Vegan Oatmeal Crumble Muffins

As you know from a couple of posts ago, I have been decluttering my kitchen. Part of this decluttering comes in the form of going through magazines and recipes and pulling out pages of things that I realistically think I will make; you know, instead of  the recipes I will make in my imaginary life of hosting extravagant dinner parties every Saturday night.

The second part of decluttering is making use of what I already have in my pantry/fridge/freezer. 

Since the weather was less than average on Saturday, I spent some time indoors going through some old Cook's Illustrated magazines to tear out recipes I plan to make and stumbled upon an oatmeal muffin recipe. The only problem was, I didn't have any milk or eggs. I decided to improvise and veganize these muffins which resulted in two positives for me: 1. avoiding an unnecessary trip to the grocery store and 2. making them a little bit healthier (read: less saturated fat). Turns out, swapping the butter for coconut oil, flax eggs for the eggs, and cashew milk for the regular milk resulted in a pretty tasty muffin (the hubs went back for 2 in the same day). 

Even though these muffins are healthier (-er being the key syllable), they should still be consumed in moderation. They contain more sugar than something I would consider good-to-eat everyday breakfast. That being said, they are the perfect thing to bring to butter up (er, coconut oil up...) your coworkers on Monday morning or to make for a special treat once in a while. 

If any of you are familiar with America's Test Kitchen, you know that sometimes their recipes call fo additional fussy steps but they are usually 100% worth it. In this recipe, they call for toasting the oats in some coconut oil before processing them into the flour. Additionally, once the batter is mixed, you must let it sit for 20 minutes at room temperature to thicken. While I personally didn't test the muffins without these extra steps, I know I can trust that ATK did the necessary testing so I'm trusting them on this one.  

Vegan Oatmeal Crumble Muffin

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Makes 12 muffins

TOPPING:

1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats

1/3 cup (1 2/3 ounces) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup pecans, chopped fine

1/3 cup packed (2 1/3 ounces) light brown sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

MUFFINS:

2 tablespoons ground flax seed mixed with 6 tablespoons water (2 flax eggs)

2 tablespoons coconut oil, plus 6 tablespoons melted

2 cups (6 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats

1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/3 cups packed (9 1/3 ounces) light brown sugar

1 3/4 cups cashew milk

1. FOR THE TOPPING: Combine oats, flour, pecans, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl. Drizzle melted coconut oil over mixture and stir to thoroughly combine; set aside. 

2. FOR THE MUFFINS: Grease and flour 12-cup muffin tin. Melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add oats and cook, stirring frequently, until oats turn golden brown and smell of cooking popcorn, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer oats to food processor and process into fine meal, about 30 seconds. Add flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to oats and pulse until combined, about 10 pulses. 

3. Combine flax seed and water in a small bowl, set aside. Stir 6 tablespoons melted coconut oil and sugar together in large bowl until smooth. Add cashew milk and flax eggs and whisk until smooth. Using whisk, gently fold half of oat mixture into wet ingredients, tapping whisk against side of bowl to release clumps. Add remaining oat mixture and continue to fold with whisk until no streaks of flour remain. Set aside batter for 20 minutes to thicken. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. 

4. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (about 1/2 cup batter per cup; cups will be filled to rim). Evenly sprinkle topping over muffins (about 2 tablespoons per muffin). Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out cleans, 25 to 35 minutes, rotating muffin tin halfway through baking. 

5. Let muffins cool in muffin tin on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove muffins from muffin tin and serve or let cool completely before serving.