As a final project in my Food Justice & Society class, we had to participate in an ethical potluck. The item had to be ethically backed in some way and also we had to trace the ethical roots of one ingredient.
Ingredients: Flour, sugar, baking powder, organic poppy seeds, salt, organic soy milk, fresh lemon juice and zest from organic lemon, canola oil, home-made vanilla extract
The origin of one ingredient is the lemon which was organically grown in California. According to the USDA standards listed in America’s Food, this means the lemon was grown without pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, irradiation, or genetic modification. In addition, I purchased this lemon from Citizen’s Co-Op which is a local, organic grocery store collectively owned by the Gainesville community. When I paid for this the lemon, the money went directly back into the Gainesville economy. Furthermore, after I had zested the rind and squeezed the juice for the recipe, I disposed of the lemon in my backyard compost pile so it could decompose and be used to grow more food in the same organic style in my backyard garden.
As a whole, these lemon poppy seed muffins are baked following vegan diet which means no animal product or anything produced by an animal such as eggs or milk. These items are almost always staples in traditional baked goods so baking vegan can get a little tricky. Eggs come from egg-laying hens which are routinely tortured into laying more eggs than their body naturally produces in a shorter amount of time while in confined cages where they are often kept in darkness according to chapter 6 in America’s Food. According to Chapter 7 in the same book, milk is also questionable for our health since we are the only species that drinks milk of another species and because many ethnic groups are lactose intolerant suggesting that nature knows we should only drink our mother’s breast milk when we are infants. In these muffins, I used organic soymilk instead which was produced in a more ethical manner than torturing cows into situations where they are confined to spaces where they must produce more milk than they are naturally used to and live in their own excrement. Vegan baking is more challenging but not impossible to achieve delicious baked goods that sometimes taste identical to the traditional style and are much more ethical!
Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 5 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup soy milk
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly grease a muffin tin.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds, and salt.
- Make a well in the center and add milk, lemon juice, oil, zest, and vanilla.
- Mix just until all wet ingredients are moistened.
- Fill the muffin tin 3/4 full and bake for 23 to 27 minutes for full sized muffins and 8-10 minutes for minis. Bake until muffins are lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted through the center comes out clean.
- When cool enough to handle, transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.