Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sundays with Sparky - Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

As you may recall, Sparky's school classroom is home to children with a wide range of cultures, backgrounds, ethnicities, and beliefs, including some kids with dietary restrictions.  Our own family's belief is that food is made to be shared...and classroom snacks should be able to be enjoyed by everyone.

I usually rise to this challenge with fresh fruit...but since we both love to bake, and I had the other part of a can of pumpkin, I thought I would make pumpkin muffins...after all, vegetable puree is a common substitute for eggs in baking.    Dairy-free options are common enough in our pantry - most of us Hayses have difficulty digesting milk, so almond milk has become a staple for us.  I started tinkering with this recipe, making a few substitutions where I didn't have the correct ingredients.  Keep in mind - these muffins may well be vegan, but since the egg's binding power is replaced in part by sugar - they're far from healthy.

The recipe was for 6 jumbo muffins, but it turned out to make 24 mini muffins, plus 3 regular-size muffins.  If you bake in a muffin tin with empty molds, pour a bit of water into the unused cups so it doesn't burn your tin.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup AP flour
1 1/4 cups raw or demerara sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or from a can)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon applesauce
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup

005First, we preheated the oven to 400 degrees.  Then we mixed all the dry ingredients with a whisk (all the ingredients until pumpkin.)  We then put the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and mixed thoroughly.

The wet was folded into the dry, (my, doesn't Sparky look so grown-up and capable in this picture? Sniff...)

012and then the molds were filled using two spoons as scoops. (Note my favorite cooking instrument just over Sparky's shoulder.  I'm using it right now!)

These took slightly longer to bake than their eggy counterparts - even mini muffins took about 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  Sparky reported that his classmates gobbled up these tender little morsels in a trice; they were a big hit.


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