Archived Story

Go bananas!

Published 9:58am Thursday, May 15, 2014

I spent the night with my parents in Michigan last Satur-day night. When I came downstairs on Mother’s Day morning, my mom had coffee and a recipe ready for me.

One of my very favorite things to do is work in the kitchen with my mom, so I was thrilled that she wanted to start her Mother’s Day baking with her only daughter.

She had actually planned on starting the muffins before I got up, but the recipe was for traditional muffins, and she couldn’t find her EngerG Egg Replacer powder. She was lost as to how to make the muffins without it.

I really value egg replacer, and think it’s important to keep around, especially if you’re new to vegan baking like my mom. However, it actually is not my favorite egg substitute, especially for muffins and breakfast breads. I actually use it more for binding breading and seasoning to tofu and the like.

I explained to my mom that all we needed to do was add extra bananas or some applesauce to make up for the moisture the egg was providing.

This recipe was already designed to be a healthier version of traditional muffins, calling for cholesterol-free vegetable oil rather than butter, and applesauce rather than lots of eggs and sugar.

I used the recipe as a base, made about four simple changes and voila, a simple, delicious brunch recipe with a healthy twist.

Changing a couple ingredients is a really easy way for those of you at home to health-up or veganize some of your favorite breakfast baked-goods recipes.

In our case, as in most novice vegan baking, the egg was the only stumper. I explained to my mom that an average egg equals about a ¼ cup of moisture, so if you’re making sweet bread, muffins, or even some types of cake, all you have to do is add a ¼ cup of bananas, applesauce, or soy milk. For a complete vegan baking egg substitute guide, please visit my website: under the, “from our kitchen to yours tab” and search vegan baking.

Increasing the applesauce by a ¼ cup worked perfectly. The result was a batch of scrumptious little muffins that we didn’t have to feel guilty about eating before heading to our fancy brunch.

That’s one of the best things about vegan baking, you can indulge without feeling terrible. Lighter sweets, who doesn’t love that?

Mom’s Banana Nut Muffins

Yield: 1 dozen muffins

2 cups ripe bananas, frozen then thawed and mashed (keep the liquid from defrosting)

½ teaspoon vanilla

¾ cup unsweetened, natural applesauce

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup canola oil

1 ¾ cup whole wheat, spelt,or buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 pinch sea salt

½ cup chopped walnuts (optional, pecans work well too)


1. In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the bananas, vanilla, applesauce, maple syrup, and oil. Blend well with a wire whisk or the whisk attachment.

2. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt. When fully combined, slowly beat into the wet ingredients until just moistened. Fold in the nuts.

3. Preheat oven to 325. Line muffin tin with cupcake papers, or spray with nonstick, natural baking spray. These muffins don’t rise much, so you can fill the cups nearly full. There should be exactly enough batter for a dozen muffins.

4. Bake for about 30 minutes, depending on your oven, or until golden brown on top and a cake tester or toothpick comes out of the center clean.

5. Serve plain or slathered with natural peanut butter or vegan margarine.

Kat Barry, a St. Joseph, Michigan native, is owner of Kat’s Hot Cakes vegan catering, and co author of “The New Chicago Diner Cookbook: Meat Free Recipes from America’s Veggie Diner.” She also develops recipes for, where you can find over 30 of her vegan instructional cooking videos. She is also a certified yoga instructor. Kat currently resides in Chicago, and in her free time she enjoys practicing yoga, sampling local spirits, listening to live music, and getting outdoors. Follow @katshotcakes on twitter. Kat can be reached via email at:

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