Vegan Morning Glory Muffins

I never met a muffin I didn’t like. I especially love Morning Glory Muffins, however I find most to be very dense and filling. So I was intrigued when I found a recipe for Vegan Morning Glory Muffins on Food 52 recently. They don’t contain any eggs and are sweetened with Date Paste which I was glad about because I have had a package of dates in my freezer for a while that I wanted to use. Since my husband is diabetic, I am also looking for alternative sweeteners that are natural. The first batch I made tasted great and we ate them all in about a week. They were so good I made another batch. What makes them so wonderful is that they are nice and light but still substantial like a good Morning Glory Muffin should be.

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Vegan Morning Glory Muffins
(From Food 52) Makes 1 dozen
•1 1/2 tablespoon flax meal
•1/4 cup warm water
•2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
•2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
•2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
•1 teaspoon salt
•1/2 cup raisins
•1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
•1 tablespoon grated ginger (or 1 teaspoon ginger, ground)
•1 cup date paste (See Recipe Below)
•1/2 cup organic sugar
•1 cup soy or almond milk
•6 tablespoons canola oil
•1 1/2 cup grated carrot
•1 small apple, grated

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line 12 muffin tins with liners, or oil them lightly.
Mix the flax meal and warm water together; set the mixture aside to let it “gel.”
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the raisins, walnuts, and ginger.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the date paste, sugar if desired, non-dairy milk, and oil. Stir in the flax mixture.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones until everything is well incorporated, and then fold in the carrot and apple.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean. Allow them to cool before enjoying.

Date Paste
Makes 1 1/4 cups
1 cup medjool dates, pitted and packed
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon (heaping) salt

Place the dates into a large bowl. Bring the water to a gentle boil, then pour it over the dates. Allow them to soak for 20 minutes (or up to an hour).
Drain the dates, reserving 1/2 cup of the soak water. Add them to a blender with the reserved water, the vanilla, and the salt. Blend till the mixture is totally smooth.
Date paste can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

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