Vegan and Sugar Free
I am so, sooo sick of the election lead-up. Everywhere you look, Abbot and the Ruddmeister smiling and waving creepily, commercials of little children being cast in to darkness because nobody cares about their education! Ridiculous slogans like “stop the boats,” that will be played back in thirty years as an example of how backwards and racist Australians used to be.
It makes me sad that in this “democratic” country so many people’s votes are shaped not by party’s policies, but by fear campaigns and propaganda spread by the media controlled by a certain someone I won’t name (Murdoch). I don’t want this post to be all about politics and I don’t want to alienate anyone with my views, but it’s hard not to say a word or two when the election is tomorrow!
It’s embarrassing to think what overseas countries must see in Australian politics. It seems that every three years, all the darkest and ugliest sides of Australia come out and take centre stage for a while, even though most of these views are held by a minority for the rest of the term. For instance gay marriage has been a hot topic this election, and instead of playing out as a cooperative and respectful debate it has become a monster of homophobia, discrimination and name-calling. Within the parties too, not just in general society. It’s such a horrible point to use as a defining policy and it shines negatively on the entire liberal party to take such a primitive and old-fashioned stance. The worst part is, it’s gaining them votes, not losing them.
Sorry about that rant! And on to these muffins. I love muffins but so often they’re the most unhealthy option in the entire cafe. They can be packed full of preservatives, sugar, margarine and other strange ingredients I’ve never heard of, especially if you buy them at the supermarket or make them from a muffin mix.
That’s where these bad boys step in! Each muffin has a whopping 7 grams of protein! That’s an entire serving, which for a vegetarian is like Christmas come early. They are also intensely delicious. I had a little “taste test” so I could explain the quinoa flour flavour to everyone, and I ended up eating an entire muffin. They are fruity and sweet and packed full of flavours like coconut, sultanas, walnuts, carrot and pear and cinnamon and vanilla and are you drooling yet?? The honey flavour really shines through and gives the loveliest sweetness and crunch to these muffins.
But it’s the crumble that takes them to the next level.
Coconut, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, flaked almonds and nutty wholemeal flour come together in a medley of love to create a very crunchy and flavoursome topping. Don’t do what I did and pour hot honey over the crumble, because that will melt your butter like nothing else. Also don’t under-estimate just how much crumble your muffins can take!
I have a terrible condition of overfilling my muffin cases, and this crumble topping was a great way of exercising control. Once the crumble’s on you can’t add any more muffin mix! Genius. These muffins are great the day they are made, but wait for them to cool down before eating them because all the flavours come together more. Also quinoa flour! What is that you may wonder? It is ground quinoa and it has an earthy, strong flavour that works well here because it is completely masked by the other ingredients.
I wouldn’t know if you could substitute more than I have, but I would proceed with caution. It’s naturally gluten free so doesn’t behave like normal flour, and depending on the brand it can have a powerful “plant” flavour that can be overwhelming in lighter cakes. It’s very good for you though! So lets all continue to experiment with it and tell me what you discover.
Can’t get enough of your muffin fix? Here’s some recipes I’ve been eyeing this week:
Delicious Oatmeal Muffins from 101 Cookbooks
Mini Almond and Roasted Strawberry Muffins from Sprouted Kitchen so cute!
Plums and Almond Muffins from A Tasty Love Story look amaaazing.
Carrot and Pear Crumble Muffins: Adapted from Ottolenghi
60g (1/4 cup) coconut butter, in pieces (or regular butter for non-vegan)
50g (1/2 cup) wholemeal flour
45ml (1/3 cup) runny honey or maple syrup for vegan
1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp water
50g (1/4 cup) oats
25g (1 tbsp) desiccated coconut
30g (1 heaped tbsp) sunflower seeds
20g (1 heaped tblsp) poppy seeds
15g (1 tbsp) flaked almonds
In a bowl, mix with your fingers the flour and butter until sandy. Add the other ingredients and mix until crumbly with your hands. Set aside.
4 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 8 tbsp of water to form a gel (or 4 large eggs)
200g (1.5 cups + 1 tbsp) plain flour sifted with 100g (3/4 cup) quinoa flour (or all plain/half wholemeal)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
200g (1 +3/4 cups each) each grated carrot and pear (apple works too)
270ml (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) honey or maple syrup for vegan
160ml (2/3 cup) olive oil
50g (2.5 tbsp) desiccated coconut
100g (2/3 cup) sultanas
100g (3/4 cup) walnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 170C (340F) and line 12-14 muffin pans. Mix together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and sift well. In a large bowl mix the chia gel or eggs, honey, oil, carrots, pears and vanilla. Stir in the walnuts, coconut and sultanas. Fold in the flour mixture and gently combine. Spoon into 12-14 muffin cases and sprinkle with the crumble generously, pushing it down so it sticks to the muffin mix. Bake for 18-25 minutes until golden brown and crunchy on top. Leave to cool and then eat them!