Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Vegan baking: Banana Walnut Muffins

Banana walnut muffin in an antique muffin top pan

This is the final day of me participating in the 10-day Fed Up Challenge (eliminating all processed sugars, sweeteners and substitutes - goodbye agave nectar, maple syrup and stevia).  Even though I eat a fairly healthy mostly whole food diet, it took a little getting used to.  My inherited from my dad sweet tooth adjusted in a few days after the initial shock.  While I was making a pot of vegetable soup one day, I thought that a nice muffin would be just the thing to serve with a steaming bowl...until I remembered the challenge.  I began to think, would it be possible to make a healthy, vegan, sugar free muffin that didn't taste like a rock?  Would it even be a muffin if it met all those criteria?  I figured, what have I got to lose...the worst thing that would happen is my compost pile would have a few muffin rocks in it if all went wrong.

My starting inspiration was a recipe for Vegan Banana Walnut muffins for Two on the Chocolate and Carrots website.  I doubled the recipe because I needed to feed three.  I made a few changes to make it whole grain, added an extra super-ripe banana and softened dates to replace the processed sugar in the recipe and added cinnamon for more natural sweetness.  After a suspenseful 20 minutes in the oven, they came out looking like chocolate chip cookies (a good start) and smelling wonderful - but how did they taste?  They turned out to be tender and delicious.  They were sweet enough for my newly adjusted palate and I'll certainly be making these again even long after I'm done with the challenge.

Vegan banana walnut muffins

makes 4 large or 6-8 regular size muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon baking powder
3 medium bananas, smashed (about 1/3 cup smashed banana)
2 tablespoons olive oil (you can use dairy or non-dairy butter or other oil)
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup pitted chopped medjool dates

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.Warm the milk and stir in the chopped dates, let them soften while you prep everything.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and baking powder together and set aside.  
  • In a smaller bowl, stir the banana,oil, milk and date mixture and vanilla together.
  • Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.Stir in the walnuts and raisins.
  • Evenly distribute the batter into 4-6 sections of a muffin pan that has been sprayed with a baking spray. 
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan and cooling on a rack.

Thanks for reading!

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