Lunch box muffins! I love lunch box muffins!
When someone says “bake something” I just naturally think muffins. And given that it’s that time of year where I find myself overstocked with pumpkin purée, these are pumpkin muffins. Vegan. Whole-grain. There’s quinoa in there too! And I added a little extra brown sugar streusel on top for fun.
Given the low-ish fat content of these muffins they are good on the counter for only a day or two. To extend their freshness (and keep them for lunches for a week or more) stash them in the freezer.
Some vegan baking tips:
Vegan Eggs: I used flax seeds to stand in for the eggs in this recipe – the equivalent to 2 eggs. Each “egg” requires 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed to 3 tablespoons water. Remember this ratio
1 T ground seeds + 3 T water + 15 minutes = 1 egg
Flax eggs work best if you add the water to the ground flax seeds and whisk until frothy. Then you must set this mixture aside for at least 15 minutes, in the refrigerator is best, while you get the rest of your ingredients together. The “eggs” will thicken and get gooey. They are standing in for eggs after all, and eggs are the thing that binds, so gooey is necessary.
Another important note. I buy whole flax seeds and grind them as I need them. I just use a blender. This is a great job for a mini-blender. A coffee grinder works the same. Once ground, flax seed will spoil and turn rancid very quickly. If I have more than I need I keep it in a small mason jar in the refrigerator and try to use in a couple of days. Measure the flax seeds for the flax eggs after they have been ground.
(Another, other, note: I keep my whole flax seeds in my freezer so they stay fresh. I do this with all my nuts and seeds since I tend to buy large quantities. I’m honestly not sure how necessary this is with whole flax seeds but it makes me feel better.)
Vegan Buttermilk Substitute: To make a buttermilk substitute I soured my almond milk by adding a tablespoon of cider vinegar. You can use just about any kind of acid here – lemon juice, white vinegar, etc. Cider vinegar is my favourite for hearty tasting muffins like these. For lighter baked goods, I usually go with lemon juice.
How I measure — add the amount of vinegar or lemon juice to the measuring cup then fill to the necessary mark with non-dairy milk. Again, let this mixture sit for 10 minutes or so while you pull together the rest of your ingredients. It needs a little time to develop flavours and curdle. You can use whatever kind of milk you have on hand. Remember this ratio:
1 scant cup milk + 1 T of acid + 10 minutes = 1 C soured milk
Get some pumpkin love into the kids lunch box with these vegan pumpkin spice muffins
- 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax seed + 6 tablespoons cup water, whisked)
- 1 cup soured non-dairy milk (1 scant cup non-dairy milk, with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (should measure 1 full cup in total))
- 1-1.2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup quinoa, toasted
- 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 14oz of pure pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup liquid honey (or agave or maple syrup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extra
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 3 tablespoons of oats
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a small bowl whisk together ground flax seed and 6 tablespoons of water until frothy. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to set.
- In another small bowl - I use my glass measuring cup - measure 1 tablespoon cider vinegar (or lemon juice) and fill to 1 cup line with non-dairy milk (soy, rice or almond are my favourites). Set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients - flour through salt.
- In a medium bowl pumpkin, brown sugar, oil, honey, vanilla, flax eggs and soured non-dairy milk. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and gently mix until just combined. Stir in pumpkin seeds and raisins. Divide batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups.
- Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl to form a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle evenly over muffins. Bake muffins 18-22 minutes or until wooden toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for about 5 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.