Sunday, January 16, 2011

Vegan Blueberry Ginger Muffins

 Throughout the week I find myself standing in front of the fridge thinking "Okay, what can I make/eat in less than 5 minutes that's NOT cereal?"  (as I'm attempting to leave for work on time...attempting)   And my options usually end up being...cereal.  I typically don't find myself very hungry in the morning, but I make myself eat a small bowl with a piece of fruit and that's usually that.  Can't skimp, I do need my fuel for the day!  (And so do you!)  My "go to's" are Kashi Heart to Heart Blueberry Clusters or Go Lean Toasted Berry Crumble with some fresh sliced strawberries and blueberries mixed in.  So, since I had some blueberries on hand I decided to switch it up a bit.

Skipping breakfast throws me off completely, so I always eat something even if it means I am forcing myself.  Without some sustenance I'm completely off kilter for the rest of the day and I feel like I'm poor Alexander who had that no good, very bad day (one of my old favorite stories!).  And then, it only gets worse.  Somewhere throughout the day, I turn into a ravenous, impatient beast looking for the quickest thing I can cook once I get home from work.   And really, that's no good because I love to cook!  So, I try to not let myself slip into that pattern because it's not a very nice, or pretty, one. (I gave you a fair warning!)  Who honestly would have thought breakfast could have such a significant impact?  Well, I got to thinking and realized I hadn't made muffins in a while, and what could be better, easier, and more delish than a nice blueberry muffin for breakfast?  (...Okay, maybe a slice of cake would be more delicious, but I'm trying to be healthy here people!)  I got this recipe from my new cookbook (Vegan Brunch) and it's great!  My kitchen filled up with the delicious smell of blueberries, cinnamon, and ginger baking away in my you can imagine my delight once these were done.  

There is a great balance of spice and blueberry flavor...a perfect and healthy way to start your day!  I improvised and threw 2 handfuls of chopped pecans into the batter and topped them with some extras, which was a really great addition to the flavor and gave some crunch to them.  I also didn't have spelt flour on hand, so I just used whole wheat flour and still had a great result.  If you're looking to cut down on the amount of oil used, just sub in some applesauce.  That will keep your muffins moist and cut down on some of the fat you may be looking to omit. Next time I'll be sure to add some oats and ground flax seed for some extra nutty flavor (which is also a great source for fiber and essential fatty acids (Omega-3's)).  And if you wanted a little variety you could easily add any assortment of berries, too (fresh or frozen).  The nice thing is that you can be pretty flexible to make these your ultimate on-the-go, yummy in your tummy, great start to your day muffins.  And remember, eat your breakfast!  No one likes turning into (or dealing with) a mid-morning zombie because their brains aren't fueled and their bellies are quaking.  So eat and be happy...simple enough, right?

  • 2 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (I upped it to 1 tbsp..I love cinnamon)
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt (a 6 oz container)
  • 1 cup almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (or you can use apple sauce here)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped crystalized ginger
  • 1 1/4 cups blueberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a muffin tin.  

In la large mixing bowl, stire together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.  Make a well in the center and add the yogurt, milk, canola oil, and vanilla.  Stir to combine.  Fold in the ginger and the blueberries.

Scoop the batter into the muffin tin; it should almost fill the entire tin.  Bake for 28 to 32 minutes (mine were done after 25), or until a toothpick or butter knife inserted through the center of the muffin comes out clean.  Let cool for a few minutes in the tin before transferring the muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Adapted from Vegan Brunch

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