Summer isn’t usually a time when I feel very driven to bake. Like many people, I get most excited about baking projects in the fall, as the weather turns cooler and pumpkins start to populate the farmers market. Yet these warm months provide us with berries and stone fruits that seem to cry out for pies and crumbles and crisps and slumps and galettes. Turning on the oven–even if it means turning up my apartment temperature by about fifteen degrees–is a small price to pay for a wonderful dessert or treat.
These vegan blueberry corn muffins are the first thing I’ve baked since July’s heat wave started, and they were a great choice, simple and versatile. They feature a light texture with plenty of crumb (thanks to the cornmeal), and they’re studded with sweet, juicy fresh blueberries.
The recipe was inspired by my no-fuss vegan cornbread recipe for Food52, which is about as simple a baking template as they come. At first I thought I’d increase the sugar for this variation, but in the end, I kept the same amount, and I actually love that the muffins aren’t overly sweet. A couple of them make for a perfect, light breakfast on-the-go, and, having enjoyed one with a little pat of Earth Balance and iced tea for the last few late afternoons, I can attest to the fact that they make for a great snack.
Baking these muffins was a process made all the easier by the fact that I used GreenLife ceramic bakeware to handle the job. The GreenLife brand emerged as a lightweight, affordable offspring of the GreenPan brand. GreenPan was one of the first major innovators of safe, nonstick ceramic cookware, and the brand remains committed to health, environmentally responsible practices, and quality.
GreenLife uses the same healthy technology as GreenPan, but the line is priced with an emphasis on accessibility. The cookware and bakeware sets are perfect for young cooks who are building their first collection of kitchenware, or for anyone who’s curious about investing in safe, nonstick cookware while also minding a budget. The nonstick technology is helpful for those who are trying to cook with less fat or oil (which is true of many of the folks I work with), and it also helps to prevent sticking, which can discourage even experienced home cooks.
As anyone who has read this blog for a while knows, I’m not a natural baker. I’ve improved over time, but only through burning and undercooking and creating a lot of things that should have risen but didn’t, or should have emerged clean from the pan but stuck to it like glue instead. Any bakeware that helps to make the process go more smoothly is a welcome boon for me, and the GreenLife muffin tin is by far my favorite that I’ve tried. The muffins slipped out of the pan easily, and the cleanup process was easy.
You can use either medium or fine grind cornmeal in these muffins, though I’m personally a fan of the texture of the medium grind option. Feel free to substitute a different type of berry for blueberries if you like; this is a very adaptable muffin recipe. Even finely chopped peaches or plums would work beautifully.
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 ¾ cups soy or almond milk
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil (such as safflower, grapeseed, or canola)
- 1 ½ cups spelt, all-purpose, whole wheat, or gluten free, all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups medium or finely ground cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons organic cane sugar, demerara sugar, or coconut sugar
- 1 cup blueberries, tossed in a teaspoon or so of flour (coating the berries in flour will keep them from all settling to the bottom of the muffins!)
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar and almond milk till frothy (about 20-30 seconds). Stir in the oil and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the blueberries.
- Divide the batter into a prepared muffin tin. Bake for 15-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffins emerges clean, or the tops are lightly golden and firm. Allow the muffins to cool on a wire rack before enjoying.
Our apartment smelled divine after the muffins finished baking, and we’ve been enjoying them since (Steven had them for both breakfast and snacks today, which means I must have gotten something right). I look forward to trying different versions; perhaps a savory version with corn kernels folded in, or a version with stone fruit next month. I hope you’ll enjoy the muffins, and let me know if you come up with any creative tweaks of your own!
I’m so glad that the theme of slowing down spoke to some of you on Monday. I look forward to slowly and mindfully collecting some new recipe ideas and reading material this week—and to sharing it with you this weekend, as always. For now, stay cool and be well.
This post is sponsored by the GreenLife brand. All opinions are my own, and I think this bakeware is pretty awesome. You can learn more about GreenLife products, purchase online, or find GreenLife near you here. Thanks for your support!