Yes, these muffins are vegan.
I know. I know I told you that I didn't see myself trying to veganize my baking. It's just not something that generally interests me, particularly with certain substitutions (like margarine or soy-processed products). But, I have a good excuse for this one.
I made this bread (actually, I made muffins) vegan, because I made it for a friend of mine who has recently gone vegan. Like for reals vegan. None of this wimpy 30 day challenge stuff. No sirree, she's gone truly vegan. Since I'm all about sharing my baked goods, I knew that I needed to try and make these vegan, if I could, so that I could share them with her. And I lucked out when I read over the recipe.
The recipe lends itself to veganizing. For one... it's a quick bread recipe, which in my experience, I've found quick bread recipes to be forgiving as heck to modifications... you can make it healthier, you can make it lighter, you can make it more fattening... whatever you do, it usually still turns out delicious. But, can you make it vegan?
The recipe already used applesauce and a tiny bit of oil as it's fat. So, I didn't have to worry about subbing out butter. The problem laid in two ingredients: Eggs and Buttermilk or Whole Milk.
What to do? Well, I subbed a smashed up banana to replace the eggs and I used unsweetened almond milk to replace the milk (I didn't even worry about trying to make the milk buttermilk, though I could have with a little vinegar in the milk).
The batter came together nicely and quickly and I had these bad boys in the oven within about 5 minutes of starting the process.
To be completely honest, I didn't have high hopes. I've had delicious vegan baked goods before, but I just assumed that my first foray into the genre would be lackluster. I figured that my banana and almond milk substitutions weren't good enough. That there were some other fancy dancy baking products that cost an arm and a leg that I should have bought and used instead.
But I'll be damned if these weren't some of the BEST muffins I've ever had. Not even one of the best vegan muffins, but one of the best muffins, period. Delicious. Sweet (I think, I probably should have accounted for the additional sweetness of the banana, and cut back on the sugar, but D-A-M-N I loved them being so freaking sweet), spicy, moist without being wet, and a tender crumb.
I mean, really... this is a kick-ass recipe. I will be making these again and again. And I've already got more ideas for more modifications... maybe I could make it a slightly healthier vegan muffin. But, I shouldn't get too far ahead of myself and just enjoy the muffins as they are now... delicious and animal friendly.
Oatmeal Breakfast Bread
Brilliant Recipe by Dorie Greenspan
I know, right? Who knew you could take the taste of an oatmeal cookie and put it into the form of a moist, tender bread or muffin??? It's truly genious. The cinnamon is fragrant and alluring and the pop of the dried fruit (I used raisins) is like a little firework in your mouth amongst the sturdy, yet soft oatmeal.
Yes, I'm getting poetical on your ass, but this is truly a delicious recipe. It really is like an oatmeal raisin cookie in a softer, gentler form.
The substitutions I made: I made a half recipe and got exactly 12 muffins (although my vegan recipe didn't rise at all, so I might could have gotten 10 really full muffins). I used white whole wheat flour, I subbed one small banana smashed for the 1 egg, and unsweetened almond milk for the milk. I also used raisins and didn't have any walnuts or pecans, so I left those out of the topping.
Do yourself a favor.... make this recipe and make it vegan! I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
You can find the full recipe here on Natalie of Oven Love's Blog.