Seedy Maple Breakfast Muffins

Season: All | Active Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 55 minutes | Difficulty: 1 (Very Easy) | Vegan

Though my negative feelings about muffins are documented elsewhere in this book, I do credit muffins for being quick and easy to make and portable, so I was motivated to engineer one that felt like a truly wholesome breakfast item (and that wasn’t also dry or weird or overly healthful). That these muffins turned out so light, so tasty, so pleasantly crunchy from all the seeds, and vegan was actually a surprise to me. I don’t develop a lot of vegan recipes primarily because omitting eggs in baking is exceptionally tricky, but the method of making an egg replacement with ground flaxseeds and water works beautifully here. I’m happy to report that not only would I make, serve, and eat these for breakfast myself, but I fed them to my two-year-old nephew during the testing process—and he happily ate two!

Makes 12 muffins

Special Equipment: 12-cup muffin tin, muffin liners

⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons hulled pumpkin seeds (2.3 oz / 65g)

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon hulled sunflower seeds (1.6 oz / 45g)

2 tablespoons flax meal (0.46 oz / 13g)

1 tablespoon demerara sugar

1 teaspoon white or black chia seeds

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

1 cup all-purpose flour (4.6 oz / 130g)

½ cup whole wheat flour (2.5 oz / 70g)

2¼ teaspoons baking powder (0.32 oz / 9g)

1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt

1 cup unsweetened applesauce (8.6 oz / 243g)

½ cup virgin or refined coconut oil (4 oz / 113g), warmed gently to liquefy

⅓ cup packed light brown sugar (2.3 oz / 65g)

¼ cup maple syrup (2.8 oz / 80g)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup frozen blueberries (5 oz / 140g)

Preheat the oven and toast the seeds: Arrange an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Scatter ⅓ cup of the pumpkin seeds and ¼ cup of the sunflower seeds on a small rimmed baking sheet and toast, shaking halfway through, until they’re golden and nutty smelling, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool. (Leave the oven on for the muffins.)

Prepare the muffin tin: Line 12 cups of a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.

Make the flax “egg”: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flax meal and ¼ cup (2 oz / 57g) boiling water and set aside until it’s warm to the touch but not hot, about 5 minutes.

Mix the topping: Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss together the demerara sugar, chia seeds, poppy seeds, the remaining 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, and the remaining 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds to combine. Set the topping aside.

Mix the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt to combine. Set aside.

Mix the wet ingredients: To the bowl with the flax “egg,” add the applesauce, coconut oil, brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla and whisk until the mixture is smooth.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry: Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the applesauce mixture. Starting in the center and working outward, whisk gently until everything is combined and you have a thick, even batter.

Fold in the solids: Use a flexible spatula to fold the blueberries and toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds into the batter until they’re evenly incorporated.

Portion, top, and bake the muffins: Using a 4-ounce scoop or ½-cup measure, drop a scant ½ cup of batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle the muffins with the reserved topping mixture. Bake the muffins until the tops are firm and spring back when pressed lightly, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the muffins from the oven and set aside to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack. Set the muffins upright and let cool completely.

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