Usually, I shy away from vegan baked goods. I enjoy the occasional vegan chocolate chip cookie, and a friend of mine makes a delicious vegan chocolate cake. But for me, butter, sugar and eggs are equivalent to air, water, and sleep: I can’t imagine my life without them.
Then, I received an email from Food & Wine magazine with a recipe for vegan banana muffins. I scanned the ingredient list: vegan recipes tend to have strange sounding gums and oils. This recipe did call for xanathan gum, but a quick Google search reassured me that I could leave it out. And luckily, I had the rest of the ingredients on hand: sugar-free applesauce from the local farmers’ market, an overripe banana, and agave nectar.
When I’m baking, I like to taste everything as I go. I do this when I’m cooking, too, but it’s always more fun to try batter than it is caramelized onions. It makes me feel like a little kid, but I have no qualms about eating batter straight from the bowl.
The second I tried this batter, I knew the end product would be a success. The apple flavor was subtle and sweet, the cinnamon and brown sugar gave it a slight caramel flavor, and the agave and banana added another touch of sweetness. The scent reminded me of being next to a warm fireplace during the winter; it was comforting and inviting at the same time.
I let the muffins bake for about 30 minutes, and removed them from the oven when they were fluffy and golden brown on top. The real magic of these muffins (besides the easy recipe) is how moist they are. Unless you over-bake them, it’s practically impossible for the insides to become dry.
The only downside of the recipe is that it only makes 9 muffins…But you can easily multiply the ingredient list by two to fill up additional muffin tins. I would highly recommend doing so–these muffins don’t stick around for long.
Vegan Banana Muffins (slightly adapted from Food & Wine)
These muffins will stay fresh for up to two days at room temperature. Mine tasted even better the next day.