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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 The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook by Cathe Olson

1 c rolled oats
1/4 c almonds
1 c whole wheat, spelt, or barley flour (I used spelt)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 c raisins
1 c mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 bananas)
egg replacer for 1 egg
1/3 c oil
3 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1/4 c plain nondairy yogurt

Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly oil muffin tins. In food processor or blender, grind oats and nuts to a course meal. Transfer to a mixing bowl and whisk in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Stir in raisins. Beat remaining ingredients together until smooth. Add to oat mixture and stir just until mixed. Pour batter into prepared tins. Bake 20 minutes, or until tops are firm to the touch.

I had some bananas sitting on my counter turning spotty and brown faster than we could eat them. I thought banana bread, but then I saw this recipe, and since I was kind of on a muffin kick…
These muffins would most definitely fall into the health muffin variety. Little dense morsels of molassesy goodness, I’ll tell you what. There was no need for Earth Balance here, and I could have eaten three or four of these in a sitting. Molasses is a sweetener that’s actually quite good for you- supplying vitamins and minerals, and almonds are a superfood! I think they’d be really good with wee apple chunks in them, as the banana flavor was very subtle. These would be the perfect muffin to keep in your freezer for quick weekday breakfasts or snacks, especially for pregnant vegans looking to up their iron and vitamin B intake. Notice that there is no refined sugar- Guilt free, right?

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