Making a Recipe Your Own

Whenever we find a recipe online, we find it hard to stick to it. We either have to veganize it (obviously), ‘healthitize’ it, or make it our own in some way. Substituting applesauce for some of the fat, stevia for some of the sweetener or flax for eggs are always common substitutions with us. We also like to add cinnamon or different flavors of extracts (almond, coconut, raspberry, maple…) to mix up the flavor. By doing these things, it’s easy to add what you like!

I have been wanting some chocolate-chocolate chip muffins since finding a vegan one at a bakery about a month ago so I finally decided to make some when we were at our Grandma and Grandpa’s for Easter. I actually did follow the recipe that time, and the muffins turned out great, but when I decided to make them again at my place, I changed it up.

The version that I made has fewer calories and more protein than the original version, thanks to the addition of protein powder (I used Trader Joe’s Vanilla Soy Protein Powder) and substitution of stevia for some of the sweetener. I also used homemade applesauce in order to make up for the liquid that was lost when I cut the maple syrup amount in half, but go ahead and use unsweetened or cinnamon applesauce instead! Although substituting ingredients hasn’t always turn out great for me when baking, the following recipe did, so I encourage you to try it and to try making other recipes your own as well!

 Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Bundts
Based on a recipe from Cookie Madness
[Makes 14 mini bundts]

  • 1 cup Spelt Flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetenedCocoaPowder
  • ¼ cup vanilla protein powder
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. Cake Spice (or sub cinnamon)
  • ¼ cup cup-for-cup Stevia
  • ¼ cup Maple Syrup
  • ¾ cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • ¼ cup Applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil (or Coconut Manna)
  • ½ cup Chocolate Chips

– Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray a mini bundt pan or muffin tin with cooking oil.

– Melt the coconut oil just until it liquefies.

– Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl and the wet ingredients in a large bowl (excluding the chocolate chips).

– Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

– Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the Muffins are firm or a toothpick comes out clean.

– Eat as is or spread some peanut butter on top and enjoy!

I also made a few mini muffins as well!


Pumpkin Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

Are you ready to take the next step and maybe get a little more involved in animal advocacy or veganism? If you’re in the Minneapolis area there are a few pretty fun events coming up and it’s not too late to sign up!

  • Monday, November 7: Holiday Cooking Class (We will be there!)
    • This class will provide you with a few awesome tips and vegan dessert and snack recipes you can try out for Thanksgiving.
  • Tuesday, November 8: Vegan Bake Sale
  • Tuesday, November 15: Dine out at Annapurna Bhavan
    • Show your support for restaurants that offer vegetarian and vegan restaurants by going out to dinner at this restaurant that features South Eastern Cuisine!
  • Saturday, November 19: Vegan Thanksgiving Pot Luck
    • You definitely don’t need to be vegan to attend this event! They only ask that you bring a vegan dish of some sort along with the recipe (which we have provided you with some yummy recipes to show off 🙂 ) This is a pretty large event so there is no need to be nervous, in case you didn’t know vegans are pretty friendly people! This is a wonderful opportunity to try all different kinds of vegan dishes and socialize with local animal advocates.

The Compassionate Action for Animals group in Minneapolis organize events like this all of the time, so if November doesn’t work for you fret not, December is right around the corner 😉

Now to the recipe for today! I have been meaning to make almond poppy seed muffins ever since we made non-vegan ones at the restaurant where I work.  The smell was oh so tempting and I could find no reason why I should miss out on this unique flavor.  So I busted out the good ol’ cooking apron and got to work!

Success! These muffins have the perfect moisture content and have just enough bounce in them so they are airy, but not too much where they reach the point of sponginess (yes I realize you’re probably overwhelmed by the amount of technical baking terms I just threw at you, but hang in there.) The key to these muffins is to sift the dry ingredients together so you incorporate some air into the mixture.  Also make sure your oven is at 350! I realize this concept seems simple, but after pans and pans of flat cookies I finally bought an oven thermometer only to realize how much my electric stove fluctuates! I knew it couldn’t posssssiiibly be me 😉

Pumpkin Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Sift together all of the ingredients above.

  • 1 rounded Tbs. diced dried cherries (opt.)
  • 1 Tbs. poppy seeds
  • ½ cup sugar

Mix the dried cherries, poppy seeds and sugar in with the flour mixture.

  • 1 flax egg (1Tbs flax 3 Tbs water)
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 2 Tbs. applesauce
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs. water
  • 1 Tbs. strong coffee
  • 1 tsp. almond emulsion or extract
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract

Once the flax mixture has an egg-like consistency mix it in with the rest of the list above then slowly add to the dry ingredients.

  • 1 cup canned 100% pumpkin
  • ¼ cup organic apple juice
  • Chopped Almonds

Stir in pumpkin and apple juice, alternating every other one until completely combined (mixture will be fairly thick.) Fill the mini muffin tins about 2/3 full and sprinkle with the chopped almonds. Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350. Remove from the oven and cool in the muffin tins for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Yes, I realize this is not a pretty picture but I tend to get a little crazy when I cook 🙂

Try to fill them as evenly as possible so you don’t end up with some gooey and some burnt ones!

Cool in the muffin tins for about 5 minutes! Mmmm look at all those muffins 🙂

Nice and golden!

Transfer the muffins to a rack to cool completely.

Try not to eat them all!

This recipe makes about 40 mini muffins, the perfect amount to share with family, friends, or random people you think you may have met that one time! Maybe through your mom, or was it your sister? Either way it will put a smile on that rando’s face!

We challenge you to bring at least one vegan dish to the dinner table for Thanksgiving this year so rev up your nogin!