I haven’t posted this recipe! I make it all the time, for any occasion that needs a (healthy) treat and for no occasion more than having over-ripe bananas.

My friend Julie gave me this recipe years ago. All I’ve done to it is swap a flax egg for real egg, sub some of the sugar for agave, and add dark chocolate chips. Okay, if I’m feeling really wholesome (or happen to be out of chocolate chips), I’ll add berries, usually from frozen as we always have berries for smoothies. Oh, and despite the name, when I don’t have oat bran (most of the time–I keep forgetting to pick some up) I use quick oats in the same amount. No one has complained.

Kashi Autumn Wheat cereal may not be something you have on hand. I don’t typically eat processed cereal but I will occasionally pick up a box of Kashi when I’m at Trader Joe’s. I haven’t tried, but I’m sure you could sub another brand of crushed wheat or oat bran cereal or simply increase the amount of oat bran, oatmeal or whole wheat flour.

I made a double batch and had them in the oven as the kids came home from school today. They dove in as soon as the muffins were cool enough to handle with exclamations of, “Oh, yah…!” They hit the spot.

banana-muffin

Banana Oat Bran Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

3 (or so) medium bananas, mashed
1 flax egg
3/4 c unsweetened apple sauce
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 c sugar
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1/2 c Kashi Autumn Wheat cereal, crushed (it takes about 1 c cereal to yield 1/2 c crushed)
1/2 c oat bran
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash the bananas thoroughly and combine with the egg. Stir in apple sauce, followed by the sugar, vanilla, Kashi, and oat bran. Mix together the flour, salt and baking soda, and add dry ingredients to banana mixture. Divide into muffin tin and bake for 30 minutes.

Meatless Monday – Carrot Cake

I’ll admit, I was sad to send the kids back to school today after a marvelously relaxing holiday break. Last night we pulled out backpacks we hadn’t seen nor opened in two weeks, and just unzipping the zippers and catching sight of the overflowing binders and spirals raised my anxiety. Once again we’re back at the packed lunches and homework.

Muffins are one of my favorite lunchbox inserts. I can make a batch on the weekend and pull them out for breakfast or lunch throughout the next few days. And this carrot cake recipe…? Its original title was “The Best Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe Ever.” I’ve made it healthier while maintaining its scrumptious-ness, so I guess the original title was off by just a smidge.

“Best Ever” because it’s easy and delicious. Use a food processor to shred the carrots and it becomes even easier. I made the mistake (?) of using my Vitamix – still easier than shredding by hand but not as effective and harder to clean.

By the way, the original recipe included a frosting recipe, but as I make muffins instead of cake and wanted a healthy option, I’ve never frosted them and never missed frosting. These muffins taste both light and decadent.

Here’s to a delicious 2016!carrot cake 1carrot cake 2carrot cake 3carrot cake 4

 

The Best Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe Ever

1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c white sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda
2 tsp of cinnamon
3 c shredded carrots
3/4 c applesauce
1/4 c agave nectar
1/2 c orange juice (or slightly more)
1/2 c golden raisins or craisins
1/2 c shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 c of chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins.

Mix together the flour, sugars, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Add the shredded carrots, applesauce, and agave to the dry ingredients and mix well with a spoon (not a hand mixer!).

Add the orange juice and mix again, then fold in the nuts, raisins and coconut.

Put the batter into muffin tins.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until knife/toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. If making cake, bake for about 45 minutes.