Get ready...these muffins are good, real good, as in, everyone you know will like them and squeal with delight as they throw on their yoga pants and put a bun in their hair as they run over to your house when you text them that you made a fall-themed, chai flavored, pumpkin muffins...all your friends are basic. They will be even happier to know these muffins are completely vegan and totally healthy. But really though, if you don't like fall and you don't like pumpkin I honestly don't even know that you have a soul...or a whole phone full of fitting room selfies. 

First a little story time about how I first learned the word basic and then if you aren't totally disgusted by me please continue on to make these one-bowl wonders full of goodness. They are light, fluffy, spiced just right - perfect with the latte you pre-purchased on your Starbucks app. 

I remember when I first heard the term vividly because it was the first time I realized I was no longer young or cool. It was probably about two and a half years ago when I worked as a bridal stylist - our high school intern and I were re-hanging bridesmaid dresses after a whirl-wind appointment full of navy gowns, mentions of boat shoes, selfies, piles of ugg boots on the floor and the words "mason jar" on repeat. We made small talk as we rapidly sorted through gowns and this intern casually noted the last appointment was 'kinda basic'. I had never heard the word basic used as a noun before and I could have just slinked away in shame and googled in but in a moment of full-on humility I had to ask her to tell me what that was. As this (gorgeous and way cooler than me) teenager began she began to describe the crux of what it was to be basic, I realized, just in my social illiteracy I was, in fact, pretty basic myself. 

In an effort to make myself feel better there's a lot of things about me that aren't basic, like...

  • the fact that as a 28 year old woman I have never touched drugs or alcohol
  • that I prefer rain over sunshine
  • that I almost exclusively listen to fifteen year old acoustically recorded hardcore albums
  • that I am committed to a whole foods plant based diet for life
  • I can't stand Lauren Conrad or any reality TV

But in all honestly there is plenty of me that is, on the surface, real basic. Like the fact that...

  • I do enjoy a Starbucks soy latte
  • Leggings are my daily go to (WHATEVER, they're comfortable)
  • I often "can't even"
  • I love Target

But perhaps the most basic thing about me is the fact that I love fall and I love pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING - yet rather than buying and eating crap from the store I would much rather make inventive, vegan treats on my own and that's the super long story of how this muffin was born. 

One more thing though - here's the thing about being 'basic' ... people generally like things that are good, so if a lot of people like something you like it's nothing to be ashamed of, in fact, it's probably a good thing as long as it causes no harm. I really believe it's important to laugh at ourselves and embrace one another as whole humans, full of flaws, wild ideas, great successes, failures, basic qualities, unique qualities, tears, smiles and so on. We are all human and we are all an expression of one another, be loving, be accepting, be you.

Insane story time over, onto the recipe...


Makes: 12 muffins • Prep Time: 15 minutes • Bake Time: 16-22 minutes


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour (you can of course do all whole wheat or try oat flour for a GF option)
  • 2 scant tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. chai tea powder (I used this one, but can easily omit this if you don't have it)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1.5 cups canned puree of pumpkin (make sure you don't get pumpkin pie filling - it has eggs and dairy and tons of other crap in it)
  • 1/2 cup nut milk milk + 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small ripe mashed banana

1. Preheat your oven to 350* F and add muffin liners to your tin

2. Mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, chai powder in a large bowl

3. Mash the banana in a separate bowl, add in your nut milk (I used cashew) + ACV - stir and let the mixture sit for at least 5 minutes before adding your coconut sugar, maple syrup and vanilla

4. Add the wet mix to the dry, then add in your pumpkin and stir gently just to combine

5. Evenly divide your mixture into your muffin tin, filling each about 3/4 of the way and bake for 16-22 minutes. Check at the 16 minute mark, if a toothpick comes out a little goopy send them back in and check every 2 minutes. I noticed the crumble topped ones took a bit longer.

6. I know it will be hard but it's really important to let these guys fully cool before eating, they are really moist and the texture just isn't all there when they are still hot.

BE EXTRA: If you're feeling 'extra' (another word I identify with, that I also learned from a teenager) you may wish to top with a not-as-healthy crumble - as pictured . Simply mix 2 tsp. vegan butter, 1/2 cup oats, 1 tsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp maple syrup (this made enough for about 6 of the muffins so double it if you want to cover the whole lot). 

Let me know how these turn out for you!

 

LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

 

 

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