Classic Raisin Molasses Bran Muffins – v, gf

classic molasses raisin bran-muffin vegan gluten free

I love bran muffins. It’s something that I easily forget when I’m busy stuffing chocolate chips into every recipe I make, but a trip to Virginia last weekend (Virginia has nothing to do with bran muffins, per se, except that I was there when I remembered how delicious bran muffins are) reminded me that the moist, plump raisin, molasses-y taste of a well-made bran muffin can’t be beat.

And I should emphasize the well-made part.

I used to work at a bakery that made an awesome raisin bran muffin, and while I can’t quite remember the recipe, I do remember the ingredients and what the batter looked like, so when trying to find a recipe template, I had some land marks to follow.

classic molasses raisin bran-muffin vegan gluten free

Now, those nostalgic bakery bran muffins weren’t vegan or gluten-free, so I made a few tweaks to get my muffins to be plant-based, nutritious, AND delicious.

There are a few stages to making a bran muffin batter, but don’t be worried. You just need to have a few different bowls going, and then eventually you condense them, bowl by bowl, until you have a lovely muffin batter. Note that this batter keeps really well in the fridge, so if you wanted to double it and bake half later in the week, go for it. In fact, part of me almost thinks the batter is even nicer AFTER sitting in the fridge a bit, but I have no scientific evidence to back that up.

These muffins bake up really nicely with a beautiful round dome top (important for me in a muffin – what’s with those gluten-free muffins that sometimes look like they’ve been frightened and are jumping in different directions out of the muffin tin?). They are extra delicious with some coconut oil or vegan butter.

Bran muffin luxury!

classic molasses raisin bran-muffin vegan gluten free

Moist Raisin Molasses Oat Bran Muffins – v, gf

  • Author: Backyard Owl, inspired by Mom’s Bran Muffins original recipe at The Moveable Feasts blog
  • Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oat bran (not sure if you can’t find certified gluten-free, but that will be necessary to make these strictly gluten-free)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds + an additional 4 tablespoons almond milk (your chia egg)
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup fancy molasses (or go hard with blackstrap, though I haven’t tested this – apparently fancy molasses is difficult to find organic and non-GMO)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill; if you like, you could also substitute a nice kamut or spelt flour too)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon xantham gum, optional but recommended
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt/Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 1/4 cups raisins, plumped

Instructions:

  1. Plump raisins by putting them in a small bowl and covering them with warm/boiling water. Easy peezy. Before adding them to the batter, you’ll just drain off the water.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Let stand for 5 minutes, then add the baking soda, chia, additional almond milk, and oat bran.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the melted coconut oil, molasses, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  5. In a medium bowl, sift together gluten-free flour, baking powder, cinnamon, xantham gum, and salt.
  6. Now we start the combining:
    1. Add the milk/bran mix to the oil/molasses mix and whisk well.
    2. Add the flour mix to the liquid mix and stir until combined.
    3. Add raisins to the batter.
  7. Scoop batter into a prepared muffin tin (either lined with paper cups or lightly greased with oil).
  8. Bake for 18-24 minutes, or until tops spring back when gently pressed.
  9. Let cool and then try a few! They freeze really nicely and will keep on the counter for 2 to 3 days, I would think. But freezing is probably best.

© Backyard Owl

 

Perfectly Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies (v, gf)

ginger molasses cookies - vegan & gluten freeThe countdown to Christmas continues! This week: the spicy, sweet, chewy perfection of the ginger molasses cookie. A saucy little cookie, the ginger molasses really thrives this time of year, when people are open to the spicy beauty of ginger and the sweet bite of molasses.

These cookies are kind of a combination of healthy upgrades and vegan baking classics – they might not be the healthiest thing at the office Christmas party, but I can guarantee you they certainly won’t be the worst. Actually, truthfully, at most office Christmas parties they will be the healthiest option.

What I’m saying is, you don’t want to make so many healthy upgrades that the cookies no longer resemble cookies, and people look at them and say, “what are these made with again? sprouted alfalfa?” while they hungrily eye the lemon squares at the next table. We still want to entice. Just with fewer questionable ingredients.

ginger molasses cookies - vegan & gluten free

To that end: these beauties are gluten-free (made with brown rice flour and oat flour) and vegan, and use healthier sweeteners (coconut palm sugar) and fats (coconut oil) to replace the brown sugar and butter.

Make these cookies for the aforementioned office Christmas party, or for a family get together, or as a gift for your neighbours. Or, get crafty, and measure the dry ingredients into a jar with a gift tag that includes the wet ingredients and the instructions for baking – the perfect gift!

ginger molasses cookies - vegan & gluten free

If you are feeling particularly indulgent, and, like me, enjoy a touch of dark chocolate in just about everything, feel free to throw in a 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips. Or, if you really love ginger, throw in a 1/2 cup diced crystallized ginger.

Have a Holly Jolly first week of December!

ginger molasses cookies - vegan and gluten free

Perfectly Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies (v, gf)

  • Author: Backyard Owl (original non-vegan version: Jennifer McGlinn, Gingerbread)
  • Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup room temperature coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/3 cup fancy molasses
  • 2 teaspoons powdered “egg replacer” (like Ener-G) whisked together with 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • for rolling: 3 tablespoons organic cane sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. In a medium size bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together coconut oil and coconut palm sugar – 1 to 2 minutes should do it.
  3. Beat egg replacer/non-dairy milk mix and molasses into coconut oil and sugar.
  4. Add dry ingredients to sugar/oil mix, and stir together until well-mixed.
  5. Dough may be quite soft – if so, chill for about 1 hour until firm.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F.
  7. Roll dough into 1-inch size balls, roll in cinnamon sugar mix, and bake for 10 to 12 mins, or until lightly golden on the bottom and firm on top. If the cookie dough was very cold after being in the fridge, you might need to bake for closer to 15 minutes.
  8. Makes about 18 to 24 cookies and freezes beautifully.

© Backyard Owl