Everything’s finally coming up spring around here, you guys! (Read: I’m totally ignoring the snow forecast for today.) We planted our first herb garden ever over the weekend and hung up string lights on the balcony. We had our first meal al fresco and the husband went for his first bike ride of the season (my bike is soon-to-be in transit from my parents’ house… I’ll see you soon, sweet friend!). My freckles are making a comeback. And I’m getting on a spring-induced health kick.
Don’t worry — I’m still planning a fair share of posts of the cheesy, sweet and all-around not-good-for-you-but-oh-so-tasty-for-you variety. But for now, can we talk about muffins? Specifically, healthy vegan muffins? With cranberries and cherries and granola inside them? K thanks. You won’t be sorry, I promise.
Because these muffins? They may look and sound healthy, but they definitely don’t taste like it. Really. I know a lot of people will tell you that their healthy muffins don’t taste healthy, only for you to bite into one and realize it actually tastes a lot like crumbly cardboard. Then you have to smile and nod while your mouth is dying a slow death induced by dry cardboard mouth-chewing and it’s awkward. No no. These are not those muffins. But they’re not those gargantuan, streusel and glaze-topped banana nut muffins you find at the grocery store, either: the ones that taste so amazingly delicious but also like you’ve just eaten your daily allotment of fat and calories and sugar for the day. No no.
These muffins are a happy medium. They are soft and light, flavorful and filling. They maintain a solid balance of tartness, sweetness and crunchy texture. And they’re absolutely perfect for eating for breakfast out on the balcony with a hot cup of coffee on the side… especially after a night of eating too much queso fundido. Ahem.
I’ve dabbled in vegan baking before (a.k.a., baking without eggs, dairy, butter and other animal products), but usually it intimidates me. That said, I’m willing to take on the challenge if I know the end result could potentially reward me with delicious baked goods that won’t leave me feeling gross. And these muffins couldn’t have been more rewarding. Now if only I made a double batch; I need something to munch on to take my mind off the fact that it MIGHT SNOW TODAY. Oy.
Vegan Cherry-Cranberry Granola Muffins
A Girl Versus Dough original
Yields: 12 muffins
1 cup almond or soy milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup frozen or fresh cranberries
1/2 cup frozen or fresh cherries
1/2 cup (vegan) granola
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper baking cups; spray lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
Whisk together milk and apple cider vinegar in a measuring cup or bowl; set aside.
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flours, flaxseed meal, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a separate large bowl, whisk together maple syrup, vegetable oil and vanilla; add milk mixture and stir to combine.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in cranberries, cherries and granola.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; cool muffins in muffin pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a cooling rack.