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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
 Vegetarian Cooking with Zel


We know we ought to treat the love of our life as if every day were Valentine's Day--but somehow, hectic schedules, work commitments, and a humungous list of other "stuff" seems to clutter up our plans and good intentions. So, Valentine's Day reminds us all to take time out and be a little more romantic.

What makes Valentine's Day extra special is that it's an entire day devoted to lavishing love and special attention on that very special person in your life, your "love muffin."

And your "love muffin" deserves to start the day with an OMG homemade delicious edible gift --one you've lovingly prepared and injected with a pinch of fervor, a pint of amour, and cupful of passion. The gift you give is a ravishingly seductive muffin guaranteed to induce wild and fiery romance.

The first bite --actually, you may never get past that first bite--until later, that is. But do take that first bite and you'll know immediately this is a muffin to love!

These spicy muffins are easy to make and offer pure eating pleasure with their light and satisfying texture. The generous measure of spices induces instant bursts of pleasure and offers divine satiety with a rich, earthy, and wholesome quality. The muffins are only lightly sweetened to allow plenty of experimenting with fruit spreads and jams or jellies of your choice. For a tasty alternative, substitute chopped Anjou, Bosc, or local varieties of pears for the diced apples.

Spiced Apple Walnut Muffins


Yield: 1 dozen muffins

    1/4 cup (60 ml) coarsely ground walnuts
    1 cup (240 ml) diced peeled apples
    2 teaspoons organic sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1 1/4 cups (300 ml) plain or vanilla soymilk
    1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, or distilled vinegar

    1 3/4 cups (415 ml) whole-wheat pastry flour
    1 1/4 cups (300 ml) wheat bran
    3/4 cup (180 ml) brown sugar, packed
    2/3 cup (160 ml) coarsely broken walnuts
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda

    1 1/4 cups (300 ml) peeled and cored diced apples (about 1 1/2 medium apples)
    1 cup (240 ml) mashed bananas (about 2 1/2 medium bananas)
    1/4 cup (60 ml) canola oil
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Egg replacer for 2 eggs (used Ener-G Egg Replacer)

  1. Put the ground walnuts in a small bowl and set aside. In another small bowl, combine the apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (Gas Mark 4) and have ready 2 six-section muffin tins with paper baking paper cups. Alternatively, use an ungreased 12-section silicone muffin pan. Put the muffin pans on a large baking sheet for easy handling.
  3. Combine the soymilk and vinegar in a small bowl, stir well, and set aside to sour and thicken.
  4. In a large bowl combine the whole-wheat pastry flour, bran, walnuts, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, cloves, and baking soda. Mix well to distribute the ingredients evenly and set aside.
  5. Add the bananas, apples, canola oil, and vanilla extract to the soured soymilk. In a small bowl, combine the egg replacer and water and beat with a fork until foamy. Add the dissolved egg replacer to the soymilk mixture and stir well.
  6. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, slightly overfilling each section. Top each muffin with a sprinkle of coarsely ground walnuts and press the reserved apples into the tops. Bake for 27 to 34 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted close to the center of the muffins comes out clean.

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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