I recently was entered into another online blogger recipe challenge through Lang’s Chocolates so I have been busy coming up with fun recipes to enter. No joke, I actually stayed up until 3am one night because I had so many different ideas firing around in my head. Although there are 3 categories (baked goods and desserts, marinades and sauces, and entrees) I opted to stick with my forte (desserts) and focused all of my energy on coming up with a fun creation. Part of the fun with these challenges is that they (the sponsors) really want you to put yourself into the recipe. They want the entries to be original and to showcase your own unique twist. And anyone who knows me knows that I am all about that. So the only catch with this blogger challenge is that we have to incorporate allulose into the recipe (check it out here).
So what is allulose, you may ask? This is actually the main reason I wanted to partake in this challenge. If you are familiar with Quest Nutrition then you may have heard about allulose. Some of their more recent products contain this mystery ingredient. Allulose is basically a type of sweetener that is not metabolized so it doesn’t have the same effects on the body as, say, table sugar aka sucrose.
And because it is not metabolized like regular sugar, it does not have the same effects on blood sugar levels making it a safer alternative for those dealing with diabetes. It is naturally present in foods like figs, dates, and jackfruit and has also been shown to behave similarly to regular sugar in baking applications so it won’t affect your end products any differently. For me personally, however, I found that I preferred a mix of allulose and brown sugar rather than just using all allulose in place of all of the sugar. I tried a version of these muffins (and a few other recipes) using just allulose but I found that a 50/50 split of allulose and brown sugar yielded the best results in my end products.
Ok, so onto the main event. So I admit, I originally had a heck of a time getting my recipes to cooperate for this challenge. I had so many other recipe ideas I tested out and they were all fails. I tend to go through these weird phases where I will be on a roll with my recipe ideas and can’t seem to find enough hours in the day to get through all my ideas. And then I’ll hit this wall. Where nothing I make turns out. And usually I just have to ride it out until it passes. But then this recipe challenge came about. So I thought “oh, this will be a good way to get me out of my funk”. Yeah, not so much lol But then finally success!
So my entry for the blogger challenge – Summer strawberry lemonade poke muffins. I know we’re moving into Fall and pumkpin spice everything territory so this is sort of a “bon voyage to summer” recipe.
I, of course, couldn’t just make a regular muffin for this challenge. I had to make it fun and unique somehow. So I opted to not only make these vegan but also poke muffins for a nice little extra burst of flavor (and color)! Same concept as a poke cake but in muffin form! The base muffin is super moist with a hint of lemon flavor which is offset by the vegan strawberry jello poked throughout. I used agar agar flakes for the jello to keep it vegan. I have made this recipe countless times over the last few weeks with various flavor combos and this was my favorite! However, I will also be posting the other flavor combos I tried in another blog post so watch for that in the future 🙂
(Vegan) strawberry lemonade poke muffins – makes 6
– 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
– 1/4 cup keystone pantry allulose
⁃ 1/4 cup brown sugar (double check that your brown sugar is vegan – not all are)
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tbsp lemon juice
– 6 tbsp canola oil
– 1 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees f and spray 6 muffin liners. In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Add wet ingredients and mix just until a batter forms. Divide evenly amongst liners (about 1/3 cup each)then bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool completely then poke a few holes into the top of each cupcake with a straw. Set aside to prepare the Jell-O.
For the vegan jello:
⁃ 1/2 cup cut strawberries
⁃ 1/2 cup water
⁃ 1 tbsp lemon juice
⁃ 1 tbsp sugar
⁃ 2 tbsp agar agar flakes
In a blender, blend strawberries and lemon juice until puréed. Pour into a measuring cup and add 1/2 cup water. The combined mixture should equal about 1 cup. Add to a small pot and stir in sugar and agar flakes. Stir over medium heat until mixture starts to boil. Spoon mixture into the holes of the cupcakes, careful not to overfill. Add just enough to fill the holes. You may have a little leftover. Place in the fridge for a few hours to “set” then top with coco whip before serving.
Lang’s Chocolates: www.langschocolates.com