Thursday, December 3, 2009

Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins


When I graduated from university in 1998, I had plans. Big, fat, dumb plans. My plans consisted of the following:

1. Get menial job at random hip establishment.
2. Make just enough money for rent, food, and record albums.
3. Write a book and get it published.
5. Repeat 1-3 indefinitely.

I'm happy (?) to tell you, dear reader, that I followed through on almost every one of those plans. I got a job at a health food store that afforded me precisely enough money for rent, food, and records. I wrote a book and got it published.

But when it was time to do the "Repeat" part of the plan, I was pretty much done with the whole menial job thing. I decided to go back to school to get my Early Childhood Education diploma. I figured that since I didn't seem to be on my way to Professional Novelist Land, I might as well have a day job that didn't involve selling organic chickpeas to yuppies and germ freaks. Unfortunately, to get that diploma meant spending two years at my local community college. Which was kind of like going back to high school. Which sucked.

Everyday, as I set off for the fluorescent lit hallways of Algonquin College, I would pack a gigantic amount of food in my bag. Bags of almonds and apricots, granola bars, thermoses of soup or tea, rice noodles with tofu, and more. I needed a lot of food to get me through the day, and healthy, vegetarian options on campus were scarce. Every once in a while, though, I would miscalculate or get lazy and end up not having enough food to sustain me. And I would panic. And buy a muffin.

The campus cafes were sponsored by the Tim Hortons donut chain, and so the muffins they sold were of the gigantic, sugar-filled variety. Basically, cupcakes without the icing. Totally bad for me and certainly not vegan. Delicious, though. Freakin' delicious. I considered them a treat that would make me feel better about my stressed out existence, much like the hours I wasted watching "Trading Spaces" on the couch with my dog.

So, once again I have drawn you in with my nonsensical tales and I will reward you with this recipe. These are the chocolate chip muffins that I made this week to eat during stressful moments during my packed work days. They make a nice mid morning snack with a cup of tea and because they are sweetened with agave, they don't give me crazy blood sugar crashes after I eat them. The only sugar in these babies comes from the chocolate chips, and you could do away with that too by making them with blueberries (like the little ones on the left in the photo). But I liked the chocolate chip ones better so that's the recipe you get. And you will like it! Because I say so.


Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cook oats (none of that instant garbage!)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup soy or almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup agave nectar
3 tbsp oil
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease a regular sized (12 muffins) muffin tin.

In a medium sized bowl, mix flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Measure out the milk and then "sour" it by adding the vanilla extract and letting it sit for a minute.

Add agave nectar and oil.

Add wet ingredients to dry and stir only long enough to combine.

Add chocolate chips and stir only until they are spread evenly through the batter.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way and bake for 15-20 minutes, until tops of muffins are beginning to brown.

Makes one dozen non-gigantic muffins.

Some Notes:

-These muffins do not get all puffy and soft like the Tim Hortons muffins, but they are not university-women's-studies-potluck dense either. They sit happily in the middle of the two extremes.

-I used small chocolate chips in mine because this gives you more widely distributed chocolate. Yum.

-When I was in grade three I was in a class with a boy named Tim Horton. He sat beside me and every day at lunch he would open his thermos really slowly saying, "Is it milk? Is it milk? Is it milk?" in this very agitated way. When he saw that it was, in fact, milk, he would heave an exaggerated sigh and say, "It's milk." Many years later, when I was fifteen, his family came to a Christmas party my parents had. I was very socially awkward and was just learning how to dress like a weirdo. Despite my black clothes, hanging down suspenders, and mounds of eyeliner, Tim Horton told me that I was pretty and it made me happy for an entire week after the party. Thank you, milk-loving Tim Horton, for increasing my chronically low teenage self confidence.



The Voracious Vegan said...

I love your stories! I would read them even if they didn't come attached to delicious recipes. And speaking of delicious recipes...this one looks like heaven. They look super chocolaty which is always my favorite, of course.

Although, I'll have you know that as a women's studies PhD student with my own vegan bakery not ALL of our muffins are rock hard!!!

J. said...

Ha ha ha ha! No offense meant to your muffins! I have no doubt that they are vastly superior to the amateurly baked ones of my 1996 university peers! :)

T said...

Oh, you could be on the way to great-novelist paradise yet, judging from your blog.

These look great, just the kind of simple recipe I love.

Brigid said...

I love your narrative style. I have yet to bake with agave, but I may have to try this out. I love making muffins.

•¦Amy¦• said...

Mmm they look so good! Another one I'll no doubt be trying out!

sweetkaroline said...

i love your mini stories...they make my day.

and how i do love tim hortons coffee. i wish they would have soy milk behind the counter tho. then you could order a 'soy double double'!

Mother of Science said...

I taught at Algonquin College from 1978 to 1983 - and some my classes were specific to Early Childhood Education students. Your blog brought back memories.

CupCakes by Joanne said...

Thanks for sharing! I just made these muffins for my son who is allergic to dairy and eggs. He loved it! We all loved these tasty muffins. I will definitely be making these again!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this recipe. It was delicious! I have a son with an egg allergy so I'm always looking for vegan baking ideas. This is a great recipe.