Monday, March 10, 2014

Vegan Banana Muffins

Most non-vegans - when offered the choice - would not choose a vegan baked good.  They seem to think they are inherently dry, cardboard-like, grainy or otherwise un-satisfying.  At best most tend to think of vegan cooking as a compromise between ideology and deliciousness.  While that attitude may have a bit of truth to it for some recipes, it’s completely wrong when it comes to quickbreads.  These banana muffins are an easy foray into vegan baking needing only to replace egg with ground flax.  The resulting muffins are every bit as moist and delicious as a traditional recipe with butter and egg.  None of the usual negative associations with vegan baking work here, your grandmother would never know the difference! 

Ground flax meal can be purchased in the “health food” sections of most grocery stores, or you can grind your own meal from whole seeds in a blade style coffee grinder.  When mixed with water at a 3:1 ratio of water to flax meal (typically 3 tablespoons water to 1 tablespoon flax meal yields the equivalent of 1 large egg) the resulting mixture quickly takes on a consistency very similar to egg.  When used in baked goods it provides all the binding power of the egg as well, while providing a healthy dose of omega-3’s and a bit of fiber.  The flavor of flax meal doesn’t jive with every recipe, for example I probably wouldn’t use it in a vanilla cake, but when mixed at a normal ratio with a whole-grain quickbread it’s the perfect foil!  

I’ve left nuts out of this recipe but feel free to add some, 1/3 cup well chopped walnuts would be perfect.  This recipe can also be baked as a bread in a pair of loaf pans.  

Makes 12 muffins
Prep: 20 mins
Baking: 22 mins
Total: 60 mins

  • 2 tablespoons flax meal + 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups mashed overripe bananas (roughly 4 medium)
  • ½ cup raw sugar (turbinado)
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Old-fashioned oats for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Grease a 12-cup standard muffin tin (non-stick spray is perfect) or feel free to use paper liners
  3. Combine the flax meal and water in a small bowl and allow to sit for 10 minutes
  4. Whisk the flours, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl
  5. Mash the bananas with a fork in a medium bowl
  6. Add flax mixture, sugar, oil, applesauce and vanilla to bananas and mix well
  7. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the banana mixture, mix until just combined
  8. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin dividing evenly between the 12 cups, filling each ¾ full
  9. Sprinkle oats over the tops of the muffins
  10. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, or until a clean toothpick just  barely comes out clean
  11. Once removed allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then remove to a wire rack 


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