Apple Pecan Muffins

I got a message from a friend who is cooking for a group of young people involved in an Christian outreach program this summer.  She needed 2 dozen vegan muffins ~ could I help?  How could I say no?  Especially since this amazing woman is cooking for these kids even though she recently fell and broke her shoulder!

These are some of my favorite muffins and I wanted to share them with you.  But I confess I haven’t made them recently, because hubby and I would be tempted to eat them, wheat and all.  So, this was the perfect excuse to bake them for the recipe photo-op, but with temptation being removed!  🙂

I’ve been making this recipe for a very long time.  I made and froze these before my last baby was born so that once I needed them, hubby could bring them to me in the hospital to eat.  (Hospital food and veganism just don’t seem to dovetail very well.)  That baby is now 15!!  And I’ve been making them longer than that.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I used to.

Apple Pecan Muffins

  • 2 c. white whole wheat flour (King Arthur’s or Trader Joe’s are good)
  • 1 c. quick oats
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon (best if you can get ahold of Saigon or Ceylon, etc.)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder, sieved
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda, sieved
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Ener-G egg replacer powder (do not add water)
  • 1 c. chopped apple (the finer you chop it the softer it will be)
  • 1/4 c. broken pecan pieces (or chop if you want finer pieces)
  • 1-1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • soy milk added to lemon juice to make 1 c. total**
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce (or 1/2 c. applesauce & an extra 1/4 c. oil)
  • 1/4 c. extra light olive or melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup or honey

Preheat oven to 375°.  Spray muffin cups with oil.  Whisk lemon juice and soy milk together and set aside.

Mix flour, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and egg replacer powder in a mixing bowl.  Add pecans and chopped apple, tossing to coat apple with flour mixture.  In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the soy milk/lemon juice mixture (which should have curdled into vegan buttermilk) with the applesauce, oil, and maple syrup/honey.  With a rubber spatula, scrape wet ingredients into dry ingredients and fold together until no dry spots remain. 

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.  As you can see from the picture of the unbaked batter, these will be very full muffin cups!

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Place muffin pan on wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes.  (Trust me on this, okay?  It’s absolutely necessary, or your muffins will not let go of the pan and you’ll have muffin pieces that are slightly gooey because they haven’t finished setting up in the pan.)  Remove from pans with fingers ~ if they won’t let go with just a tiny tug, then let them cool a little longer (esp. in the summer if you don’t have the A/C on.)  Place on rack to finish cooling.

** I have only tried this with soy milk.  It probably works with other non-dairy milks, but I cannot vouch for how they behave.

Make Your Muffins Healthier

It’s possible to re-make your favorite muffin recipes into healthier vegan versions.  Don’t hesitate to experiment with them.  Here are some tips:

  • Replace from half up to all of the oil with applesauce (the best texture comes from leaving about 2 T. of oil per dozen muffins)
  • Replace eggs with Ener-G egg replacer powder (1 1/2 tsp. per egg, plus 2 T liquid such as water or non-dairy milk added to the liquid ingredients, or if replacing the sugar with liquid sweetener, omit the extra liquid for just 1 egg)
  • Replace the sugar with honey or maple syrup to add more moistness, but be sure to reduce the oven temperature by 25°
  • Use whole grain flours and oats instead of white flour
  • Use non-dairy milk

Here is an example of a modified muffin recipe:

Original:

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Healthier Version:

  • 1 1/2 tsp. Ener-G egg replacer powder
  • 3/4 c. non-dairy milk
  • 2 T. light olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. plus 2 T. unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 c. whole wheat flour (*note)
  • 1/3 c. honey or maple syrup
  • 1 T. non-aluminum baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Original directions:  Heat oven to 400°.  Grease bottoms only of about 12 medium muffin cups.  Beat egg; stir in milk and oil.  Stir in remaining ingredients all at once just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy).  Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.  Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Immediately remove from pan.

Healthier version directionsHeat oven to 375°.  Spray 12 medium muffin cups with oil mister or use paper liners.  Whisk all dry ingredients together in large bowl.  Whisk all wet ingredients in small bowl.  Pour wet ingredients into dry, stirring just until moistened.  Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.  Bake until golden brown, about 18 minutes.  Immediately remove from pan – slip knife around edges if necessary to loosen.

Variations:

Blueberry: Stir in 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries during the last few stirs after wet ingredients are added to dry.

Banana: Decrease milk to 1/3 cup; stir in 1 c. mashed bananas (2-3 medium) with the wet ingredients.  Add 1/3 c. chopped nuts and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, if desired, to the dry ingredients.

Oatmeal-Raisin: Stir in 1 cup raisins with the dry ingredients.  Decrease flour to 1 cup; stir in 1 cup quick oats, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon with the dry ingredients.

Pumpkin: Stir in 1/2 c. pumpkin with the wet ingredients.  Stir in 1/2 c. raisins and 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice with the dry ingredients.

Date-Nut: Stir in 1/2 c. chopped dates and 1/3 c. chopped nuts with the dry ingredients.

Apple-Nut: Stir in 1 medium apple, pared and chopped, with the wet ingredients.  Stir in 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 c. chopped nuts with the dry ingredients.

*NOTE: King Arthur’s white whole wheat is fantastic to use, as it’s made from spring wheat that is lighter in color and sweeter in flavor.  You can also use 1/2 – 1 c. oats in place of part of the flour.