Once I accepted my publisher's offer to write my new comprehensive muffin book, I was determined to offer a slew of modern options. I am exceptionally fortunate that he went along whole-heartedly. One of my favorite chapters (it's like choosing a favorite child--i love them all, for different reasons) is the Vegan Muffins (egg-free & dairy-free) chapter, which features 88 new, original recipes.
If you're new to vegan baking, fear not: the process is every bit as easy as egg & dairy baking. Milk is replaced with non-dairy milk, eggs are replaced with soy yogurt, applesauce, mock "buttermilk" (same as making quick, homemade lemon buttermilk: mix non-dairy milk with a bit of citrus juice or vinegar, and let stand a few minutes to curdle), or "flax" eggs. I know, I know, flax eggs may sound dubious, but it couldn't be simpler: ground flaxseeds are mixed in a blender until frothy. That's it. The mixture has a viscosity similar to eggs, plus you get all of the extra benefits of flax, such as omega-3 fatty acids.
A friend bequeathed a bundle of rhubarb from her garden, so my choice of vegan muffin to share was made for me. The tart flavor of rhubarb is a nostalgic flavor favorite. My mother--gardener extraordinaire--planted rhubarb every summer. By late August and early September, Mom baked it into pies and breads, or most, often, stewed (similar to applesauce), and topped with a dollop of yogurt or vanilla ice cream.
I am certain you will love these muffins, regardless of your vegan, egg, or dairy proclivities. Batter up!
Vegan Rhubarb Muffins
For sophisticated comfort, these tart-sweet, cardamom- and orange-scented muffins are hard to beat. They are equally at home with afternoon tea or a morning cup of java.
Makes 12 muffins
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
12-cup muffin tin, greased
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp finely grated orange zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups chopped rhubarb
3 tbsp turbinado sugar
1. In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together orange zest, orange juice, applesauce, agave nectar, oil and vanilla until well blended.
3. Add the orange juice mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Gently fold in rhubarb.
4. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 21 to 26 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in tin on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool.