When I pick up my 5 year old son from pre-Kindergarten, we drive right past a Starbucks. I have a little coffee habit and I’ve stopped by Starbucks before or after preschool more often than I’d care to admit. My son’s favorite treat is their blueberry scone or 8-grain roll, neither of which is vegan, unfortunately. (For awhile I thought the 8-grain roll was vegan, but after checking the ingredients list on their website, it turns out they brush some egg white on the outside. Grrr…) Even though my kiddos are not completely vegan outside the house, I’ve been trying not to spend our family money on non-vegan food. So I said, nope, let’s save money and be kinder to the animals, and make our own treat this afternoon! Not to mention how much I save by brewing my own coffee.
As I was driving home, I realized that we are completely out of sugar. And Earth Balance margarine. And blueberries. Hmmmm…blueberry scones were not going to happen. And how could I bake anything without sugar?
We do have a big jug of maple syrup in the refrigerator, and considering that, I immediately knew who to turn to! My favorite vegan cookbook author of all time, Dreena Burton. She lives in Canada and has ready access to maple syrup, and a lot of her recipes use that instead of sugar. I flipped open Vive Le Vegan and sure enough, there was a healthy muffin recipe using only maple syrup as a sweetener. It also calls for whole grains, applesauce, and hemp seeds, all of which I had on hand. (Yep…I’m the kind of person that keeps a stock of hemp seeds on hand! I buy it in bulk from Amazon so I have backup bags of it in the freezer.)
These muffins don’t have a lot of oil in them (3 Tbsp), so I was expecting a tougher, dryer muffin than I’m used to. So I was completely shocked when I bit into one and it was super moist and tender! These muffins are fantastic, they really are. And they are just about as healthy as a muffin could possibly get. I think this will be a great base recipe to play with, too. I could see adding a dollop of jam to the centers, or adding some chopped apple. The possibilities abound!
I cannot recommend Dreena Burton’s cookbooks highly enough. My favorite one is still Vive Le Vegan, and there are some stellar recipes in Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan as well. When I turn to Dreena’s cookbooks, I know we will be having delicious and nutritious food. She is a mom of three kiddos, like myself, so I know she has her family’s health in mind when creating recipes. I also know that I will be able to make most of them easily with my kids underfoot!
Do you have a favorite vegan cookbook author? What are your favorite cookbooks?