Today marks day three of my vegan muffin roundup! On the cooling rack is a delicious surprise for all of you muffin traditionalists who think muffins only come in bran, blueberry and banana. Feast your eyes on Vegan Broccoli Muffins.
I, like other food writers, overuse (torture) the phrase "these are great with a bowl of soup or a green salad!" when speaking of savory quickbreads such as this. Sorry. But it's true, they do, and these certainly do in particular. I've been known to crumble one of these warm lovelies right into a cup of minestrone (it's a peasant soup kind of thing). Yet these are equally smashing as a savory start to your day. Kevin thinks broccoli for breakfast is whackadoodle, but I'll win him over one of these days.
You can use frozen (thawed) or fresh broccoli, so use what is most convenient for you. I have this crazy notion that quick breads should be quick, so the main thing is to keep it simple. That said, feel free to use almost any chopped fresh or frozen vegetables in place of the broccoli--think kale, Swiss chard, cauliflower, corn, eggplant, squash--that suits your fancy
I've thrown a handful of vegan cheese in here, too, but it is your call--the muffins are equally yummy without it. If you do opt for cheese, be sure to cut it into cubes instead of shredding. That way you get the bubbly bursting blobs of cheese that make any cheesy bread worthy of its name. By contrast, shredded cheese tends to disappear into the batter without delivering a noticeable, cheesy punch.
Fresh Broccoli Muffins
Deep-colored broccoli seems like something new in these rich, satisfying muffins, enhanced with green onions and a hint of Dijon mustard.
• Preheat oven to 400°F
• 12-cup muffin pan, lined with paper liners
1-3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
2-1⁄4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vegan granulated sugar
1⁄2 tsp salt
1-1⁄4 cups plain non-dairy milk (soy, almond, rice, hemp)
1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup finely chopped broccoli
3⁄4 cup chopped green onions (scallions)
1 cup shredded vegan Cheddar-style cheese alternative (optional)
1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, oil and mustard until well blended. Stir in broccoli, green onions and cheese (if using).
3. Add the broccoli mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.
4. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the rack. Serve warm or let cool.
Broccoli-Buying Tip: When purchasing broccoli, look for compact, tightly closed florets and thin-skinned stems that are on the slender side. Avoid broccoli that is dried or cracked on the cut end or that has obviously woody stems, and leave behind any yellowing specimens. If it passes the visual inspection, take a whiff: broccoli should smell fresh, not strong and cabbage-like. Store it in a loose (unsealed) plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper. It will keep for a few days, but you should use it as quickly as possible, before the florets start to deteriorate.