The best part about this recipe is it's unbelievably easy to substitute for allergies or dietary preferences. I'll give you a few variations, plus the details on how I made this batch dairy and gluten free.
One of my littles is a huge fan of chocolate, another loves vanilla. I'm a huge fan of the entire Enjoy Life brand because they are so allergy friendly, and we have always used their chocolate chips.
I typically buy them, along with many of my other dry packaged goods, from Vitacost because their prices are really affordable. Most importantly, they deliver in 2-3 days and delivery services are a major part of my busy life. There's always a pile of boxes at the door filled with healthy staples for our household. Vitacost also has this awesome refer a friend program, which I've shared with so many people already! Here's a link for mine. Won't you be my healthy friend? https://goo.gl/9JPbAu
Ok, back on track. One day my sweet middle child who loves when I call him Birdie said, "Mommy? When can we have vanilla chips?" I knew this would be a challenge to find something already made that's dairy free, an absolute requirement for us. I was scouring the internet for recipes on how to make my own when a friend shared a link to these by King David. One day I'll get around to trying my own healthy recipe -maybe when there's an extra hour in each day, but for now I'll stick to these tasty treasures. They're a perfect addition to this recipe.
1/4c vegan butter (I use Earth Balance soy free in the red package.)
1/2c coconut palm sugar
1 flax egg (1T ground flax + 3T water)
1t baking soda
1t baking powder
1/2t pink Himalayan salt
1/2t each cardamom, clove and nutmeg
1 1/2c flour (white, wheat, 50/50, oat flour or this amazing recipe for GF flour from A Little Insanity all work perfectly. I use what I have.)
1/2c white chocolate chips (GF folks, this brand is same facility)
Preheat the oven to 375. If your oven has a convection oven, I recommend it. Especially if gluten free. Ours seems to bake more evenly this way. Stir the flax and water in a ramekin or small bowl and set aside. You should use a spoon. Don't get lazy and try to swirl the ramekin around to mix it or you might make a mess like I did. While that's resting, mix your sugar and pumpkin. Once that's blended, stir in the melted vegan butter. Add in the baking soda, baking powder and salt and give it a quick whisk.
Now, my favorite part: the spices. Dump 'em in and don't forget to take a deep breath. It smells so good! Add the flour and whisk until just blended, just a minute or two. It won't look smooth, but you won't see the white color of the flour.
Add the white chips and blend just until mixed. Absolutely do not dump chips directly out of the bag and into your mouth. It's a terrible example of healthy living in front of your children, plus if they see you do it you'll have to share. If your kids aren't home and the bag accidentally dumps in your mouth, then hey. I won't judge. I also don't recommend blogging pictures of yourself dumping chips in your mouth before your kids are in bed. I just got caught, and I heard some mumbled statements about how I have all the fun when they're in school.
Spoon the batter into your muffin tin. The entire bowl of batter fills either a standard 12 muffin tin or 24 mini muffins. We always do mini. If I have time, I stick a few chips on top to make them pretty. If there's a toddler hanging on my legs or kids screaming that they're starving, I skip this step. Tasty food isn't always pretty.
Bake them in the oven for 20-30 min. I start checking with a toothpick in a center muffin after 20 min. White or wheat flour are done for me in 20. Oat flour or the gluten free mix takes about 30. So, do you want to know the best part about vegan baking? It's totally ok to lick the bowl while your muffins cook. I encourage it. We don't want that tasty batter to go to waste. Enjoy!