Saturday, November 21, 2009

More muffins

One thing that gets my goat is the tendency of many non-vegetarians to think of "vegan" (or vegetarian) as a category of weird, special food, when in fact they eat vegan things every day (like green beans). "You must need to shop at Whole Foods, huh?" "I have a special, vegan recipe for you." "Now that you mention that this cake is vegan, it does taste a little bit like tofu [when cake in question contains no soy products whatsoever]." Etc.

This muffin recipe from my friend Arhia is a great example of a "vegan" baked good that requires no strange leaveners or egg substitutes. It does call for soymilk, but you could use water, too.

I was a little wary of adding chocolate to a muffin that already had lots of flavor--apples, vanilla, cinnamon, and especially cardamom--might not the spices and the chocolate distract from one another? But the chocolate and cardamom balanced each other well. Do note, however: the cardamom flavor is quite pronounced. If you want a more "normal-" (or boring-) tasting muffin, you might omit it. The applesauce makes this muffin moist without using much oil, and the whole wheat flour gives it needed texture. Yum!

I changed the name of Arhia's recipe because cardamom and chocolate seem to be the main players in this muffin. I suggest using corn oil because of its buttery taste, but any vegetable oil would work fine. The original recipe called for sprinkling flax seeds over the tops before baking, and I simply didn't see this part as I was following the recipe. Finally, I didn't need the full 25 minutes' baking time that the recipe called for; they were done in less than 20 minutes.

Cardamom Chocolate Chip Muffins
(from Arhia Kohlmoos)

1 1/2 c white flour
1 c wheat flour
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 c brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/3 c corn oil
1 c applesauce
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
soymilk (about 1/2 to 1 c)
1 c chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375*. Oil a muffin tin.
2. Combine dry ingredients and mix well. Add wet ingredients. Add enough soymilk to make a muffin batter that is wet but not runny. Stir in chocolate chips.
3. Fill muffin tins almost to the top. Bake for 15-25 minutes. Makes 1 dozen muffins.

1 comment:

myer nore said...

yum, yum, yum. after five years of living with arhia, these are my comfort food. she usually puts flak seeds on them, which i like, and also usually uses raisins instead of chocolate chips (except when we have guests). there was one time she used carob chips and it was particularly delicious, but only because they were complemented by some spice ... what was it??? they taste slightly different, you know?

i must admit, i used to be one of those who thought veganism was excessive, not healthy, and usually not scrumptious. this opinion was formed partly because the vegans i had known were vegans not because it was delicious but because of moral reasons. they relied on french fries, veganaise, fake meat, and other aberrations of sustenance.

arhia's recipes are from her family recipes, which were, quite simply, her family trying to live off the land (and, when they couldn't, close to the land) for twenty years. in a way, the diet in her family has more gastronomic similarity to the primordial human's than anyone else i've met; it's mostly seeds, grains, nuts, greens, and vegatables, and, very rarely, a rabbit. within those constraints, they tried to live as deliciously as they could. the single best dessert i've ever tasted was a raspberry pie at arhia's house made by her mom, whose filling was made entirely from wild raspberries her sisters picked. the crust had wheat and sesame butter in it. basically, the pie was sesame seeds, wheat berries, soy beans, and raspberries.

it's almost as if veganism were a branch of queer theory. "let me pin you down to tell you something!"