These have all sorts of things going on - it's like every bite has a new flavour to taste! These muffins are based on a recipe for muffins using just two types of dried fruits so I added in another fruit and some chocolate chips for a little extra oomph!
Despite being really tasty, these also have tons of nutritional benefits. While dried fruit often gets a bad rap for being so full of sugar, it is natural sugar and none of that high-fructose corn crap or over-processed refined sugar. Plus, dried fruits are a decent source of non-heme iron which is important for vegetarians and omnivores alike.
The nuts add healthy fats; the dark chocolate has antioxidants; and the lack of dairy makes these suitable for people who cannot tolerate lactose.
All that makes these a yummy, portable, and healthy breakfast treat!
Makes somewhere between 12 and 24 muffins
(Again with the funny amounts! I halved a recipe that said it would yield 12 and still got 12! Thank goodness I like them... and muffins freeze well!) The amounts below reflect those from the original recipe, they are not reflective of my halved amounts.
1/2 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk
1/4 cup crushed pineapple, include the juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (I like the dark amber variety)
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 cup dried Bing cherries, cut up into quarters (if using whole cherries)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup non-dairy semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with unbleached cupcake papers or grease with a little non-dairy butter or canola oil spray.
1. Combine the almond milk, pineapple (don't forget the juice), olive oil, maple syrup, and agave nectar in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Make a well in the dry mixture and then pour in the milk and pineapple mixture. Stir until just combined, being careful to not over-mix. Gently stir in the fruit, nuts, and chocolate chips.
3. Spoon the muffin mix into the prepared muffin pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.
This is based on the Fruitcake Muffins recipe from the November/December 2008 issue of VegNews magazine.
My changes included adding in the cranberries and chocolate chips; using half maple syrup and half agave nectar (instead of just maple syrup); and using all-purpose flour in place of a mixture of oat flour and whole-wheat (next time I might try it with half whole-wheat, half AP).
I'd like to try adding in some rolled oats in place of some of the flour.