One of my favorite things to do is recreate yummy looking recipes to become its vegan counterpart.
It is my opinion that, if you give it the good old college try, you can be pleasantly surprised at how great things turn out vegan.
I am always up for that!
So, naturally, when I cam across a recipe for the most delicious home made blueberry muffins I had ever seen, but discovered they were loaded with butter (and a bit too much sugar for my liking), I set out to make them vegan. (Also, let’s face it; vegan or not, the general public in the U.S. could stand to live with less dairy & sugar in their diet.)
Outcome: I was not disappointed.
Best Ever Vegan Blueberry Muffins
recipe source: Adapted from A Cook’s Quest, “The Best Ever Blueberry Muffins“.
2 T white sugar
2 T brown sugar
1/3 cup oat flour flour (Grind old fashioned oats in a food processor or spice mill.)
2 Tbsp of whole old fashioned oats
Zest from one lemon
5 T melted coconut oil
2 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed & drained)
3/4 cup + 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon water
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (to make gluten free sub oat flour. You can make your own by grinding up 2 1/2 c of gluten free oats in a food processor or spice/coffee grinder.)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flax meal mixed with 6 Tbsp of water)
4 tablespoons vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), melted (You can also use coconut oil here. note: If/when adding the melted coconut oil to the recipe it may begin to solidify, which is no big deal really, but just work quickly.)
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup vegan buttermilk (1 cup of unsweetened almond or soy milk + 1 Tbsp of white or apple cider vinegar, whisked together til foamy.)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Mix streusel ingredients together with a fork until combined & set aside.Adjust oven rack to position and heat oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare standard muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray, liners, or if you are like me, make shift liners made out of parchment paper.
Prepare your flax eggs & set aside to thicken. Prepare buttermilk mixture & set aside.
Bring 1 cup blueberries, 1 Tbsp water, and 1 tsp sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing the berries with your potato masher or fork several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced by about half. This will take about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
In a large bowl whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together. In a separate medium bowl whisk remaining 3/4 c sugar, agave and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and well combined. Slowly mix in melted butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining 1 c blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be lumpy; do not over mix.)
Using a scoop (I used and ice cream scoop) or large spoon, divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Completely fill each cup. Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion. Sprinkle streusel evenly over muffins.
Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.
I am going to try it with strawberries next I think! You can use this recipe as a base & use any fruit you like.
Other Nutritional Info…for all the food & nutrition education junkies:
You may notice I cut some some of the sugar & substituted it with agave. Agave is a natural sweetener with a low glycemic index. According to a comparison of agave vs. granulated sugar, white sugar has a glycemic index in the high 60′s, but agave generally scored under 30. It does have calories, but it is low-carb compared to regular sugar, which is why it is a good alternative for diabetics; it does not spike the blood sugar quickly. Also, agave is plant based & completely vegan. Some granulated sugars are filtered using animal bone char. For this recipe the granulated sugar I used was Bob’s Red Mill Evaporated Cane Juice Sugar. It contains more of the natural nutrients found in sugar cane than refined or processed sugars.
Familiar with Dr. Oz? He is pretty popular nowadays. His website provides a detailed explanation of the health benefits of coconut oil. I will let you read up on that on your own!
One of my friend Alayna‘s favorite desserts are home made lemon bars, which apparently would be really hard to make vegan. This just may be my next attempt! Anybody ever done it before??