Vegan Carob-Walnut Muffins

A Baking Drought

Last week, we experienced some rather high temperatures that did not bode well for us in a home that lacks air conditioning. Moreover, our home’s south-facing windows—excellent for light—made the not-so-pleasant weather even more not-so-pleasant, especially considering we live in such a tiny space.

It was because of this that I had to keep cooking or, more specifically, food-heating to a minimum. Occasionally, the stovetop or toaster oven was a necessity, but I didn’t dare use our oven for baking—something I normally use quite often.

When the weather finally transitioned toward rain and cooler temperatures, I was quite happy to return to my usual baking routine. I’d been deprived of my oven long enough, and was now craving some baked goods in muffin form. (Any breastfeeding mama knows the agony of unrequited cravings!)

So, I knew I had to make a special kind of muffin to celebrate (and satiate), but what to bake? Then my husband got out the carob powder to make a carob-almond milk beverage, and that began my search.

I immediately began perusing the internets for “The Most Perfect and Simple Carob Muffin Recipe That I Have All the Ingredients For,” only to discover that many of them were, indeed, not-so-simple and definitely not-so-inclusive to the ingredients I had on hand, since they called for items such as yogurt and soy lecithin.

At long last, I decided that “the perfect recipe” is up to me and that I just needed a basic structure to work with. I finally stumbled across this recipe that I could easily modify to suit my tastes.

Why Carob?

Some of you may be wondering, of all the rich flavors available in most bakers’ kitchens, why would I choose carob to fulfill my muffin needs. Well, unfortunately, we are a family that suffers from food sensitivities. It is to our advantage that we avoid ingredients such as soy (in all forms), monosodium glutamate (MSG), and dairy—all of which, trigger reactions, such as headaches and digestive issues. In fact, when I was younger, I experienced an alarming number of headaches triggered by MSG, which is in many packaged foods, as well as chocolate. I endured that unpleasant pain on a almost daily basis for awhile until my mother figured out the source and removed those ingredients from my diet. My chronic headaches just vanished after that—pretty sweet!

We haven’t had many issues with chocolate lately, but because I know carob is a healthier option, I often try to incorporate it into our diet. If you’re curious about the surprising health benefits of carob, you can read about them here.

It’s been a bit crazy around here lately since the birth of our third.  I should say, especially since the birth of our third. It isn’t often that I get to try and share new recipes, or even experience the peace and the freedom that can only be found in peeing alone—something I’m certainly looking forward to reclaiming one day. Still, I’m truly enjoying this phase with my new little squish and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to share my home birthing experience here in the near future. In the meantime, I hope this recipe finds its way into your oven and that you enjoy it as much as we do!

Vegan Carob-Walnut Muffin Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups flour (I used 1 cup spelt flour and 1 cup organic all-purpose flour)
2/3 cup carob powder
2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup oil (I used avocado oil)
1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup carob chips
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Next add the oil and milk and mix until combined. Fold in the carob chips and walnuts. Scoop mixture into a greased muffin pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly in pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

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