I’ve been thinking a lot about harvesting.  It might have something to do with the fact that I’ve had a tragically underused backyard for the last two years.  The word tragic is dramatic, but.. just let me have that one.  

My backyard hosts a fig tree that really is doing is best but feels mostly confused by New Orleans weather, and a satsuma tree that I nurture through the rainiest, steamiest summers.  Every Autumn I step into the backyard hopeful, as if despite my lack of planting, there might be a carrot in the ground, a patch of zucchini, or a sack of potatoes.  Nope.  And off to Whole Foods.  And off to the farmer’s market.  And back to the garden drawing board for next spring.  

These muffins, vegan in fact, give me all the vibes of  a fall bounty, without the actual gardening.  They’re tender little cakes, super easy to assemble and substitute, and I would very much like for you to make them, take them into your heart, and also consider some garden life along with me.  

These vegan muffins are one-bowl / super-simple / decidedly moist / really-truly delicious.  

We’ll start with oil.  I used vegetable oil though if you like the more bold flavor of olive oil – now is a great time to go for it! 

To the oil we’ll add a Flax Egg – ground flax seeds (all of the good fats plus a bit of binding!) and water.  The moisture will activate a lightly gelatinous quality to the flax seeds which is exactly what we need.  

We’ll also add a dash of apple cider vinegar to add an acidic quality which will help activate the baking soda. 

Every ingredient adds a touch of science. 

Instead of milk we’re adding apple sauce.  Moisture and a touch of sweetness, too. 

Whisk until the wet ingredients are well combined and the flax seed flecks are suspended in the mixture.  

We’ll add sugar to the wet ingredients – two kinds:  granulated sugar and brown sugar.

Hey listen… if you only have one kind of sugar on hand.  Go for it.  Use what you’ve got (unless it’s powdered sugar that just won’t work, ok?)

Adding the sugar to the wet ingredients will encourage the sugar to dissolve more easily, creating a more moist and tender muffin.  

Shredded raw carrots.  Shredded raw vegetables. Big handfuls of vegetables that will soften, moisten, sweeten lightly these little treats. It’s a bounty!  

We’ll add the wet ingredients on top of the dry.  Instead of whisking all of the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, listen… we’re just going to layer ingredients, whip them together and not even think of it as a shortcut. It’s a smartcut. 

Baking soda and baking powder – the usual suspects.  Ground cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg – the spiced you might expect and likely crave this time of year. 

Whip everything together into a thick but pourable batter.  

Muffin it.  

I went without papers for a more rustic look?  Or because I realized I was out of muffin papers?  I’ll let you figure that out.  

Instead of a buttery streusel we’re topping these muffins with naturally buttery chopped walnuts.  The nuts will toast to golden as the muffins bake and add just the right amount of crunch to these tender muffins. 

You might also consider pecans, pumpkin seeds, and/or sunflower seeds.  A combination would be delightful!  

These muffins are tender with the texture of a light cake.  They’re studded with soft vegetable shreds, topped with toasted nuts, and fragrant with spice.  Plus!  When wrapped individually, they freeze well – a treat for your future self!  They’re vegan, and it that makes you suspicious, please let these muffins surprise you.  They’re perfect little Autumn gems. 

Vegan Carrot and Zucchini Harvest Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup shredded zucchini
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 12 muffin muffin tin and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together oil, ground flax seed, water, and vinegar until well combined. Whisk in the apple sauce and vanilla extract.
  3. Next, whisk in the two sugars. Stir in the shredded vegetables.
  4. Now it’s time to add the dry ingredients. Add the flour, the baking power and baking soda. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg and salt. Whisk the ingredients together. Whisk well! Make sure there are no secret pockets of flour hiding out.
  5. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle generously with walnuts.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the muffins are cooked through when tested with a toothpick.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before removing from the pan. To remove from the pan, fun a butterknife along the outside of the muffins and carefully lift out.
  8. Enjoy warm or allow to cool completely on a cooling rack before storing in an airtight container at room temperature. muffins will last for up to four days.

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http://joythebaker.com/2018/11/vegan-carrot-and-zucchini-harvest-muffins/

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