My favorite candy hands down isn’t processed, packaged, marketed, or bad for me. Nature makes my most cherished sweet treat with sun, rain, bees (pollination), and farmers who watch over their crops to ensure that they make it to the market at the right time. What is it?!
Sweet Cherries! The most amazing fruit ever!!!
Oh how I love this time of year, when the deep ruby red little spheres of yummy are ready to be enjoyed. It’s a short season to be sure – especially if you like to buy local – but that’s what makes cherries even more special. Waiting on them for a year, and then eating them with everything that you can.
For the next few weeks cherries will be a major part of my diet. Cherry pie, cherry muffins, cherries in my cereal, cherries in my salads, cherries in my smoothies, and of course, cherries all by themselves. Just pit them and pop them in your mouth, one at a time. MMMMMMMMMM…………
My love for cherries is passionate, so of course I love to share my passion with anyone who will eat with me, so I made vegan cherry vanilla muffins to take to a brunch that my dear friend hosted on July 4th. She invited a large group of family and friends to watch the World Cup – Germany vs France. Everyone brought a dish to share and fun was had by all, especially me!
Funny story. As we were gathering in the kitchen to fill our plates, the conversation turned to my muffins. The men where the ones who were really curious, and almost afraid to try them. They looked delicious, but that word “vegan” scared them. I laughed as the hostess’s husband hesitantly took a small bite of his muffin. Once he tasted it he exclaimed – while taking another bite – “huh, these are really good!”
Because he liked them, another gentleman felt safe enough to try one, and low and behold, he liked them too!
That’s when another guy (a good friend) asked me what was in them that made them VEGAN. As if that word turns all good food to crap.
I told him that I used almond milk in place of cow milk and an egg replacer product. He thought he was clever when he asked me how you milk an almond, especially when the other men chuckled at his question. But I was prepared, and my timing was impeccable. I told him that if he wanted to make almond milk the first thing he would need to do was soak his nuts overnight. The room went wild! His faced turned the shade of a cherry, and I wasn’t finished.
The next step, I proceeded to explain to him, was to rinse them and grind them in a blender with fresh water. Well, can you imagine the response of the men at that point? Yeah, it was pretty awesome.
Sometimes I feel like vegans need to think up another word to describe this lifestyle. People aren’t afraid of vegetarian food. But vegan food scares them. What do they think we put in it? If truly baffles me, but at the same time, I get it. For most people, the idea of not eating any animal products seems impossible. My philosophy is this, as long as I keep bringing really good food to people who say that they could NEVER give up cheese, milk, eggs, or ice cream, and they realize that my version of those foods taste as good (or better), and it’s healthier, then maybe, someday, I can encourage people to change their diets.
In the meantime, you all need to try these muffins. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I’m going to have to folks. These are amazing! They turned out light and fluffy, and every bite contained a sweet cherry.
There is also something magical about the combination of cherries and vanilla. The two flavors complement one another so well. That’s why I made a vanilla glaze to brush over them. It also added a little more sweetness, and sometimes we all need a little sugar.
I pretty much stuck to my vegan lemon blueberry muffin recipe, because they turn out every time I make them. There are some changes, so don’t go to that recipe and just swap out the blueberries for the cherries. If you do, you won’t get the same cherry vanilla muffins.
I bought a cherry pitter by Chef’n at Sendik’s, my favorite supermarket. They are located in a few locations in Wisconsin, so I go there every time I visit my mom. This little gadget is the B. O. M. B. I pitted a bowl of cherries in five minutes! If you’re ever in the Milwaukee area, you need to check this store out.
Don’t beat the cherries in the mixer. Take the bowl off of the stand and fold them in by hand with a spatula.
Fill the tins about 3/4 full. This muffin pan is my favorite. I use a spray oil to grease them, hence the burnt on oil. It may not look clean, but I promise you it is. Have you ever tried to get baked on oil off of an old pan? If you have, I know that you won’t judge. 🙂
See how pretty they are when they’re done! Bake until they’re a light golden brown and just cracking in the center.
The vanilla glaze is gorgeous! Add the almond milk bit by bit to get it to this consistency. If you need to add more than 1/4 cup then go for it.
Try our Cherry Chambord Pie!
And our Lemon Blueberry Muffins