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We’ve always loved muffins at our house and baked them frequently while raising our family.  We think they’re perfect for breakfast, snacks, brown-bag lunches, etc.  We enjoyed them so much that it was an inside family joke that someday we should open a little bake shop called “Nuffin’ but Muffins.”  We still think it’s a good idea!

Since adopting a much more whole-food plant-based life style three years ago, (thank you, Meridian author Jane Birch!), baking is different by using little, if any, of the ingredients that used to be the core ingredients of our muffin recipes: eggs, sugar, oil and white flour.  But does it mean there are not hot, delicious muffins at the Allen home regularly?  Absolutely NOT!  We cherish how eating this way really makes a difference in not just our weight and health, but also mental clarity and energy.

We have found that baking with very little or no white sugar, eggs, oil or white flour creates a very different consistency and some recipes do not rise very high. Our baked goods are usually heavy, dense, most and much more filling.  We think they taste great and others enjoy them too!  I do have a flour mill for our food storage wheat and use it to grind wheat into flour for baking.  I also use it to grind brown rice into flour and find that the rice flour has a lighter texture than the wheat flour.

Where do we get our recipes?  When we made the switch three years ago, we purchased one of the “Forks Over Knives” cookbooks, along with the China Study cookbook. Soon we realized how much we were going to use them.   As a result, we took them to our printers to remove the spines and then had them spiral bound to make them easier and more enjoyable to use.  When we moved two years ago, I gave away nearly all of my old cookbooks since we just don’t eat, cook or bake like we used to.  The recipes we need to be happy and healthy are in these two cookbooks, and there are always plenty more recipes online and at the library.  Just Google whole-food plant-based recipes for plenty of delicious eating.  There are lots of vegan recipes to browse as well, although they often include the cheese and eggs that we have moved away from.

We are very happy using “Sucanat” (a dried cane juice) purchased at the local health food store for our sweetener for baking, although other healthy dry sweeteners can be used as well.  Try date sugar, stevia, or raw sugar.  To all our recipes, feel free to add a few tablespoons of nuts, seeds, whole grate oats, etc.

Enjoy!

Father’s Day Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
Makes 12

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I used rice flour)
1/3 cup granulated Sucanat (from the health food store)
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 ripe bananas (mashed (1 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil, melted and cooled
1/4 cup Almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate or carob chips, divided
Chopped nuts (optional, but always for Bob :0)

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Line muffin tin with liners or spray
2.  In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
3.  In a separate bowl and with a hand-mixer, combine mashed bananas, oil, almond milk and vanilla extract. Mix until very smooth and fluffy Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Add 1/2 the chocolate chips and optional chopped nuts.
4.  Spoon into prepared cups.  Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and/or nuts. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cook for 10 mintures before serving.

Applesauce Wheatgerm Muffins
Makes 12

1 ½ cups wheat or rice flour
1 cup wheat germ
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
½ cup raisins
1 egg
½ cup Sucanat (from the health food store) or brown sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup applesauce
½ cup almond milk

Preheat oven to 425.

Follow the same instructions for the other muffins, i.e., 1) whisk together dry ingredients; 2) Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl until very light and smooth with a hand mixer; 3) Blend wet and dry ingredients; 4) Add nuts/raisins/chocolate chips; 5) Spoon into cups, and 6) Bake at suggested temperature, keeping an eye on them and removing when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Makes 12

It doesn’t have to be Autumn or Halloween to enjoy these!

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground allspice
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. salt
One 15 oz. can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
½ cup 100% pure maple syrup
1/3 cup apple butter or apple sauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts.

Preheat oven to  400.  Follow the same instructions for the other muffins, i.e., 1) whisk together dry ingredients; 2) Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl  until very  light and smooth with a hand mixer; 3) Blend wet and dry ingredients; 4) Add nuts/raisins/chocolate chips; 5) Spoon into cups, and 6) Bake at suggested temperature, keeping an eye on them and removing when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Banana Crumb Muffins
Makes 12

We always have bananas on hand in varying degrees of ripeness.  The ripest ones get used for baking, but we also freeze ripe bananas for smoothies, and find that the work well for baking to.

2 Cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup Rice or almond milk
¼ cup Sucanat
¼ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375.  Follow the same instructions for the other muffins, i.e., 1) whisk together dry ingredients; 2) Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl until very light and smooth with a hand mixer; 3) Blend wet and dry ingredients; 4) Add nuts/raisins/chocolate chips; 5) Spoon into cups, and 6) Bake at suggested temperature, keeping an eye on them and removing when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Carrot or Zucchini Muffins
Makes 12

You can use either grated carrot or zucchini in these! Delicious!

2 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup Sucanat
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
½ tsp. Nutmeg
½ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup grated zucchini or carrots, or ½ cup each
½ cup water or Almond milk
1/3 cup applesauce
½ cup chopped nuts (optional)

Follow the same instructions for the other muffins, i.e., 1) whisk together dry ingredients; 2) Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl until very light with a hand mixer; 3) Blend wet and dry ingredients; 4) Add nuts/raisins/chocolate chips; 5) Spoon into cups, and 6) Bake at suggested temperature, keeping an eye on them and removing when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Who says health eating has to be anything but truly delicious?! Enjoy!

Carolyn Allen is the Author of 60 Seconds to Weight Loss Success, One Minute Inspirations to Change Your Thinking, Your Weight and Your Life. She has been providing mental and spiritual approaches for weight loss success both online since 1999, having presented for Weight Watchers, First Class, Fairfax County Adult Education and other community groups while living in the Washington, DC area.  She and her husband, Bob, are the parents of five children and grandparents to a growing number of darling grandchildren. They are now happy empty-nesters in Jackson, Tennessee, close to Memphis, where they center their online business for an amazing herbal detox and reflexology power socks.