Just when I proclaim that I'm not a recipe blogger, I have a recipe for you! Two posts in a week? Semi-fancy pictures? What in the world is going on? See, I'm full of contradictions. I just quickly wanted to share a revelation with you. When I took cupcakes to my son's class for his birthday celebration, I wanted to make sure that everyone had a treat. There are two kids in his class who are vegan. I have always felt bad for them at celebrations when they have to sit there and watch everyone else eat cupcakes and other treats. I didn't have time to go all out with an elaborate vegan dessert creation, but I did have a couple of ripe bananas. Without a recipe, I mashed up the bananas and added some applesauce, oil and dry ingredients. For extra pizzazz, I dusted the tops with powdered sugar while they cooled. I called them banana cupcakes and everyone was happy. Even some of the non-vegan kids gobbled them up in lieu of the dairy laden salted caramel cream cheese muffins.
The banana muffin/cupcakes ended up turning out so tasty and moist, I decided to try and replicate them yesterday with a few ripe bananas I had. Oh my gosh, I think I'm going vegan (when it comes to banana muffins). They are so good! I know the word "vegan" may sound scary to some. Really, all it means is no eggs or dairy. Not a big deal. I decided that I can live without either in this recipe. I don't know how it happens, but they even have a buttery flavor. They are so easy to whip up with what you have on hand in your pantry. Let me confess, I should probably not be throwing around the word "vegan" as much as I am because this recipe contains honey. Depending how strictly one follows a vegan diet, honey is a no-no since it is made by animals. However, some vegans do eat raw, unprocessed honey for it's health benefits. If you are making these for a strict vegan, ask them their feelings on honey first.
I did not sugar the tops in this batch, but I did sprinkle pecans on half the batch just before baking. My favorite were the nutty ones, but my sons prefer the no-nut version. You could also sprinkle a few oats on top, or a cinnamon brown sugar topping. They are highly adaptable. And if you must, split one in half and butter it up!
3 ripe bananas
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon honey*
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (plus maybe an extra teaspoon) water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper cups. In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas with a fork or potato masher. Stir in oil, applesauce, vanilla and honey. Add dry ingredients (sugar, oatmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt) followed by water. Stir until just mixed.
Spoon into muffin tin and sprinkle with nuts if desired. Bake for about 15 minutes. Edges should be slightly browned and tops nicely domed. Remove from oven and cool on a baking rack. Makes one dozen.
Tips and Tricks
- Use organic ingredients where possible for even more healthiness and no GMOs. In this recipe, I used organic everything except the oatmeal and vanilla.
- Whole wheat pastry flour is my best friend. I've found that it keeps baked goods nice and tender and doesn't impart too much of that "whole wheat flavor." Plus, it contains many more nutrients than plain white flour. Look in the health food section of a traditional grocery store or at Whole Foods or somewhere similar. You can use plain whole wheat flour as well, though it may yield a denser muffin. You can certainly sub with plain all-purpose flour if that's all you have.
- The honey in this recipe could easily be subbed for agave nectar or maple syrup for a strict vegan preparation.
Enjoy! If you try them, let me know how they turn out. I'm always happy to hear feedback.