Baking really is all about the stories, nothing can bring back memories better than a taste or a smell. When I was little, I always remember picking up fallen pecans down in our backyard with the anticipation of my mom's homemade pecan pie. We would come back with buckets and buckets full, it would take us months to get them all shelled, one shell at a time. Although these muffins are no way near my mom's pecan pie, the smell still brings it back to me.
In order to prevent compromising flavor for texture, I decided to add pecan flour and pecan butter to create the perfect amount of moisture. Pecans already have some natural sweetness that really takes these beauties over the edge! Pecans also have been known to boost brain function, as I have said before. The best part about these muffins though, it that they are both vegan and low carb, which is really hard to come by. Low carb flours usually require egg to serve as a binder, but this recipe defies all odds! Vegans usually eat a lot of carbs, even though they are good carbs, it is nice to change it up a bit. These muffins are also packed with healthy fats, which hold an array of benefits from heart health to the fight against depression. Is there ever a more delicious way to enjoy pecans?
Hearty Pecan Muff-Cakes
1 1/4 cups pecan meal*
1/3 cup oat flour (ground from GF rolled oats, I have also found that buckwheat works good too)
1/3 cup coconut flour
2 tbs ground flax seed meal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (to help with the leavening)
1 extra ripe banana, throughly mashed
2 tbs maple syrup
1/2 cup almond milk (or another nut milk) + 2 tbs more if needed
1/4 cup homemade pecan butter*
extra chopped pecans for the topping + some pecan halves
Pre heat the oven to 350F degrees.
Make your pecan flour (instructions below), and add it to a bowl along with all the other dry ingredients, stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, combine the almond milk and pecan butter, then gently whisk them together. Next, add in the banana and maple syrup, adding the vinegar last, then continue to thoroughly whisk the mixture. Carefully stir together the wet and dry bowls. If the mixture seems too dry, add in the additional 2 tbs almond milk.
Now, pour the batter into paper lined muffin tins and finish them off with the leftover crumbled pecans and one large half if desired. Bake the muffins for about 20 - 25 minutes (you will be able to smell them)! Enjoy!
*For the pecan flour I simply threw a scant 1 1/4 cups shelled pecans into my high speed blender (or food processor if you prefer) and pulsed them until they resembled a course flour. Be careful not to make butter, it really only takes a few seconds. It should resemble wet sand.
*For the pecan butter I used about 2 cups shelled pecans, roasted them for about 30 minutes a 350F degrees and processed them in the food processor for about 5-7 minutes. You can store the leftovers in a glass jar inside the fridge for months. It also tastes divine on fresh toast or with an apple. You can also buy this specialty butter at health food stores, but they are very expensive and I have found that making it is Much-Much cheaper!