Easy 30-Minute Zero-Waste Vegan Muffins
Don’t have a lot of time but want to keep your sweet craving environmentally conscientious? How do some easy 30-minute vegan muffins with chocolate chips sound?
Ever since having a kid, I always feel like there isn’t enough time in my day. And lately I’ve been really feeling it. But who’s life isn’t feeling a bit crazy right now? So I’ve been seeking more ways to use my time as efficiently as possible. And let’s face it, trying to keep your waste down in these times is tough!
It’s so tempting to start going for the pre-made meals, eating out, and packaged snacks. Believe me I understand. So I’ve been looking for easy and quick recipes that are sustainable, inexpensive, and also healthy for my family and yours.
So if you are looking for a great on-the-go snack, healthy dessert, or high-fiber breakfast, these vegan muffins with chocolate chips might be what you are looking for! It’s a basic muffin recipe so it’s easily customizable and made with sustainable ingredients that can all be found in bulk. These easy vegan muffins are zero-waste, healthy, quick, and seriously addictive.
A Few Suggestions for a Zero Waste and Minimalist Baker
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I am one of those poor souls trapped with using a tiny kitchen in a cookie cutter apartment. You know what I am talking about. It’s one of those kitchens with very little counter space and barely enough room for two people to work in. In fact, we avoid being in there at the same time since we just trip over each other getting around.
I was already a minimalist when it came to my kitchen appliances. But this setup has made me find a way to trim it down even more. So I love it when I can use one appliance for many different functions. One such item is my high-performance Vitamix blender. This thing is like my Swiss Army knife of kitchen appliances. It acts as a blender, food processor, juicer (with pulp), and heating element all in one. In short, I highly recommend it.
However, I have been hearing really good things about the Blendtec Total Classic blender (affiliate link) as well and the price is comparable (or possibly cheaper) to the Vitamix. However, there are many good choices on the market so I suggest you do your research first before buying. If you are looking for ways to pare down you clutter, a high-performance blender like this is a worthy investment. The only downside is these puppies aren’t cheap. But they are worth every penny!
The other item I recommend buying if you don’t already have one is either a silicone muffin pan (affiliate link) or silicone muffin cups (affiliate link). Either of these will do the job and both will greatly diminish waste (and save you money too). Short of that, you can buy an aluminum muffin pan (affiliate link) and grease the cups just like grandma did.
Please avoid using standard paper baking cups as these pollute our waterways with chlorine and other chemicals that are used to increase heat tolerance and as a release agent. If You Care (affiliate link) brand of baking cups are chlorine-free and lined with silicone instead of quilon (chrome based chemical used as a release agent). And silicone is non-toxic when incinerated.
Tips for Making Vegan Muffins
These vegan muffins are incredibly easy and straightforward to whip up. But after many experiments, some mistakes, and dozens of muffins later, I figured out how to make these the best vegan muffins ever! So, as always, here are some pointers I’ve discovered while putting together this recipe that I’d like to share with you. Especially if you are new to vegan baking.
- This recipe uses flax eggs. If you are new to vegan baking, flax eggs are a wonderful alternative to chicken eggs in baking. They are zero waste and easy to make. All you need is 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed and 3 tablespoons of filtered water. Mix that together and let it sit for at least 15 mins. My post on how to make flax eggs might be helpful if you’d like to know more.
- Since flax eggs need some time to set, I find it best to mix the flax eggs first. By the time you preheat the oven, grease the muffin pan, mix the dry ingredients, and measure out everything else, it’s usually ready to go.
- Coconut oil is my absolute preferred oil for baking. If you’ve tried any of my other recipes, you know I use it a lot! Normally, it’s the only oil I need and it works wonderfully by itself in this recipe. But I would suggest that you do not store them in the fridge! The cold will dry them out.
- However, I found I liked these vegan muffins a bit more when I used a blend of 4 tbsp. coconut oil and 4 tbsp. of another light oil. I have used both peanut and almond oil and loved the results. But I would bet that avocado oil would work really well too. If you are allergic to or don’t like coconut oil, you can substitute it out entirely with another oil. Just make sure that what oil you use has a flashpoint of 400F or higher.
