Surprise! Jam-filled bran muffins

vegan muffin
These little muffins are the perfect size for snacking.

Whenever he’s given the chance to choose his muffin, my little picky eater goes for the bran muffins over cookies or other kinds of muffins. And I sit there and watch in amazement as he happily gobbles it down. Vegan kids don’t necessarily need the extra fibre from the bran but why should we miss out on all the branny fun?

By definition, a vegan diet is high in fibre. Fibre comes from plant foods but isn’t present in animal products. Everything we eat is a source of fibre unless the fibre has been removed through processing (like white flour). Fruit is a great source of fibre – the little seeds in raspberries are a good example of a fibre-rich food.

I won’t go into detail but suffice it to say that a clean colon is a healthy colon. When foods move through the body smoothly and waste is eliminated daily, we’re able to extract all the nutrients from the food we consume and the risk of many diseases are reduced.

Here’s a little muffin that will make you go and make you smile too. It’s loaded with fibre from bran, whole wheat flour, chia seeds and depending on the jam you choose to use, you may get fibre from that.

But the best thing about these muffins is the jam at the centre. I’ve used my favourite jam – it’s apple pie jam that I made from the apples we picked at a local farm in the fall. It contains all the goodness of pie in a form that I can use every day. Mmmm! The recipe is from this book: The Canning Kitchen: 101 Simple Small Batch Recipes.

This muffin recipe makes 24 small muffins. I like to bake huge batches of baked goods on the weekends so I can freeze some for snacks to pack in the kids’ lunches during the week. If I only make 12, they’ll be gone before I get to freeze some. These little muffins fit nicely in our reusable containers even when frozen solid (an important feature for me)!

The recipe is based on one from The Joy of Vegan Baking: The Compassionate Cooks’ Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets. The ingredients have been adapted based on what I had on hand and what my kids like to eat. They’re also nut-free so they can be sent to school.

Surprise! Jam-filled muffins

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 3/4 cups bran
  • 2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour (can use all-purpose or regular whole wheat)
  •  1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cup vegan milk (I use soy)
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 jar of jam

Preheat the oven to 425 and grease muffin tins for 24 muffins.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the chia seeds with water and put them aside to allow the seeds to absorb the water.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well.

Tip: Use a whisk to make sure there are no clumps of brown sugar.

Add the milk and the canola oil to the bowl with the chia seeds. Use the whisk to make sure you break up the large clumps of chia seeds.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine – don’t use a whisk because you don’t want to over mix the batter.

vegan jam muffins
Add one teaspoon of jam in the centre of each muffin.

Scoop 1/3 cup of batter for each muffin into the tins. Add a teaspoon of jam in the middle of each muffin. Then distribute the rest of the muffin batter to top each muffin. You want the jam in the middle of the muffin – if it sinks to the bottom, it will stick to the bottom of the tin. If it’s not covered with batter, the sugary jam would show and ruin the surprise.

Bake for 20 minutes. Let it cool a few minutes before removing them from the tins.

vegan muffins for snacks
Not too little, not too big.

 

 

Whole wheat cranberry muffins

cranberry muffins

Packing the kids’ lunches last night, I realized we were running low on healthy snacks. These are my go-to muffins – little tasty treats that fit nicely in our reusable containers. Packed with whole grain goodness and studded with cranberries, these little muffins hit the spot every time.

The recipe is based on the cranberry muffin recipe in Vegan Food Gifts: More Than 100 Inspired Recipes for Homemade Baked Goods, Preserves, and Other Edible Gifts Everyone Will Love. This book has some great ideas for packaging treats and vegan edibles for family members.

It’s quite smart, really. I have found it useful to fill my pantry with prepped meals – with all the dry ingredients layered in mason jars waiting to be added to boiling water. They’re great to have on hand for babysitters on date nights.

The original recipe is meant to be given away as a muffin mix with the baking instructions added on a pretty card. The baker only has to add the wet ingredients and bake. I’ve made a few changes so I’ll post my version below.

My recipe has swapped whole wheat flours for all-purpose flour – I’ve also doubled the batch to make 24 since 12 muffins don’t last long in my house. The extra muffins go in the freezer for future lunches.

vegan cranberry muffins
They taste great topped with a bit of vegan butter.

Whole wheat cranberry muffins

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 cups soy milk

Combine the dry ingredients, add the cranberries, oil and milk and stir until combined. Fill muffin tins (makes 24 muffins) and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Don’t forget to sneak some fresh muffins into the freezer for strategic lunch placements.