Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spiced Flax Muffins (Vegan)

These muffins are so flavorful and moist; you would never guess that they are totally vegan and loaded with flaxseed! Flax is a great source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and free-radical fighting lignans (a class of antioxidants). I buy my flaxseed ground (I'm too lazy to buy whole flaxseed and grind it myself) and store it in the freezer (this helps prevent rancidity and preserve the integrity of beneficial fats). Ground flax can be sprinkled in oatmeal, yogurt, muesli, granola, quick breads, or muffins. It has a very earthy/bran-ish/granola-like taste, so don't go too flax crazy. You just have to be mindful of proportions. Ask yourself, how much flax is in this recipe compared to other ingredients (whole grain flours, nuts, etc.)? With that mentioned, the following muffin recipe has the perfect amount of flax. These muffins would be great slathered with organic almond or peanut butter, and can easily be frozen and thawed for future use.

I found this flax muffin recipe on the blog of "A Chef in Med School", and immediately fell in love. I thought it was rather odd that the creator of "A Chef in Med School" (Michelle Hauser) and the creator of my blog, "A Chef in College: Chronicles of a Pre-Med Student's Culinary Adventures", (me) had strikingly similar blog names. I guess we think similarly? Anyway, Michelle's recipes and educational videos are great, and I highly recommend that they are looked at by any aspiring chefs.

I took her awesome recipe and altered it a bit (I used many of her suggestions) to veganize it. Feel free to do the same. Other liquid sweeteners, like honey, pure maple syrup, brown rice syrup, etc. could be used instead of the agave nectar. Raisins, craisins, chopped dates, nuts, etc. could be thrown into the batter. Different spices, like ground ginger, cardamom, or nutmeg would be great substitutions for the spices my recipe requests. Have fun and enjoy!


Yield= 10-12 muffins, depending how generously you decide to fill your muffin tins.


1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I used 1 cup wholewheat pastry flour + 1/2 cup millet flour)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 cup oats
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


1 cup veganized buttermilk (1 Tablespoon vinegar + enough non-dairy milk to yield 1 cup)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


3 Tablespoons oats

Line muffin tins with paper muffin cups, and preheat oven to 400 F.

Whisk all dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. In a separate, larger bowl whisk together all wet ingredients. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients all at once and stir until just combined (lumps are okay). Spoon into prepared muffin tins and sprinkle with oats. Bake until muffins spring back when touched and pass the toothpick test (about 15-18 minutes). Let muffins cool, and enjoy!

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