Happy Monday, friends! Who doesn’t like to start their week off with a recipe for Vegan Triple Berry Muffins? Let me start by saying that these muffins are a special treat for you all. They are made with tender, juicy, farmer’s market fresh berries, and they were baked in the heat of the day on a scorching Saturday afternoon with my windows open wide to try to combat the warmth of the oven roasting my entire apartment. Let’s just say I didn’t have to melt my coconut oil before measuring it out this time…
I don’t find myself baking much these days, between the bustle of school keeping me busy and the heat of the summer months keeping me from turning the oven on, so when the mood strikes I take it and run! These berries were just begging to be mixed into a delicate, warm baked good, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to experiment with some new baking techniques and information I’ve learned in my Culinary Skills class, namely the differences in our two common leavening agents – baking soda and baking powder.
Although I’ve always known that there’s a difference between baking soda and baking powder, I have to be honest and say that I haven’t always known exactly what that difference is. What I learned last week thanks to our guest speaker Annie Moss with Seastar Bakery is that there is one critical difference between the two – acid. Baking soda, a leavening agent that is made solely of sodium bicarbonate, is a base which reacts when it comes into contact with an acid (think basic chemistry, here). The reaction produces carbon dioxide, which makes the dough or batter rise because the carbon dioxide bubbles become trapped inside. Baking powder, on the other hand, is a leavening agent that is also made of the base sodium bicarbonate, but it contains an acid as well, monocalcium phosphate, which doesn’t react with the sodium bicarbonate until two things occur: 1.) it comes into contact with liquid, and 2.) it heats up. This is why most baking powders will advertise that they are “double acting”, it reacts twice – once when it is introduced to the wet ingredients of your baked goods, and again when it is heated in the baking process. In a recipe like the one I’m sharing today, the baking soda reacts with the apple cider vinegar, neutralizing the carbon dioxide that is produced, which means that it won’t create enough lift for the muffins to rise. Therefore, I use baking powder as well in order to leaven the muffins and allow for the perfect balance of acid to base. I bet you didn’t think you’d be getting a chemistry lesson with your muffin recipe today, did you?! If you’re unfamiliar with the difference between the two and would like to learn more, check out this article written by Sally’s Baking Addiction. She does a much better job of breaking it down than I do!
Now, on to these muffins. They are best enjoyed when made with local, in-season berries so you can taste their true, fresh flavor, but if you needed to use store bought or frozen berries, I don’t think they would necessarily taste bad (is there such a thing as a bad tasting muffin?? I have yet to find one!). 😉
The great thing about this recipe is that you can adapt it based on what fruits are in season. No fresh berries at the market, but peaches are bursting with flavor? Chop some up and throw them in! It’s apple season, you say? Chop those up and throw them in! You get the point… Versatility! They’re sweet enough to eat as a treat, yet healthy enough to eat for breakfast, too. I nibbled on one (or two, or three…) for breakfast on Sunday with a mug of hot chai. Mmmm….
If you try them out, let me know what you think! Leave comments below or on my Facebook page, or tag your creations with #everydayvegankitchen on Instagram. I love seeing what you come up with!
Proper mise en place always starts with the ingredients out and ready to go!
Muffin batter ready to be baked
Fresh from the oven
- 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax mixed with 5 tbsp water)
- 1/2 cup almond milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup shredded apple and/or zucchini (I used both)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup fresh or frozen berries (I used blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
- Preheat oven to 375º F and line a standard muffin tin with 12 paper liners, or lightly grease.
- Prepare flax eggs in a small bowl by mixing water and flaxseed meal and let rest for a few minutes until it forms a gel-like texture.
- Measure out almond milk and add vinegar. Wait 3 minutes, then add baking soda and stir. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, add flours, oats, shredded coconut, sea salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Stir with a fork until combined.
- In a large bowl, add the flax eggs, shredded apple/zucchini, melted coconut oil, agave or maple syrup, sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined, then add almond milk mixture and whisk again.
- In small batches, add dry mixture to wet mixture, whisking until just combined. The batter should be slightly thick, yet thin enough to pour.
- Gently fold fresh berries in with a rubber spatula.
- Divide batter evenly between muffin tins (they should be generously 3/4 full).
- Optional: Add additional berries and a sprinkle of walnuts to the top of the muffins before baking.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the edges are golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then gently remove and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Keep covered at room temperature for up to 5 days, or stash in the freezer for long-term storage.