cinnamon apple pecan muffins

These coffee cake-like apple pecan muffins are delicious warm, spread with vegan butter or with cashew ‘cream cheese’.  Toast pecans lightly so those on top don’t overtoast during baking.  I use freshly ground Ceylon cinnamon.  Read the difference between cassia and Ceylon cinnamon here.  Yes, health benefits and flavor go together!

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I often use 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour so they’re not overly cupcake-like; don’t think you have to run out and get whole wheat pastry flour though.  The batter may seem a little dry at first but moistens up as the apples bake.   Recipe adapted from CoffeeVanilla blog.

Prep Time:  10 – 12 minutes

Cook Time:  25 -30 minutes

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour  (1/2 c of it whole wheat pastry flour if you like)

1/2 cup sugar (a largish half cup — heap it a bit).

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon20141111_143326

1 heaping teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 large organic red apple

1 tablespoon flax seed + 2 tablespoons warm water

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup canola or other mild oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup whole pecans

Cinnamon Topping Ingredients:

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup vegan butter

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

(plus 1/2 c of above pecans, once toasted)20141111_145525

 

Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F; spray muffin tin with coconut oil.

2.  Lightly chop then toast pecans on stovetop in small dry skillet till fragrant and lightly browned (about 7 minutes).

3.  Mix together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices) in large bowl.

3.  Make topping by combining flour, vegan butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and, once cooled, 1/2 cup pecans.  Set aside. (Works        best if ‘butter’ is cold; set aside in fridge once made if it’s a hot day).

4.  Grind flax seed, whisk into warm water, then combine with almond milk, oil, and vanilla.

5.  Peel and chop the apple medium-fine.

6.  Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients; fold in pecans and chopped apple.

7.  Fill 12-muffin tin with mixture.  Place cinnamon streusel over top and press slightly.

8.  Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes or till lightly golden browned.  Cool for just a couple minutes before removing from tin.  Place on a cooling rack.  Enjoy!

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three-ingredient essene raisin bread ‘muffins’

Sprouted wheat, raisins, and cinnamon — how simple is that?!  Dense-textured, naturally sweet, they do take some time but most of that is waiting time.  So get out of the kitchen and go for a run, forget you’re making sprouted wheat muffins, and on the third morning you’ll wake to see the wheat berries are ready to go.  Then it takes thirty seconds to grind them up in a food processor, one minute to mix in the raisins and cinnamon, another two minutes to put them in a muffin tin, and two and a half  hours to dehydrate in your oven.  I like to turn them over after about an hour and a half so they are fully dry on top and moist on the bottom.  You can tell when they’re ready to flip, as your kitchen will smell heavenly!

essene muffins

I first learned how to sprout wheat and make Essene bread from Ann Wigmore’s The Sprouting Book, in the 1980s.  I hadn’t made any Essene bread in a couple of decades, but now that I’m vegan again (for good!)  have been revisiting some of the earlier health pioneers’ ideas.  How’s this for ‘early’ — this is Bible bread!  See Raw Food Coach’s blog for more information on the excellent nutrition in sprouted wheat.  Note, these are not light and fluffy; don’t expect them to rise or to taste like flour-based muffins.  Also, the photo shows mostly the dry tops, with four upside-down muffins so you can see how moist the rest of the muffin remains.

Prep TIme:  4 days.  yup, 4 days.

Effort Time:  5 minutes.

‘Bake’ Time:  2 – 2  1/2 hours

Ingredients:

1 1/4 c winter wheat berries 

1/2 c raisins

1 heaping t cinnamon

Method:

Step One:

Soak wheat berries overnight in water to fill a quart-sized mason jar.  (Start soaking them by 5-6 p.m. if you can.)

Step Two:

Drain and rInse wheat berries, drain again, and set them out, jar on its side, anywhere airy and without direct sunlight.  RInse them twice more during this day.  Repeat another day.

wheat sprouts ready

Step Three:

Examine your sprouts.  Somewhere around the third day of sprouting, they are ready to go.   The little stems are about the same size or a bit less than the berry itself (better to err on the side of less).  There will be little thin stringy roots too — don’t judge by those; they’re a little longer.  If you see green, they’ve gone too long — wheatgrass on the way!   Skip the last rinse; they’ll be drier and bake up faster.

wheat in processor

Step Four:

Place sprouted wheat berries in food processor.  Grind them up for about thirty seconds.  They will be textured and gummy, not pureed.

mix by hand essene

Step Five:

Place ground wheat berries in medium-sized mixing bowl; toss in raisins and cinnamon.  Mix together with your hands.  The dough will stick together nicely.  If it doesn’t, wet your hands and keep mixing for several more seconds.

Step Six:

Form patties, about two tablespoons each, and place into ungreased twelve-muffin tin.  Bake at 200 degrees for two to two and a half hours, turning them over about halfway through.  Muffins on right in photo below have been turned; see how they are moist underneath.  You don’t want to lose all that moisture; use your judgment as to when to take them out.

essene muffins baking

‘packed’ zucchini chia muffins

Inspiration for these vegan oil-free nutrition-packed  muffins was found here on Ashanka Agrawal’s blog.  She had adapted a nonvegan Martha Stewart recipe for zucchini, banana and flaxseed muffins.  I’ve tossed in grated carrot, reduced the brown sugar, added freshly ground nutmeg and — more.  I’ve experimented with substituting apple for the zucchini with success, but my all-time favorite version of these muffins has to be this one, with toasted pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries.  Wow!  They are just packed with good stuff!

pumpkin seeds and cranberries make these muffins delicious!
pumpkin seeds and cranberries make these muffins delicious!

Prep Time:  10 – 12 minutes

Cook Time:  20 -25 minutes

Ingredients:
vegan buttery stick (for greasing pan)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup lightly packed light-brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

3/4 cup unsweetened dried cranberries

1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

1 coarsely grated large zucchini

1 grated carrot

1 mashed ripe large banana

1 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350; grease pan lightly.

Mix together dry ingredients, including cranberries and pumpkin seeds after all other dry ingredients have been mixed well, in larger of two bowls.

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Mix wet ingredients into the dry in the larger bowl.  Spoon mixture into muffin tin (makes twelve nice big muffins).  Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until knife comes out clean and they are golden brown here and there.  Place on rack in the tin to cool for a couple minutes.  Slide a not-sharp knife along edge of each muffin and they will pop right out.

Enjoy just as they are, with some almond butter, or olivio coconut-based spreadable butter.

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