Doctor Vegan’s Superfood Muffins
I am not a fan of oatmeal. There, I said it. I know that oatmeal is super healthy, and is supposed to be the perfect breakfast because it fills you up and provides you with fuel for the day. But I just. Can’t. Do it. The soupy, heavy texture is just not appealing to me, even with an assortment of fruity or nutty toppings. Oatmeal just seems to sit in my stomach and make me feel like a lump for hours. No thanks.
Oats, on the other hand, I absolutely love! Oats in granola, oats in pancakes, oats in cookies, and especially oats in muffins. I could eat a hearty oat-filled muffin every day of my life for breakfast (or lunch, or dinner). If you’ve read my review of Rising Hearts Bakery, you would have learned that while some of their desserts and breads really tickled my fancy, the apple oat muffin left a lot to be desired. It was cakey, overly sweet, and lacking in any real substance.
Muffins are NOT cupcakes. If I want a sweet dessert-like baked good, I’m going for the cupcake, not a muffin. Likewise, when I want a satiating, tasty, and nutritious baked good, I’m going for the muffin. Unfortunately, its rare to find a great tasting AND nutritious muffin at stores or bakeries. Typically I make my own.
Today I want to share with you my latest homemade muffin creation, the Superfood Muffin. Superfoods are foods that pack a huge nutrient punch (especially omega 3’s), and are good to incorporate into your regular diet. Berries, nuts, seeds (like hemp and chia), etc. are examples. In this recipe, I include avocado, chia seed, and goji berries, plus healthy flours, oats, and dark chocolate.
I generally search for vegan muffin recipes online, then adapt them based on the ingredients I want to use or have at hand. The recipe below is adapted from Healthy Green Kitchen, but I’ve put my own spin on this already healthy recipe. I’ve exchanged one of the bananas with an avocado, blended a few flours and sugars, and thrown in some tasty add-ins.
I know a lot of people who are scared to play with recipes and change out ingredients. I am here to tell you to Go For It! There is no one right way to bake a muffin! If you like how it tastes, you’ve succeeded. Even if your muffins aren’t the best ever, at least you’ve experimented and tried something new. I change nearly every recipe I try, because I like to blend various healthy ingredients and see what happens once they get in the oven.
The recipe below resulted in superbly moist, hearty (but not too heavy), rich muffins that are slightly sweet but definitely not a dessert muffin. You can add or reduce the amount of sweetener depending on your preference (you can also try brown rice syrup, or a bit of molasses), play with different flours, and add in various additional ingredients, such as shredded cinnamon, coconut, dried, fruit, berries, chocolate chips, or nuts to perk up the flavor in various ways. If you avoid gluten, you could use almond and oat flours, or if you prefer more ‘classic’ muffins use wheat (preferably whole-grain) or spelt flours—I like to blend! GF flours tend to make for more crumbly muffins, so do a Google search for suggestions on how to blend. Almond flour is fairly versatile, whereas coconut flour is very dense and sucks moisture.
When making your own muffins, or any at-home food, I highly suggest investing in as many organic and fair-trade ingredients as you can. You will end up with healthier meals and be supporting more sustainable food practices. You can now find organic flours and sugars at most grocery stores and online, as well as organic coconut oil, nuts, chocolate, etc. Happy Baking!
Doctor Vegan’s Superfood Muffins
*1 ½ cups flour (I used ½ cup almond flour, ½ millet flour, and ½ spelt flour)
*1/3 to 1/2 cups oats
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I use Himalayan sea salt for added health benefits)
*2 medium bananas, mashed
*1 ripe avocado, mashed
*1/4 cup maple syrup (Grade B has the most beneficial nutrients)
*1/4 cup coconut sugar, or to taste
*1 tablespoon ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water
*1/4 cup coconut oil
*Optional (but recommended!): ½ cup chocolate chips (or chop up good quality vegan dark chocolate), and/or dried fruit, and/or nuts (I used chocolate, goji berries, chia seeds, and walnuts)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Rub a standard muffin tin with melted coconut oil or spray (Trader Joe’s has coconut oil spray).
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine bananas, avocado sugars, flax and water mixture, and melted coconut oil. Fold the flour mixture into the banana mixture, and mix until smooth. Fold in oats and other add-ins, if using.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the pan. Makes 8-10 muffins (I like to ‘over’ fill my muffin tins so I made 8 good sized muffins).