23 February 2014

Cookbook Review: I'm Loving Mayim's Muffins

Recently, I received a review copy of Mayim Bialik's brand new cookbook, Mayim's Vegan Table. Because I absolutely love her character Amy Farrah Fowler on "Big Bang Theory," I had to give it a read. The first 59 pages provide a good foundation on the vegan diet and its health benefits and philosophies. Even without the recipes, I'd recommend it for someone who is new to the practice or for parents of newly minted vegans.

Most of the recipes are straightforward and easy to produce. They don't require uncommon ingredients or a long time to make. Most (except the dessert section) also are easy to make gluten free. Now that I'm living in the GF sphere, that's a pretty important feature for me in a cookbook.

For my test recipe, I decided to take on a recipe that was already gluten free, but that I could tinker with a bit for this blog. That recipe was Fruity Oatmeal Muffins.

They turned out to be pretty tasty muffins. They are indeed oaty, which a cakey crumb -- an unexpected pleasure in a gluten-free muffin made without gums. The muffins also are much lighter than you would expect for such a healthy baked good. I can easily see these becoming my go-to muffins.

My alterations were relatively minor. First, I used my unsweetened, home-dried cranberries (thanks to the behemoth of a dehydrator I recently purchased via a mandate by my wonderful mother-in-law who gave us a check and said we couldn't save it, but had to spend the thing). Next, I added walnuts because what's a muffin without nuts? I also used pumpkin pie spice as the spice, flax meal and water as my egg substitute, olive oil for the fat, and agave nectar (and consequently, half the applesauce) as the sweetener. Finally, I dropped the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (to account for the agave), but baked it for the same amount of time.

Here's the recipe as I made it.

Fruity Oatmeal Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins


1 teaspoon flax meal
3 teaspoons filtered water
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup rolled oats run through the coffee grinder to make oat flour
2 tablespoons potato starch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsweetened dried cranberries (if you have to use sweetened, use fruit-sweetened ones)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup applesauce

1. In a very small bowl, mix together the flax meal and water until combined and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, oat flour, potato starch, baking powder, spice, and salt.
3. Mix in the cranberries and walnuts.
4. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil and the flax mixture. Whisk in the agave and the applesauce.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir for about 2 minutes.
6. Heat your oven to 375 degrees F.
7. Line your muffin tray with paper liners.
8. Scoop the batter into the liners so that they are filled about 3/4 of the way.
9. When your oven reaches temperature, bake the muffins for 20 minutes. They should have very small crumbs clinging to a wooden tester when done.
10. Let cool in the try for 5 minutes before taking the muffins out to cool completely on a wire rack.

They are best slightly warm, but wonderful when cooled as well. Enjoy!

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