Monday, February 19, 2007

Full Meal Muffins

When I was working on Vegan Lunch Box, I came up with the idea of including a "Full Meal Muffin" recipe that would serve as a convenient, portable, inconspicuous lunch for older kids and teens that included fruits and vegetables. At the time I also wanted to include protein powder for a protein boost, but I was never satisfied with the texture and taste of the muffins with added powder.

After several unsuccessful attempts I decided to bag the muffin idea, but several of you emailed asking what had happened to it. So this week I dusted off my notes, kicked out the protein powder, and here it is! Even without the extra protein this is a nutritious main course at lunchtime: each muffin is filled with whole grains, banana, zucchini, iron- and calcium-rich blackstrap molasses, and omega-3-rich walnuts. They also contain no added sugar, salt, oil, soy, or wheat.

makes 12 muffins

1 cup whole spelt flour
1 cup barley flour (or use 1 cup white and 1 cup whole wheat flour in place of spelt and barley if you prefer)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 ripe bananas, peeled
3 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
½ cup apple juice, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 zucchini, finely grated (about 1 ½ cups)
½ cup finely chopped or ground walnuts
½ cup currants or raisins (optional, they add a touch of sweetness)

Preheat the oven to 375ยบ. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray with nonstick spray.

Combine both flours, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda in a mixing bowl and whisk together.

Place the bananas, blackstrap molasses, apple juice, and apple cider vinegar in a Vita-Mix or other blender and blend until smooth. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, then fold in the zucchini, walnuts, and currants or raisins. Use a bit more apple juice if needed to wet all the flour.

Divide mixture evenly into the 12 lined muffin cups, and bake for 20 minutes, or until the top springs back to the touch. Remove muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

Store in an airtight container or freeze in individual freezer bags to pull out and put into lunches as needed.