As you may recall from this post, the boyfriend is obsessed with weekend brunches, so while most of the week our breakfasts consist of toast and fruit, on weekend mornings (okay, or afternoons) we like to start the day with more substantial food. Each weekend of VeganMoFo, I'll post about some of the brunch foods we enjoy, starting today with lemon walnut muffins.
I am probably one of the biggest chocolate fiends you know. I don't necessarily have a lot of chocolate in one sitting (anymore), but I have chocolate probably every day. Not on purpose, even; it's not like I think "Hm, have I had chocolate today? No? What a shame, I shall remedy this situation with a single chocolate chip." There's no thought process. Instead it's more like "La la, just typing at my computer, hey, how did this chocolate get in my mouth? when did I even get up to get it? and where did I set the chocolate bar, because now I want more..."
So it will probably come as a surprise to you, as it does to my friends, my family, and even myself, that my favorite baked goods are ones that don't involve chocolate at all, but ones that involve citrus fruits. Don't get me wrong, I won't turn down a brownie in lieu of an orange, but if a baked good has that light irridescent yellow glow suggesting there's lemon zest in it, or that little sour hint of lime juice emanating from it, I will forget that I am a chocolate addict and devote myself to acquiring that citrusy goodness.
Lemon poppyseed muffins are one of my favorite baked goods, probably of all time. As you now know, I love lemon, I love poppyseeds, and I love being able to eat baked goods in the morning just because I can call them "muffins" instead of "cupcakes." But recently I had guests coming to visit who planned on going on a couple day trips with us, and I realized that if I wanted to offer them quick breakfasts-on-the-go and/or have a snack to grab during our wanderings, I needed something a little more substantial than poppyseeds in my muffins. I figured replacing them with nuts would be a good way to keep us fuller longer (since they have more protein and fat) while adding a little more in the way of nutrients. I was thinking of going for pecans, but the boyfriend asked for walnuts. Almonds could work, too, but would be much crunchier.
I will tell you right now, though I'm reproducing the recipe here, all I did was take the Lemon Poppyseed Muffins from Vegan Brunch, replace some of the flour with whole wheat pastry flour, and replace the poppyseeds with a cup of chopped nuts, so I wasn't especially inventive. They were delicious, though!
Lemon Walnut Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
2 C flour. (You can replace up to half of this with whole wheat pastry flour--I did 1/2 C)
2/3 C sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C nondairy milk
1/4 C lemon juice
1/2 C canola oil
2 Tbsp lemon zest
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 C walnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375. Line a muffin tin with liners.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center and add milk, lemon juice, oil, zest, and vanilla. Mix just until all wet ingredients are moistened, then fold in the chopped nuts.
Fill each muffin cup three-quarters full and bake for 23 to 27 minutes, until muffins are lightly browned on top.
A quick tip if any of you find zesting tedious, like I do: when a recipe calls for zest, don't just zest the amount you need. Zest the entire fruit (or fruits) and freeze what you don't use. I freeze mine in leftover spice containers, but a small ziploc will do just fine. You can use the extra zest right out of the freezer for later recipes.