Tag Archives: Banana

Vegan Baking Adventures

Next week my office is hosting a going-away brunch for a fellow coworker who is leaving to go work in the Metroplex, and we’ve all been asked to bring a dish to share. I love baking quick-breads, and I recently found out that another coworker is vegan. I love vegan baking! I consider it some sort of challenge and an art form in itself. It defies conventional logic and pushes my thinking out of the box.

I decided to test out a muffin to share.

I started out with the idea of almond butter muffins. Then I found a recipe that included bananas. What a great idea! I have overripe bananas, and they contribute a good amount of moisture and natural sweetness while cutting down on excessive fat! Plus that gives it an upscale Elvis feel, y’know. Almond butter and bananas?

Anyway. I knew that I was entirely out of sucanat and had no desire to run to the store, so I figured a liquid sweetener would suffice. I got half-way through decrystallizing my honey when I realized—duh—honey isn’t vegan. I’m all out of agave (figures), so the next best option was grade B maple syrup. Yes, I knew almond butter and maple syrup go together beautifully. I’m sure most foodies have discovered Justin’s maple almond butter packets in the grocery store, but grade B maple doesn’t normally have a very subtle flavor! But it totally worked in these and did not overpower at all.

 

Here’s what you need!

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Whole wheat pastry flour is the secret to successful 100% whole wheat muffins that everyone will love. The texture is very, very close to that of regular white flour. I use it in practically everything. In fact, I’ve only found two recipes where it didn’t really work out as well as white flour. But that’s another post.

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Conventional baking recipes use milk/yogurt and eggs. I used soy milk (but I plan on using rice milk next week) and a “flax egg.” I love using flax eggs because it’s cheaper than actual eggs, plus it keeps me from using my expensive local, pastured eggs in recipes I can’t even taste them in.

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The beauty of quickbread recipes is that the instructions are simple. Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl, all the wet ingredients in another bowl, and then combine the contents of both bowls until gently combined (but don’t over-stir!). Sometimes you can get away with using just one bowl—combining all your dry, then adding your wet ingredients individually and then mixing, but since this recipe involves some chunky and sticky wet ingredients in all different textures and viscosities, I don’t recommend the one-bowl route.

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And if you’re feelin’ frisky, you can add some non-dairy chocolate chips!

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Has anyone else used these chlorine-free baking liners? I had some issues with my foil liners back in January with them pulling apart from my cupcakes. I never have that issue with muffins, so I don’t know if it’s the quality of the tin or the recipes themselves. I decided to pick these up when I saw them at Sun Harvest Sprouts last week. Any ideas on how to keep my liners from pulling apart from my cupcakes?!

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Anyway.

If there’s one baking supply you absolutely MUST HAVE in your kitchen, it’s this rounded bowl scraper. I got this as a graduation gift from my aunt. It came from the Container Store and it’s pretty nifty with conversion charts on both sides of it. I know Walmart sells cheaper, simpler varieties. But like I said, it’s an absolute must. If you don’t have one, I beseech you to go out and get one now! There’s a whole world of raw batter to be discovered! And whether that batter ends up in your muffin tins or in your mouth is entirely not my business.

But even if you did eat this batter raw, it’s okay! No eggs! Winking smile

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Where was I? Oh yeah!

 

Fill your muffins with about 2 ounces of batter. I used a nifty one-ounce disher, but most-the-way full is about right.

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Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until edges brown, clean toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, gentle tap on the top shows muffin to be reasonably firm, the weather radar in your trick knee goes off, or the cows come home. Whatever works for you.

Allow muffins to cool entirely on a cooling rack before consuming.

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These muffins are subtle in flavor and in sweetness with a mild and slightly complexed banana flavor, like somewhere between banana bread and the feeling you get after eating an almond-butter-banana sandwich. And another thing, they’re not too sweet! One of my biggest pet peeves is muffins that taste like frosting-less cupcakes. Called me old-fashioned but I don’t think cake is an appropriate breakfast food.

So enjoy!

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Vegan Almond Butter-Banana Muffins

Adapted from CC Recipe
Makes 6-8 muffins

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup natural almond butter
1 large overripe banana, mashed
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
~1/4 cup non-dairy chocolate chips (optional)

First, in a small bowl, combine ground flax with 3 tbsp hot water. Stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes so it can congeal.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.

In another bowl, combine coconut oil, maple syrup, almon butter, banana, “flax egg”, vanilla, and non-dairy milk togther and stir until well-combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix!

Fold in chocolate chips.

Dish out about 2 oz of batter per muffin into a muffin pan filled with liners.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean.

How to Pack a Lunch

Alright folks. I finally broke down and went to the doctor after dealing with an infection for the past few days. Now that I’ve got my antibiotics, I think it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out…..

Started off the day with Edgar’s version of Huevos Rancheros. My version would only have been slightly different. I wouldn’t have fried the tortilla, and I would have added cheese, avocado, and cilantro. But I wasn’t making breakfast, was I? Okay then.

He said he “lightly” fried (I honestly don’t think there’s such thing. There’s “fried” and then there’s “wrong,” but that’s another post…) the tortilla in canola oil, topped it with a fried egg, and put the beans and bacon on the side. He let me add the salsa. I stuffed the beans under the egg before photo time. 😉

With two slices o’ bacon and two glasses of cranberry juice. *sigh*

It was about 10:30 when I got home from my picking up my prescription, so I figured I ought to pack my lunch and eat it at work once I got hungry. It’s not every day that I bring my lunch to work, but I figured I’d take the opportunity to show you how to pack a lunch. Michelle-style.

First, grab your ingredients.

Then, measure out 1 tbsp of peanut butter and smear the it on one side of the bread. And a little on the other, ‘just so it doesn’t feel left out.

LICK THE SPOON!

Then, slice up half the banana and place on one peanut-buttered slice of bread.

Eat the other half of the banana as a morning snack!

And now you have a tasty peanut butter and banana sandwich!

Let me just shout out here to Naturally More peanut butter. It’s my favorite ever! That stats are incredible! It’s lower in calories, fat, and sugar than regular peanut butter, but is higher in protein, fiber, and omega-3s! It’s all natural, and it just tastes REALLY GOOD.

Okay, now for the afternoon snack!

Measure out 1/3 cup of greek yogurt (higher in protein!) and put in small container.

LICK THE SPOON!

Measure out and add in berries. I chose blackberries. Apparently I’m going for 3 oz today.


Drizzle with agave.


Voila! A packed lunch!

Of course. I ate lunch right at noon and my snack exactly two hours later. At 4, my tummy was rumbling again, so I ended up paying 65 cents with a check for this at the campus bookstore…

I gotta say. It’s not the most nutritious thing I could have bought, but it sure does taste good.

With dinner, I got …. experimental. I attempted poaching fish. I’m not good at it, apparently. But I fixed what I could and made it look pretty. Nothing tasted terrible, but I’ll be fixing the recipe before attempting either of them again.

So here you have it… “Poached” Salmon with a lemon butter sauce and Asparagus, Red Wine, and Couscous “Risotto.”

And a nightcap (which I forgot to photograph until AFTER they were gone! Oooops!)…

That’s one fruit and yogurt parfait + part of a Mocha Frappe (which I shared with Edgar).
Every Wednesday night my Sunday school class hangs out at McDonalds. Yes, McDonalds. We fellowship in style. 😉

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