Sunday 9 April 2017

Apple date and chia seed muffins (vegan)

Lately I have been baking more than I have for a long time.  It may be that I have finally recovered from the festive season or just the demands of more hours and more riding to and from work with my new job.  Last week I baked 3 batches of muffins.  Three!  One of these was a batch of apple date and chia seed muffins which were excellent.

One reason I made the muffins is that it is apple season but all apples are not created equal.  Some are crisp and crunchy.  Others are mealy and meh.  I had a few of the latter to use up and decided on muffins.  I baked them between coffee with my friend Kathleen and my book club.  I found an apple and pecan muffin recipe in the Joy of Vegan Baking.  I had to work out the recipe to suit my kitchen.  No pecans but lots of dates and a vague memory of seeing chia seeds in muffins recently.

It was rather peaceful baking them.  E was pottering about with his ukulele and secateurs; not both at one, mind you.  Sylvia was on the lounge rug sorting out her textas (or markers). She occasionally came over for a piece of apple as I chopped them.  There is a great article in the Huffington Post titled "Psychologists explain the benefits of baking for other people".  I like that they describe baking as a form of mindfulness.  Sometimes it feels like a mad rush and other times it is indeed a relaxing way to slow down.  It felt good to bake these muffins.

It also felt good to eat these muffins.  The batter seems incredibly thick but the resulting muffins are lovely and soft.  The apples were soft and juicy.  The chia seeds gave some interesting texture.  They were quite sweet so I might reduce the sugar next time.  But they were something I was proud to contribute to book club and a nice work snack.

I am sending these muffins to Simple and In Season run by Feeding Boys, and Treat Petite run by the Baking Explorer and Cakeyboi.

Apple date and chia muffins
By Green Gourmet Giraffe with inspiration from The Joy of Vegan Baking
Makes 12 muffins

1/3 cup finely chopped dates
1/2 cup boiling water
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp ground linseed (flax seed)
1 cup white self raising flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup rice bran oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped apples
1/4 cup chia seeds

Preheat oven to 200 C and grease a 12 hole muffin tin.

Mix dates, boiling water, maple syrup and ground linseed in a small bowl and set aside.

Toss together flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.

Stir oil, sugar and vanilla into date mixture to make a thick syrupy mixture.  Pour into flour mixure and mix until combined.

Stir apples and chia seeds into batter.  It will be quite stiff but you can add 1-2 tbsp of water if you need to loosen it a little.

Spoon batter into muffin cups.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack and keep in an airtight container for about 3 days.

On the Stereo:
The Captain: Kasey Chambers


  1. I smiled reading your reference to ukulele and secateurs, and at the image of your peaceful baking. It is lovely when things come together so that time in the kitchen is relaxing - especially when the outcome is something that looks as delicious as these muffins do. An excellent use for sub-par apples.

  2. The muffins sound absolutely scrumptious! I love baking with apples as it really brings out their flavour. Thanks for linking up to #TreatPetite

  3. I'm all for baking for other people (especially if other people are baking for me!) I love the recent vegan muffin you've been having - long may it continue. Apple and date are such a classic combination - these are so inviting.

  4. I do like muffins and would be most pleased to find these apple date and chia seed ones in my lunch box. I too have been doing lots of bakes as D has suddenly decided after his meal he wants something sweet, old man! As for E and his ukele made me smile.
    Over the past two years D has said he may get me a ukele I wait, i still don't have it. I think he fears I may start singing!

  5. These muffins sound good, with plenty of flavours I'd go for. I find baking peaceful unless I am already het up or I have a disaster.

  6. I think that's definitely the best thing to do with not so great apples! It gives them a new life :D

  7. Three batches of muffins? Impressive! I can only guess you have a super-power for creating time! Now wouldn't that be awesome?!
    Apples are perfect in muffins.... but I am loving the addition of dates and chia too.... the vegan bit makes them exceptionally clever though.... xx

  8. Oh they sound lovely. Apples are my favourite fruit. I eat one every day, even the mealy meh ones. Although I like the idea of using those up in something like this instead.
    I am not a huge fan of baking, but I think that's just because I'm not very good at it. "It also felt good to eat these muffins." This is my favourite part of baking haha ;)

  9. These look like just the thing to pack up for a picnic - I love tasty fruity muffins like this! Thanks so much for joining in with this month's round of Simple and in Season xxx


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