(almost) vegan lemon-raspberry muffins


As I've said before, and as I was just thinking to myself as I went walking through a small bakery section overflowing with fresh cinnamon rolls, breads, and pies (HOW TO RESIST?), I am an avid fan of baking, of the careful measurements and preparation, of the magical results of flour and butter becoming an elegantly risen dessert, all with the right amount of time and attention and sugar-dusting.

BUT, as I've also said, as rewarding (yet time-consuming) as this type of baking can be, we all know that I'm also one-hundred-percent in favor of the quick and easy baking routine, the simple batters, the basic ingredients, AND, if possible, add-ins of the healthy variety. (A perfect example of what I'm talking about, see my simplistic and favorite banana bread recipe here.)

SO, it's no surprise that whenever I come across a baking possibility that feels breezy and promises delicious-ness that isn't overloaded with white flour and white sugar: count me in, I've got to try it. Cut to, a recipe I found via Twitter (my new addiction, so it seems), that was retweeted (ah, social media lingo) by Vegetarian Times: vegan lemon-raspberry muffins. The only reason our variation didn't quite make the animal-free cut is because, as per their suggestion, you may use honey instead of agave nectar. Honey we had, agave we didn't. And the rest is easy-baking history.

You can find the original link to this recipe here, but otherwise, INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup of honey (also where you are more than free to use agave!)
1 cup of water
Zest from 1/2 a lemon
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 cups frozen raspberries (Or, fresh?! Though I do find fresh fruit to be better eaten as IS.)

The recipe also recommends two optional add-ins, 1/4 cup of flax and/or a 1/4 cup of oat bran, just to amp up the health benefits of this particular breakfast (or anytime) food.

Are you ready for how easy this is?

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients into one bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together water, applesauce, lemon juice + zest, and honey.
4. Next, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly.
5. Gently fold in raspberries.
6. In a lined muffin tin, evenly disperse batter into pan. (Using an ice cream scoop is a good trick.)
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes (we ended up going closer to 25) or until deep brown.

Makes abouttt 16 or so muffins, depending on the size of your pan. ADD THIS ONE TO THE BOOKS OF GOODNESS.