I have a fairly extensive collection of cookbooks that I have amassed over the years. I enjoy reading them the way other people enjoy novels, although I like those too. I recently picked up my cookbook from Macrina, a popular artisanal bakery in Seattle. I recall buying the cookbook for a particular recipe that I had seen somewhere, only to find that it wasn’t actually included in this collection. Oh well. I hadn’t really made anything from the cookbook yet, but in glancing through it, I came across this vegan recipe for a breakfast muffin. Not actually being vegan, I will only bake things that would be delicious to a non-vegan and which doesn’t require that I purchase a lot of flours and ingredients that I wouldn’t otherwise normally use. This recipe fits that bill. The only purchase I needed to make was for an egg replacement since up until now I have used aquafaba or applesauce. This recipe does not require any special skills or techniques and results in 8 fluffy, fragrant and filling muffins. The texture is light and this recipe produces one of THE best muffins I have ever had. The ginger is a back-note so if you are not a ginger person, don’t let this put you off. Give them a try – you won’t be disappointed!
Vegan Banana Ginger Muffins from More from Macrina by Leslie Mackie with Lisa Gordanier
Yield: 8 standard-size muffins
1.25 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup stone-ground whole wheat flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons egg replacement (I used Bob’s Mill)
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup walnut halves and pieces, toasted and coarsely chopped
2 ripe medium bananas (I like mine almost black for baking when the flavor is the most developed)
2 teaspoons peeled, grated fresh ginger (I always have a jar of this in the fridge for and find that it works beautifully and cuts down on my effort!)
2 teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
1/3 cup amber agave syrup
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 small pieces of candied (crystallized) ginger, cut in half on an angle
1/4 cup turbinado or demerara sugar (which actually I forgot to use!)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the rack in the center position. Oil the top of a standard-size muffin tin with canola oil and line 8 cups with paper liners. Set aside.
- Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, egg substitute and salt in a large bowl. Add the toasted, chopped walnuts and mix well.
- In a blender or food processor, puree the bananas until very smooth. Add the canola oil, orange juice, vanilla and agave syrup and pulse through. Using a spatula, mix in the lemon zest and ginger until thoroughly combined.
- Working quickly and gently with a rubber spatula, fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients in 2 to 3 additions. Do not over-mix which can result in tough muffins – and who wants those?) Only fold until all of the flour is moistened. Don’t worry about a few lumps.
- Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them to the top and mounding them somewhat. (As they bake you will see why you oiled the top of the muffin tin.) Top each muffin with a piece of ginger and a sprinkle of the sugar – which I forgot. (If you use the sugar it will glisten a bit more than mine but should not be enough to really affect the flavor. I added a bit post-baking for the photos.) Bake for 30 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown on top and a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 20 minutes and then carefully lift the muffins out of the pan and directly onto the wire rack to cool completely. The muffins are still a bit soft at this point. Once cooled – yummmmmmmmmm!