Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fearlessly licking the bowl

A few months ago, we received a panicked call from one of the teachers at Max's daycare-Max had awoken from a nap, covered in hives and crying. As I drove to pick him up, while calling the pediatrician who advised us to take him to Urgent Care, I tried to think about what it could be that he was reacting to. Was it the omelet I made for his breakfast? Made of eggs, a highly allergenic food which he just recently started eating? Of course not.
Mango? The delicious fruit he had been eating for months? Yes, it most certainly had to be that.

Fast forward to our trip to the allergist, where we discovered that not only is Max allergic to eggs, he is allergic to cats*. Fortunately, cats are not an important part of baking. 

In the past few months, I've been working with recipes that are egg free or totally vegan, as it turns out Max loves baked goods. One of the great things about baking without eggs is that you can lick the bowl/spoons/beaters without fear of salmonella.

Oh who am I kidding, I eat batter with raw eggs, steak tartare and used to eat the raw meat for meatballs and meatloaf that my mom made.

Anyway, I'd been making a great vegan recipe from Post Punk Kitchen for Pumpkin Muffins, and they truly are amazing. Max seemed to like them. For some reason, I recently switched from that recipe, to a recipe from Joy the Baker I had modified (less sugar, added in some flax meal, turned them into mini muffins) and they were also yummy, and froze really well. And I don't feel terrible giving them to Max. So then I started thinking about making other types of mini muffins-ones that I could sneak veggies into. Coincidentally, Joy the Baker had a recipe for "Almost Vegan Zucchini Bread" that I used and adjusted a bit. Here's my version.
This is what happens when you put too much batter in. 
And don't pay attention to whether things are fairly even.

Mini Egg Free Zucchini Muffins:
(Makes 24 mini muffins plus 5 regular sized muffins. Or if you have enough mini muffin tins, probably about 35 mini muffins)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
3 tablespoons ground flax seed meal
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
1 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray your muffin tins with Pam, or don't. If you like your muffins to stick, that's your business.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flax seed meal, milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and sugars. Whisk thoroughly, then add the shredded zucchini.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold together with a spatula. Make sure all of the flour is thoroughly incorporated into the batter. At this point, I found that I needed to add about a 1/2 cup of water.  Fill muffin tins about 3/4 and bake for about 20 minutes (the regular sized muffins needed 27 minutes), or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pan for a bit and then transfer to rack to cool completely.

*If you or anyone you know is looking to adopt 2 older, sweet cats, please let me know.

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