Lemon Berry Vegan Muffins

Vegan lemon berry muffins

The fall chill is back in the air here in New York. It’s a comfortable cold, where the crisp air on my face feels invigorating. Time spent curled on the sofa in tracksuit pants, an oversized sweatshirt with a big mug of coffee and a good book is calling me. It’s the time of year when comforting aromas emitting from a toasty oven just seem necessary.

These vegan muffins reheat well, so if you are like me and have trouble sticking to just a few then put some in the freezer to enjoy these delicious yet healthy, filling and in low sugar muffins over the next month.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • Juice and rind of one lemon
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tbsp golden flax meal
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (approx) frozen blueberries and raspberries

Method 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix together dry ingredients in a medium to large mixing bowl.

In a separate small bowl mix the almond milk, lemon juice and flax meal together to ‘curdle’ for a few minutes. Stir again before adding to the dry mix with the remaining ingredients (with the exception of the berries). Mix batter until smooth, then gently fold in frozen berries.

Divide mixture into muffin cups or a well-greased muffin tray and bake for approx. 40 minutes. Test with a toothpick through the center of one muffin to see if the are ready.

Allow to cool completely on a rack before attempting to remove from the paper cups.

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Zucchini & Arugula Cashew Pesto With Ancient Grain Pasta

 

Zucchini With Cashew Arugula Pesto

 The peppery aroma of arugula paired with the creamy taste of cashew gives this simple dish a depth of flavor. 

I feel like zucchini is often a forgotten vegetable in our house.  Apart from my trusty ratatouille recipe I am usually at a bit of a loss when it comes to using it. When my husband came home from the farmers market with a bulging bag of rather large zucchinis I did a little browsing to get inspired and came across this recipe on Real Simple  that got me thinking of a different take on the idea. I’m currently cashew obsessed and like any excuse to add them to a dish.  I made this to take with us hiking and camping which I ended up enjoying so much I whipped up another serving today!

Both arugula and zucchini are rich in folate and an excellent source of Vitamin A which helps fight infection and sustain the immune system.

Pesto Ingredients

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted cashews
  • 1 handful Basil
  • 1 handful Parsley
  • 1 – 2 handfuls arugula
  • 1/3 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

Other Ingredients (Serves 3)

  • 1 extra-large or two medium zucchini halved lengthways and sliced into half moons
  • 1/2 large mozzarella ball, sliced into bite sized pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Two handfuls of arugula
  • Gluten-free ancient grain pasta, quinoa pasta or brown rice pasta (see serving sizes on packet)
  • Fresh lemon wedges

Method

To prepare the pesto add the garlic clove with the nuts and partially blend. Add the herbs and olive oil and blend until ingredients form a chunky paste. Pesto can be made in advance and stored in the fridge.

In a large pot bring water to boil, add pasta and cook to directions. Meanwhile, heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan. Add the sliced zucchini and cook until slightly browning and tender, about 5 minutes. Add a sprinkling of chili flakes and salt and pepper then transfer to bowl and coat with a few tablespoons of the pesto.

Drain the pasta then add back into pot, stir in the pesto covered zucchini, a few handfuls of fresh arugula and mozzarella slices. Add in a little more pesto if required. Serve with fresh lemon on the side.