It has taken me a long time to get my head around vegan baking, so I was particularly pleased to master this dairy and egg free muffins recipe. I wanted a low sugar muffin that could be used in a lunchbox, and something which could be frozen and defrosted as needed. Crucially, I needed something that was quick and easy to make!
This is adapted from a standard sweet vegan muffin recipe, with the sugar and maple syrup cut right down and courgette added in, which works really well to keep the muffins moist. It’s a nice way to sneak a bit of extra veg in!
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Is it difficult to make vegan muffins?
Dairy and egg free baking is no more difficult than traditional baking, as long as you know the tricks. Now that I do, I find it straightforward – but I must admit I had a few disasters in the early days! I have included all these tips within the recipe, so if you follow that you should have success. I have also got a whole post on tips for a successful vegan bake which you might find useful.
These courgette muffins are dairy free and egg free. They are also:
- Nut free
- Soy free
- In fact the only top 14 allergen they contain is gluten. It’s on my To Do list to trial these using gluten free flour, so if anyone does give it a go please let me know in the comments!
A healthy lunchbox filler
My main aim for this recipe was to add a bit of variation to my son’s school lunchbox*. It’s so easy to get into a sandwich rut! These courgette muffins are lower in sugar than a standard muffin, plus I kept them nut free as so many schools require that now. I tend to serve with some kind of protein on the side (leftover cooked salmon or chicken for example, or a bean salad as a vegan option), plus some cucumber sticks and sliced cherry tomatoes.
Are these courgette muffins suitable for babies?
In my experience, muffins are perfect for baby-led weaning; soft enough to be easily chewed, but sturdy enough for little hands to grab. The sugar and maple syrup can be adjusted up or down, depending on how sweet you want the muffins to be and the age of your child. For baby-led weaning, the quantities can be cut right down.
Dairy and egg free muffins are great for batch cooking and freezing
When you have children with allergies, it can start to feel like cooking is taking over your life! My best tip to reclaiming some time is to always make extra and freeze the leftovers for another day. These muffins are really great for this – you can easily double up the batch, and they freeze well. Plus, they only take a couple of hours to defrost, so you can even grab one out of the freezer first thing and it’ll be ready by lunchtime.
Looking for more dairy and egg free lunch box filler ideas? Here are some of my favourites:
- Vegan sweet potato bread sticks
- Carrot cornbread (vegan and gluten free)
- Slices of dairy free pizza with store cupboard toppings
- Serving dairy free yogurt in reusable pouches* works well; see my post on the best dairy and soy free yogurts for info on which are low in sugar and fortified with calcium
- And for sandwiches, check out my ultimate list of dairy and soya free sliced bread options!
Dairy and egg free muffins – with sneaky courgette!
- 280 g self raising flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 30 g dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 medium sized courgette (around 170g before grating)
- 175 ml oat milk (or plant based milk of your choice)
- 160 ml rapeseed or olive oil
- 50 ml maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Preheat your oven to 180ºc / 160ºc fan and add cases to a muffin tray. I always use silicone cases; as well as being reusable, I never have problems with them sticking to the muffin when it’s time for eating!
- Add the dry ingredients (self raising flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon) to a large bowl and stir them together until they are well combined.
- Grate your courgette and give it a really good squeeze over the sink or an empty bowl to get rid of the excess moisture. This is an important step – I have forgotten before and ended up with a soggy mess at the end!
- Mix the oat milk, oil, maple syrup and vanilla essence in a bowl or jug, then add this and the grated courgette to the dry ingredients. With vegan baking it is important to work quickly once the wet ingredients have been added. Mix it together for around 10 seconds, just enough to combine everything but being careful not to over mix; it doesn’t matter if some lumps remain.
- Bang the bowl on the worktop and you may see some bubbles rise to the top – this stops the raising agents working too quickly. Then divide the mixture between the 10 muffin cases and get it straight into the oven.
- Bake for around 25 minutes. Remove once they are lightly browned on top, and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 mins in the muffin tray and then move to a wire rack.
- If you or your child has an allergy, always double check that the recipe and all of the components are suitable. This includes checking ‘may contain’ statements on each ingredient and making your own assessment of risk based on personal circumstances.
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