If you eat vegan or raw, you know that hemp is hot! I’ve been using hemp seeds in my recipes for years (before it was um, ‘hip to eat hemp’). When I started using hemp seeds and talking about them in my recipes, I got that “ohhhh, you are hippity dippity!” sort of reaction. People didn’t know that hemp seeds were a highly nutritious food – a ‘superfood’ if you will. No, instead they thought they’d get high from my brownies. Of course they wouldn’t! Because I saved it all for muffins.
Jokes aside, it took a few years for the worth of hemp – high in protein, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants – to be recognized in the world of healthy eating. Thank goodness it has, because it has made these virtuous bitty seeds widely available (and accepted)!
These Apple-Hemp Muffins I first created for my second cookbook, Vive le Vegan!. That book came out in ’04… told you I’ve been a hempster for a while! They are tender, moist, just-sweet-enough, and fragrant.
Recently I switched up the recipe to make them wheat-free and also oil-free. These are recipe requests I am receiving so frequently that I want to oblige. Wheat-free modifications are usually pretty easy, adjusting with spelt and oat flour (and usually needing slightly more). Oil-free can be a little more challenging, because we want to keep those muffins MOIST and tender. These muffins are still beautifully moist and tender – not to worry! The other tricky thing with oil-free muffins is not having them stick to the muffin liners. You can do a couple of things. First, you can use silicone muffin pans. I do not use them myself, but know they are particularly useful for oil-free baking. If, like me, you don’t have silicone bakeware, the best thing to do is to let the muffin cool. Completely. If it is still somewhat warm, the liner is harder to peel away from the muffin. And, if you are okay with using just a smidgen of oil – I mean just a little – you can add say 2 teaspoons to this batter. That amount is pretty insignificant overall for 12 large muffins, and will help with that ‘sticky’ situation!
I make these muffins often for school lunches, because they are substantial, healthy, and of course nut-free. If you want to perk them up for the kiddos, try adding… what else?… sprinkle of mini chocolate chips. (Do I add this to every recipe? Well, not to hummus – yet.) :D
Enough of my rambling, right? Here are the muffins!
Apple Hemp Muffins wheat-free, oil-free, soy-free
Moist, lightly spiced muffins with the added nutrition of hemp seed nuts. These are easy and quick, and sure to please both kids and adults!
1 1⁄2 cups whole-grain spelt flour
1 cup oat flour
2/3 – 3/4 cup hemp seeds
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 – 1 3/4 tsp cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp ground cardamom (can substitute freshly grated nutmeg)
1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
1⁄2 cup pure maple syrup
3⁄4 cup plain or vanilla non-dairy milk
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup raisins or chopped raw banana spears (use kitchen shears or knife to cut in small pieces about size of raisins)
Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, sifting in the baking powder and baking soda. Stir through until well combined. In another bowl, combine applesauce, maple syrup, non-dairy milk, and vanilla, and mix together. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and gently fold and mix through, until just combined (do not overmix). Spoon the mixture into a muffin pan lined with cupcake liners (this will fill 12 muffins quite full). Bake for 21-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (See notes above about cooling to help remove from liner.) Makes 12 large muffins. Hemp, Hemp, Hooray! Enjoy, friends!
Are hemp seeds new to you, or do you use them often? What is your favorite way to eat them?