Little known fact: I spent a (very) short span of life as a card-carrying vegan. Mainly, I was interested in the health benefits and the moral and environmental effects. While I still think that the world at large would be a better place if we consumed less meat and dairy, I’m back on the omnivore bandwagon again. This is not to credit/discredit any dietary choice, because I think that there are valid arguments for all sides; but for me, I’ve come to the conclusion that supporting ethical farmers and enjoying a well-balanced diet is the right move. (And, let’s be honest: I really love Greek yogurt. And goat cheese. And egg salad.)
Even though I’m back in the land of milk and honey, I still like to whip out a few beloved vegan recipes because they’re so darn healthy. One of the things I wanted to conquer during my vegan days was baking sans dairy and eggs. I was usually unsuccessful. But when there were victories, they usually came from the pages of Veganomicon, the revered cookbook for all things vegan. These muffins are an adaptation from a similar recipe for applesauce muffins. I made about a million of them in a 6-month period. But this time around, I wanted to add in more fall flavors. Which can only mean one thing: pumpkin!
Here’s the ingredient list:
adapted from Veganomicon
- ¾ cups Almond Milk
- ½ teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ cups Unsweetened Applesauce
- ½ cups Canned Pumpkin
- 3 Tablespoons Canola Oil
- ½ cups Packed Brown Sugar
- 1-½ cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- ¾ cups Red Wheat Bran
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- ½ teaspoons Salt
- ½ cups Raisins
- 3 Tablespoons Raw Pumpkin Seeds
Start by combining almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Allow the mixture to sit for a minute. Then, add applesauce, pumpkin, canola oil, and packed brown sugar. Whisk to combine.
In a separate bowl (or—if you avoid extra dishes like the plague as I do—the same bowl), sift together whole wheat pastry flour, red wheat bran (oat bran works too, but I like the color and flavor red wheat bran contribute), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients (or if you’re part of the aforementioned lazy club, just stir). Fold in raisins (golden, regular, or get crazy and throw in some dried cranberries!).
Spoon into a muffin tin. Bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes. Then, working as quickly as you can, like your life depends on it, sprinkle raw pumpkin seeds on top of the semi-baked muffins. Adding them 10 minutes in ensures that they don’t sink down into the batter and/or burn. Once you’ve sufficiently pumpkin-seeded the tops of your muffins, pop them back into the oven at 350ºF for another 15-20 minutes.
These are great plain or with butter but they’re out-of-this-world amazing when spread with the pure love that is pumpkin butter. And over the weekend, I went all-out at Williams Sonoma and bought a jar of their Pecan Pumpkin Butter.
Best decision ever. I now have a new best (spread) friend. Sorry, dark chocolate peanut butter.
(You can also find this recipe here, at Tasty Kitchen!)