These vegan Dried Apricot Banana Maple Muffins are to die for
Dried Apricot Banana Maple Muffins
Back in the early 2000s, when I was gradually moving from eating microwaved, store-bought, frozen dinner entrées (with a coupon cut out from the Sunday paper, each was about $4.50 and pretty digestible) to discovering the art of the home-cooked meal, I bought myself my first cookbook: a used copy of Moosewood Restaurant New Classics.
The first recipe I attempted was for Moosewood Muffins, their popular signature breakfast item. Like most muffin recipes, it is easy and straightforward—mix dry ingredients with wet, and bake—but I managed to royally screw them up. They didn’t rise, they were hard as a rock, and half of them were burnt. I don’t remember now what caused this fiasco, but I probably forgot to add the baking powder or another ingredient, or it might have been the rinky-dink, Depression-era oven in my rental apartment. Since then—my oven now equipped with a reliable thermometer—I have baked dozens of different muffins, both sweet and savory, with much better results.
This delicious vegan variation, despite omitting eggs and butter, is everything I want in a muffin: moist, airy, and not too sweet. The healthy-ish ingredients serve as good substitutes: bananas for eggs (FYI, for baking in general, it’s ½ banana for one egg), maple syrup for white sugar, coconut oil for butter, and almond milk for dairy milk. Plus, the rum-soaked dried apricots—or feel free to use dried blueberries, cranberries or raisins—give the muffins a welcome boozy flavor and a nice chewy texture. I didn’t think these muffins needed a topping, but if you insist, I have a basic recipe here (you can use vegan margarine instead of butter).
- Yields 10 muffins
- 10–12 dried unsulphured apricots (or ¾ cup dried blueberries, cranberries or raisins)
- Rum or brandy
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 banana, mashed
- 1 cup maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup almond milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a small bowl, cover the apricots with rum or brandy and let soak for 8 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper muffin liners.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- In another medium bowl, mix together the banana, maple syrup, coconut oil, almond milk and vanilla extract.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet. Drain the apricots, chop them into ¼-inch pieces, and add the dough. Discard (or better yet, kick back) the alcohol.
- Transfer the muffins on a wire rack, and let cool completely.