While I’m not a strict vegan by any stretch of the imagination, it’s not unusual for me to prepare vegan fare each week. Flavor is queen in the kitchen. If you’ve tried any of the vegan dishes I’ve posted, you know that you don’t need animal products to make a delicious and nutritious meal. Desserts are a different beast entirely, though.
I live in a vegan-friendly city, so there’s no shortage of vegan dessert expertise, but rarely, if ever, have I sought out vegan sweets. Usually vegan desserts taste “veganized” to me, and I’m left feeling guiltily resentful of the dessert, as if it was trying to pull a fast one on me. Also, I can’t eat many vegan desserts since many of the recipes make up for the lack of butter and eggs by stuffing extra sugar into each bite. I wish it were different, but sugar and I are not meant to be.
Today I’m here to attest to the glory found in unearthing a vegan sweet treat recipe that didn’t make me miss the butter-egg-sugar combo I’ve been conditioned to enjoy in dessert. Below you’ll find a secret ingredient recipe for vegan banana chocolate chip muffins, fluffy baked goods you’ll wish you’d known about your whole life.
The secret ingredient?
Absence without longing or bitterness. Sounds highfalutin, friends, but this recipe was crafted so that you don’t even know you’re missing out on eggs and butter. By the time you learn it’s vegan, you’re well into your second muffin and could care less. This trickery probably wasn’t the intention of cookbook author, Colleen Patrick Goudreau, when she put together her award-winning The Joy of Vegan Baking, but she turned this vegan dessert skeptic into a believer.
The only change I’d make to the recipe the next time I make it is to reduce the 1 cup sugar to 3/4 cup. This batch of muffins contains four bananas, which add an extra wallop of fruity sweetness.
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (a Joy of Vegan Baking recipe)
Makes 12 muffins
– 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
– 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 cup granulated sugar (I recommend 3/4 cup.)
– 1/3 cup canola oil
– 4 ripe bananas, mashed
– 1/4 cup water
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup nondairy semisweet chocolate chips
– 1 cup walnuts or toasted pecans (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease your muffin tins or insert muffin papers in the tins. (It’s best to use nonstick pans if you’re not using muffin papers.)
2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix/sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together, and then add the mashed bananas. (I used a stand mixer, but you can also mix by hand to similar effect.) Stir in the water and vanilla, and mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture, along with the chocolate chips and walnuts or toasted pecans (if using), and stir to mix.
4. Fill each muffin tin halfway with the batter. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes (I only needed to bake them for 20 minutes in my oven.), until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
5. Let them cool in pans for 5 minutes, and then turn tins over on clean dish towel to release them from tins. You may need to use a paring knife to loosen the edges of the muffins from the tin if they’re being a bit clingy.