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from The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook by Cathe Olson

1 c chopped dried apricots
1 1/2 c boiling water
1/4 c maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or agave nectar
1/4 c oil
1 c apricot soak water
1/4 c orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 c wheat germ
1 c walnuts, chopped

Place apricots in heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over apricots and let sit about 15 minutes. Drain apricots, reserving 1 cup of the soak water.

Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a loaf pan. Beat together sweetener, oil, apricot soak water, orange juice, and vanilla. In separate bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Stir in wheat germ. Stir in liquid ingredients until just mixed. Gently fold in apricots and nuts. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, or until tester inserted in center of loaf comes out dry. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. For added flavor and moistness, wrap loaf and let sit overnight. Makes 1 loaf

Here’s one for the health nut in you. The sugar addict in you might have some trouble with it though, as might the fat addict. This is a really good breakfast bread. Topped with coconut oil (a THICK layer, mind you), it’s a cozy way to get your day going, alongside a cup of coffee. I do recommend wrapping it though; it needs all the added moistness it can get. The chewiness of the apricot along with the soft crunch of the walnut is what I enjoyed most about this dense bread. The orange juice gives it a little touch of sweetness, though I’d definitely be disappointed if you served me this for dessert. Unless it had a big scoop of Coconut Bliss on top of it.

from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

1 c vanilla soy milk
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1/4 c canola oil
1/4 c agave nectar or pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 c all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c almond meal or almond flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/4 c cooked quinoa
1/2 c finely chopped dried apricots or currants

Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease a non-stick 12-cup muffin tin.

In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the soy milk and ground flaxseed. Allow to sit for 1  minute, then whisk in oil, agave nectar and vanilla.

In a separate large bowl, sift together flour, almond meal, baking soda (What?!? It’s not listed in the ingredients; I didn’t add it. Maybe that’s why the muffins are dainty? Next time I might add a 1/2 tsp.), baking powder, salt, and spices. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until just incorporated. Gently fold in the quinoa and the apricots and mix until only the large lumps are gone.

Pour into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 20 to 22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

Yummmmmmm. For a self-proclaimed health muffin, these are really tasty. Have you met quinoa (pronounced keen-wah)? It’s this great grain that’s high in protein, with a somewhat nutty flavor and great texture. It brought to these muffins what a poppyseed dreams of… texture, fiber AND speckles! I cook quinoa in my rice cooker, after rinsing it thoroughly; it does cook a little faster than rice, especially if you find the wee tiny quinoa. There are different varieties, and they are all wonderful. I used a red kind here.
These were pretty easy to make… have you met a difficult muffin? I was excited to use almond meal, which was new to me. Almonds are my favorite food, making this new ingredient much less scary. I think next time I might add some almond extract though, because the almond flour just wasn’t enough! Paired with apricots… so tasty. These muffins were pretty dense (perhaps due to the lack of baking soda?) and a little chewy (in a good way, thanks apricot and quinoa!). Mike ate three of them for dessert last night. I think I need to see if I can find a mega muffin tin. Shutterbean, thanks for your muffin request. Ask and you shall receive. xoxo