Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Vegan Chocolate Chip Apple Muffins

One of my October goals was to use my juicer. I had several apples leftover from the farmers' market that didn't taste that great, so I figured juicing them and making apple juice would be perfect. Unfortunately, I never made time to juice them in October so I wasn't able to cross that off my goals list. But luckily for me, those apples stayed good through the first week of November. This past Sunday morning, to complement Lauren's bomb brunch, I finally brought out my juicer and made apple juice!

I received my juicer for Christmas two years ago, but haven't really used it that much. One of the main reasons this appliance has gone unused for so long is because I hate the idea of wasting so much good fruit. Yes the juice tastes awesome, but you end up having to throw away so much of the healthy, fibrous leftover pulp. I knew there had to be some way to use the leftover pulp so I hopped onto Pinterest and searched for "vegan pulp recipes". After some research, I was very excited to learn that there are tons of recipes to use up the beloved pulp. Fruit pulp works the best in most recipes because it's typically sweet and adds a flavorful element to whatever you're making. Apple pulp especially works well because it almost mimics applesauce. I had four apples to use up, but I had absolutely no idea how much pulp I'd be leftover with. So, I found several recipes to use up an undetermined amount of pulp.
The first recipe I tried was for chocolate chip pulp muffins. I mostly followed the recipe, but I make a few changes. Even though she specifically says not to use all whole wheat flour because the muffins would be too dense, I did this anyway. I'm a rebel, but mostly I wanted to make my muffins semi-healthier. I also added a little extra apple pulp (4 apples makes slightly over 1 cup of pulp) because I had so much to use. I think because I used all whole wheat flour and added extra pulp my batter ended up being a tad thicker, so I also added an extra few splashes of almond milk to combat this problem. I left out the nutmeg and cardamon because I didn't have any on hand, and didn't add any coconut or nuts either. Lastly, although I firmly believe that chocolate chips are an essential component of the food pyramid, I cut back on them for this recipe. I didn't want the chocolate to overpower the apple flavor, and since I eat chocolate chips in my oatmeal every morning for breakfast, my diet definitely does not lack this extraordinary ingredient.

So, what's the verdict? Well, I must admit these muffins are pretty good! They're still a little dry for me, but Lauren didn't have a problem with the consistency. If I were to make them again though, I'd probably add a tad more almond milk. I also baked them a little too long even though I took them out of the oven 5 minutes earlier than the directions called for. I baked them for 25 minutes, but I think around 20 minutes would have been perfect (again, this could be because of how I altered the recipe). I couldn't taste the apple flavor that much which was fine, so the chocolate chips were a good addition for flavor purposes.
These muffins make a great snack or a delicious breakfast (I ate 2 of them this morning!). I no longer fear wasting pulp when I juice because I know that the leftover pulp can easily be added into various recipes. I think this muffin recipe would be pretty good regardless of which kind of fruit pulp you add. I'm not quite sure how great of an addition vegetable pulp would be, but I guess it doesn't hurt to try.