There are two things I love in the world. Millet and pumpkin. Okay, that’s a lie, but they do rank high on my list of favorite foods. Weird, right? I actually think the first time I had millet was only a couple of months ago, I was skeptical because I had only seen it before as a treat for a pet bird… and I hate birds. But that’s yet another post…
I found this recipe quite randomly, I have had a nature muffin at Stone Creek Coffee (a Milwaukee-area coffee shop) quite a few times in the past because it is delicious. It is filled with different seeds (no nuts) and I just love the crunch that the millet, in particular, gives it. I haven’t checked with Stone Creek for the ingredient list of the muffin… I assume it contains dairy but I still think I might rather not know and still splurge on it once in awhile :). Although after tasting these I am not so sure I’d need to…
I decided to search for a recipe that could possibly replicate the taste, or at least the texture of the nature muffin and found this recipe for Pumpkin and Millet Muffins from Whole Foods. I decided to healthify it more, as well as veganize it.
Pumpkin Millet Muffins
- 1/2 cup millet
- 1 flax egg (1T ground flax + 2T warm water, let sit for 5 minutes and whisk together. Can also sub a real egg)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or non-dairy/dairy milk of your choice)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, natural applesauce
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/4 cup agave syrup (could also sub honey or maple syrup, or leave it out altogether)
- 1 cup spelt flour (whole wheat pastry could also work, or flour of your choice)
- 60g (~1/3c) oat bran*
- 60g (~2/3c) oat flour (blend up 1/2c or so old-fashioned oats)*
- 1t baking powder
- 1/2t baking soda
- 1/2t salt
- 1/2t cinnamon
- 1/4t ground nutmeg
- 1/4t ground cloves
*I changed up the flour in this recipe quite a bit. It called for 1 cup white and 1 cup wheat. I decided to go with 1 cup spelt flour (good to use if you have a wheat intolerance), and then for the second cup, I weighed out oat bran and oat flour to equal the weight of what a cup of normal flour would be (I read this tip somewhere and it seemed to work really well!). If you want to simplify it, you can just use 2 cups of flour, but it was really tasty this way!
Preheat your oven to 400*. I used by NEW silicon baking cups from Crate & Barrel for this – love them!
Toast the millet. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat, add the millet and stir every once in awhile to toast the millet until they just start to pop (3-4 minutes). Transfer the millet somewhere to cool.
In a large bowl, mix together the flax egg, almond milk, applesauce, pumpkin and agave. In another bowl, whisk all of the dry ingredients together and add the cooled millet. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mix until it’s all incorporated. Scoop the mix into 12 muffin cups (it fills them up quite a bit!) and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the muffin comes out clean. These are very moist muffins because of the pumpkin and applesauce, but you don’t really have to worry about them being underbaked a little since there are no unpasteurized ingredients in the recipe.
I am a firm believer that pumpkin should be eaten year-round (it’s not just a fall food people), but I have heard hints of a pumpkin shortage, so if you cannot find it in your local store feel free to substitute mashed butternut squash, sweet potato, a mashed banana, those sorts of things.
These were INCREDIBLE. I was a little skeptical since I changed so much of the recipe, but they turned out perfectly! I loved the little crunch the millet gave them and they were not heavy at all since there was NO added fat! I might cut down or even eliminate the agave next time. I don’t think they really benefitted from the sweetness, and you could always drizzle some on the top after they are out of the oven if you like the sweetness. I smeared a little bit of earth balance vegan spread on mine – so good!
I had to keep a close eye on the birds when photographing these… didn’t want them to get any ideas :/.