Lately, I’ve been getting into vegan baking. I have to admit, until recently, I associated words like “dry,” “tough,” and “cardboard” with vegan baked goods. But as it turns out, leaving out eggs, milk, and butter really doesn’t have to render a recipe tasteless. Vegan baking can result in a marvelous outcome – and you don’t even need crazy, exotic ingredients to make it happen.
I’m interested in vegan baking because, of course, it means no animal products have gone into the recipe. And, bonus, that can often mean the result is a bit more healthy than it otherwise might have been. And, to be honest? I’ve developed this strange trend lately of running out of eggs and/or milk, and the last thing I feel like doing at 6:30 a.m. is running to the grocery store. So it’s a great excuse to adapt, and when the outcome is delicious, it’s a win-win.
Case in point: these Super Moist Vegan Banana Bread Muffins.
I had overripe bananas in the fruit basket, my toddler was perched in her “box” (a super-awesome FunPod), whisk at the ready, aaaand, crap. No eggs. So I came up with these, and the whole family was super-pleased with the result.
My favorite substitute for eggs, thus far, is flaxseed meal. Flaxseeds are known for their health benefits – specifically being high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. While I often use flaxseed meal in my smoothies, I only recently started using them as a substitute for eggs. For each egg you replace, just mix one tablespoon flaxseed meal with three tablespoons water, and let it sit for about five minutes. That’s it!
This recipe uses the flaxseed egg replacer, plus a large amount of mashed bananas, plus a little vegetable oil, PLUS applesauce. And, yes, the end result is far from dry. Or tough. Or cardboard.
Are these muffins light as air? No, no they’re not. They’re pretty dense and super moist, just like banana bread is supposed to be – they remind me of my favorite super-banana-y banana bread recipe, but in muffin form. And instead of drying out as some muffins do after a day or two, they get even more moist.
And you know what else? I truly believe that if you don’t tell anyone they’re vegan, they’ll never know. Vegan baking for the win!
- 2 tablespoons flax meal + 6 tablespoons water; plus 2 teaspoons flax meal for sprinkling over the top of muffins, if desired
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour (can substitute all-purpose flour)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups mashed overripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup applesauce
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12-cup standard-size muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or vegetable shortening.
- In a small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons flax meal and 6 tablespoons water. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in the brown sugar, applesauce, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and flax/water combination.
- Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir just until the ingredients are incorporated. Batter will be thick.
- Divide batter between 12 muffin cups. If you prefer larger muffins with big, domed crowns, divide the batter between 9 muffin cups instead of all 12.
- Sprinkle remaining 2 teaspoons flax meal over the tops.
- Bake for 18 – 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and place tin on a rack to cool for about five minutes. Transfer individual muffins to a wire rack to let cool completely.
- These muffins keep for 3 – 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature, or freeze in a zipper bag.