04 July 2009

Book Review: Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

From July_2009_Photos

These delicious and highly healthy pumpkin bran muffins are an Altered Plates version of Isa's Pumpkin Bran Muffins on page 167 of Vegan Brunch. I made 12 large and 12 mini muffins in my version of her recipe, and will undoubtably make them again with other fun modifications.

First, let me tell you a bit about the book. The photos are lovely, and there are many of them. The layout is very effective in that you don't often need to turn pages during a recipe (one of my major pet peeves in cookbooks). And, most importantly, the recipes are fantastic.

You must get this to add to your collection, even if you aren't vegan (which I'm not anymore, but eat veganly most days anyway). The recipes are easy to make for the most part, and like her other books, don't require a lot of hard-to-find or expensive ingredients.

And, if you are like me and have to noodle around with recipes because you have dietary restrictions, be comforted by the fact that her recipes (as in in her previous books) are so flexible that you can tune them quite easily without losing the integrity of the recipe.

From July_2009_Photos

That said, here's the recipe as I made it a few weeks ago (prior to the big fall).

Pumpkin Bran Muffins (greatly inspired by Isa's Pumpkin Bran Muffins on page 167 of Vegan Brunch.


1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vanilla flavored, unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
2/3 cup agave nectar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup wheat bran flakes (you could also use oat bran, and I will next time)
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (I used Pensey's)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 to 1/2 cup pepitas or shelled pumpkin seeds (depending upon how you decorate)


1. In a large bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together until well blended.
2. Add the bran flakes and mix until well blended.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients except the walnuts, raisins, and seeds.
4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix by hand for about 30 seconds.
5. Gently fold in the nuts, raisins, and seeds, then mix for another 30 seconds. Let the mixture rest.
6. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and line 1 standard muffin pan with cupcake cups, and 1 mini muffin pan with mini cupcake cups.
7. Use a standard ice cream scoop to scoop out 12 servings into the lined standard pan, and a mini scoop to scoop out 12 mini servings into the mini muffin pan. Place in the heated oven on different levels.
8. Bake for 12 minutes before turning each pan 180 degrees and switching levels. Bake for another 10 minutes before testing with a bamboo skewer for doneness. When only a few moist crumbs stick to the skewer, take them out of the oven.
9. Let them cool in the pans for 5 minutes before transferring the muffins to wire racks to cool completely.
10. Enjoy!

These will keep for about a week in an airtight container. Since it's been hot out, I've kept mine in the fridge.


bigsis said...

Thanks for the reminder...I have that book but haven't gotten around to using it yet. Oh, and I love that you're using my favorite spice company: Penzeys! I have one of their stores right down the street, and almost everything I cook or bake with is Penzeys brand.

Eddie G said...

These look delish!

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks, Bigsis and Eddie G.

Yeah, I love Pensey's. Unfortunately, I have to get mine by mail order. My favorites are the shallot salt and the hot paprika. The cinnamons are wonderful too.

Vegetation said...

Mmm they're so pretty! I wanted to make them today but I only had ground oat bran so I made blueberry spelt ginger muffins instead. But these are very definitely on my list!

Hope you're feeling a little better soon!

Deb Schiff said...

Veg-- Thanks a bunch! Oat bran is awesome. Normally I'd use it too because I prefer it, but wanted to try it in the recipe since that's what she calls for. I'm sure your blueberry spelt ginger muffins were gorgeous.

aTxVegn said...

These look delish. I'm glad I caught up with you. Our diets are very similar and it looks like you have some nice recipes here.

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks, Texan Vegan. Love your blog!