- This recipe calls for using hemp milk. Hemp milk is my absolute favorite non-diary milk out there. It is one of the most sustainable crops on the planet much more than almonds or soy. The hemp plant is very hardy, needs low pesticides and little water, replenishes soil, and is a very nutrient dense food. Plus, it makes a rich and creamy milk that tastes better than almond or soy milk (in my opinion). I personally have not used any other non-dairy milk for this recipe. However, I would bet that any other milk would work just as well.
- For the sake of the environment, I would suggest making you’re own hemp milk. It’s takes less than 5 minutes to make and requires no filtering. If you choose to buy a store brand, I would recommend that you buy one with a little sweetener in it (roughly around 12 grams). If you get an unsweetened hemp milk just keep in mind that the muffins will be a tad bit less sweet than intended.
- I rarely use baking powder so I’m still sitting on a can I bought awhile ago. I’m not sure if it is available in bulk to be honest. But I do know that baking powder is a mix of baking soda and cream of tartar. And those items can be found in bulk. If you’d like to make your own baking powder it’s 2 teaspoons cream of tartar and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. That should give you the full tablespoon you need.
- Sour milk is just a fancy way of saying you need an acid in your recipe. I always used sour milk as a replacement for buttermilk when I baked non-vegan food. I found it works just as well. So I just traded out dairy milk for hemp milk instead. The best way to make sour milk is add 1 tablespoon of vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar) or lemon juice to a measuring cup and then fill the rest with hemp milk to get the full cup. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and you are good to go. Because it needs a minute to sit I usually put this together after I preheat the oven.
- This recipe uses coconut sugar. It has a few health benefits that cane sugar lacks. But more importantly, coconut sugar is a much more sustainable sweetener than cane sugar. According to WWF, sugarcane is one of the most destructive crops on the planet. This crop is greatly responsible for loss of biodiversity, deforestation, and destruction of coral reefs. It also needs a lot of water to grow. In fact, it takes about 9 gallons of water to get 1 teaspoon of sugar. Because of this, I am trying to trade out all of my recipe to use coconut sugar instead. But with that being said, you can substitute it out for light brown sugar at the same amount if you desire.
- For some foods, it isn’t necessary to grease a silicone pan or cup but for this recipe I suggest doing it. And of course do this if you are using a metal pan. All you need is a cloth and a little solid coconut oil. I have dedicated cloths that I use just for this purpose. Afterwards I soak them with some soap and hot water, rinse, and hang to dry. Done!
Let’s make some awesome muffins!
Looking for other zero (or low) waste and vegan sweets? You might want to check out my vegan anise avocado cookies, vegan chai milkshake, coconut macadamia granola with blueberries, spicy maple and rosemary pumpkin seeds, peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, and vegan avocado fudgy brownies!
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to see your awesome creation! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to hashtag a photo on Instagram #sustainablesauceresses!
Or if you have any questions or feedback, you are always welcome to leave me a comment below. I’d really love to hear from you!
Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Blender or Mixer
- 12-Cup Silicone Muffin Pan or 12 Silicone Muffin Cups
- Medium Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Cup and Spoons
- Wooden Spoon
- 2 cups whole wheat or unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. pink himalayan or sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
- 2 flax eggs
- 1 cup sour milk
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar
- 8 tbsp. melted coconut oil or other light oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
Flax Eggs (makes 1 egg)
- 1 tbsp. ground flax seed (also called flax meal)
- 3 tbsp. filtered water
- 1 cup hemp milk ( -1 tbsp.) *
- 1 tbsp. apple cidar vinegar or lemon juice *
- Preheat oven to 400F or 204C.
- Lightly grease the muffin pan with coconut oil.
- Mix your flax seeds and water in a small bowl. Set aside for at least 15 mins.
- In a glass measuring cup pour your apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and fill the rest with hemp milk until you get a full cup. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk your dry ingredients and set aside.
- In the blender or mixer add the flax eggs, sour milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat on high for about a minute.
- Add the sugar and mix on the lowest setting until well blended.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture.
- With a wooden spoon, lightly mix into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Do not overmix; batter should not be smooth.
- Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
- Immediately divide the batter among the muffin cups. Try to work as quickly as possible.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in 1 to 2 muffins comes out clean.
- Let cool for 2-3 minutes before removing from pan.
- Let the muffins finish cooling on a cooling rack for about 30 mins.
- Transfer to a sealed container. Best for about 2-3 days.
Did you give this recipe a try?