Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Vegan Banana Blueberry Lactation Muffins

Clearly there is a trend going on here! Since staying in Seattle for my sister's birth, I have been trying to help her out in as many ways as possible. One major way is cooking for her and her family, and one thing every new mother needs is energy! These hearty muffins are packed with energy giving nutrients, they are vegan, have good fat, no refined sugar and can easily be made gluten free.

They are also (almost) endlessly adaptable! For example, you can use up to 5 cups of oats and only 1 cup of flour for a much denser, "baked oatmeal" type of muffin. Leave out the brewer's yeast if you don't have it on hand (if you aren't specifically using these for milk production that is, if you are making the muffins to boost your system do leave the yeast in. Read this post for info!). You can vary the fruit from blueberries to any other berry, dried fruit or omit all together. They'd be delightful with some chopped nuts folded in and/or some nuts, oats, or sugar sprinkled on top. Add in some shredded unsweetened coconut, omit the banana and add an extra cup of applesauce... you get the picture!

Vegan Banana Blueberry Lactation Muffins
adapted from Knocked Up - Knocked Over

3 c. oats (1 c. blended into oat flour)
3 c. flour (can be gluten-free, whole wheat or unbleached all purpose- I used a mix of all three)
1/3 c. flax seed meal
1/3 c. brewer's yeast/nutritional yeast
1 1/2 t. baking soda
3 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 T. cinnamon
1 banana, mashed
2 c. applesauce
3/4 c. oil (olive or coconut melted is best, I used canola)
3/4 c. maple syrup, agave or honey (to taste)
2 t. vanilla
2 c. coconut milk + 1 T. vinegar (or any alt milk)
1-2 c. blueberries (tossed with a bit of the flour to help them not sink to the bottom of the muffins)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk oats, flour, flax seed meal, yeast, baking soda, baking powder, salt + cinnamon in a large bowl.

Whisk (or blend in batches!) banana, applesauce, oil, maple syrup, vanilla + coconut milk in a medium bowl.

Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until almost incorporated. Fold in blueberries. Fill sprayed muffin tins and bake for ~20 minutes. Enjoy! This recipe makes 2 dozen, and extras can be easily frozen (if you can't eat them quick enough!)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Vegan Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

It's been awhile! Many things going on, but most importantly, I became an Aunt again! My sister just gave birth early yesterday (was it really only a day ago?) morning to her first son, Dash. He arrived before expected and needs some TLC at the hospital still, but is doing well and they are eager to bring him home when he's ready. She was a rockstar, did the whole thing sans pain medication, and I was privileged to witness the birth. So amazing.

I decided to make my sister some muffins to help with lactation as well as help keep her energy up for a snack throughout the day, and of course I wanted some too. I needed to use what she already had in her entirely non-vegan kitchen. That means no flax seed meal, no coconut oil, no special flours or organic sugar. Oh, and it helps if a two year old can help easily (Thanks Eleanor!) Enter Vegan Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins! Oats are great for nursing mamas, and these also have no refined sugar, no dairy, whole wheat flour and are made with simple pantry ingredients. A win for everyone.

the finished product
using totally fresh nutmeg- I had to crack open the shell and everything!

Vegan Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins
adapted from Jamessina

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon 
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ginger
1/4 c. oil (I used oil, melted coconut oil would be excellent)
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 cup applesauce, unsweetened

*1/4 c. brewer's yeast or nutritional yeast (optional)
*1/4 c. flax seed meal (optional)

*Brewer's yeast, flaxseed meal and oats are the perfect trifecta for nursing moms! The first time I made these muffins without the optional yeast + flaxseed, but they are great either way. Also I did a lot of research into the difference between brewer's yeast and nutritional yeast for this recipe, and found that they both seem to be excellent for you. I could not locate brewer's yeast in the small time allotted to me for shopping before getting back to my sister's house to help babysit, so I used nutritional yeast. The main difference is that only brewer's yeast contains chromium/selenium, while only nutritional yeast contains vitamin B12. Definitely do your own research though.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk wet ingredients in a small bowl. Add wet to dry, stir only until incorporated. Bake in a sprayed muffin tin for 15 min. Done! Easy vegan muffins that will satisfy anyone. Delicious with jam