These vegan berry hemp spelt muffins are moist, tender, and so nutritious! They feature shelled hemp seeds for protein and whole grain spelt flour for fiber and flavor.
These nutritious berry hemp spelt muffins have reminded me that I should be baking more often!
It’s been rainy here in D.C., and it’s not yet berry season. Even so, the use of frozen berries makes these muffins possible. You can enjoy them as a snack or portable breakfast option year round by using frozen blueberries, raspberries, or mixed berries. Or, you can adapt them for the seasons by swapping berries for another fresh fruit.
The muffins feature one of my “go-to” whole grain baking flours: spelt flour. I always try to incorporate more whole grains into my baking, and spelt is a great choice. Unlike regular whole wheat flour, spelt doesn’t taste bitter. Instead, it has a mildly sweet, slightly nutty flavor. It’s an ancient form of wheat that’s related to, but distinct from more modern strains. And some people who have a difficult time digesting conventional wheat find spelt more agreeable.
I rarely make baked goods with 100% spelt flour, because I like the lightness of all-purpose. But I often combine spelt and all-purpose in muffins and breads, as I do in these muffins. The Kitchn has more good ideas on how and what to bake with spelt flour.
In addition to spelt flour, which adds fiber to the muffins, I also threw two of my favorite superfoods into the batter: hemp seeds and berries. Hemp seeds are packed with plant protein (complete protein at that), as well as Omega-3 fatty acids. They’re one of the most nutritious seeds out there, and I put them in all sorts of sweet and savory recipes. They make appearances in one of my favorite hummus recipes, a go-to pesto, my hemp “parmesan” (which I put on everything), and lots of different salad dressings.
I probably don’t need to say much about the nutrient power of berries, as those are widely celebrated! I like Dr. Michael Greger’s advice to include a serving of berries in one’s diet daily, not as a rule, but as a wholesome suggestion. I’m always looking for my own ways to eat berries more often. Since I don’t always fresh fruit appealing, I’ve been known to cook my berries, blend them up, and bake with them, as I do here.
A lot of my baked goods, muffins included, are just for flavor and for fun. But when they can pack in lots of sensible, wholesome ingredients, as these berry hemp spelt muffins do, so much the better.
I like to create flexible baking recipes whenever I can. You can modify the berry hemp spelt muffins in many different ways, starting with your choice of flour! If you don’t have spelt, try regular whole wheat or white whole wheat in its place. Light spelt flour can be tricky to find, but it’s lovely for baking, and I recommend experimenting with it if you get a chance.
You can also make the muffins gluten free! To do this, I recommend choosing a gluten free, all-purpose flour blend that you know and trust. My go-to is King Arthur’s Measure for Measure.
If you don’t have hemp seeds on hand, you can use roughly chopped sunflower or pumpkin seeds. You can also make the recipe with chia seeds: try using three tablespoons of those instead of five tablespoons. Finely chopped nuts are also a good option. Whenever I don’t have shelled hemp seeds to make this recipe, I reach for finely chopped walnuts.
If you don’t have berries (or you’d prefer to use a seasonal fruit), you can make the muffins with chopped apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries, or bananas. Keep it playful, and make them your own!
It’s no big secret that muffins are one of my favorite snacks. I love their versatility and the fact that they’re portable. They’re easy to make—they never feel like a big baking project or commitment—and I especially love that I can freeze them. When I make any of my favorite muffins, from banana chocolate chip to pumpkin cranberry to vegan corn & jam, I tend to freeze half of the muffins immediately. I store the rest in the fridge for immediate snacking. Some for now, some for later.
The berry hemp spelt muffins will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. If you’d like to keep them any longer, I recommend freezing for up to six weeks.
What can I tell you about these muffins? They’re tender and moist, but the tops have just a touch of crisp, crumbly texture. They’re filled with juicy berries, which add a touch of tartness and sweetness at the same time. Thanks to the hemp seeds, they’ve got just a little extra plant-based protein to offer you. But it’s wrapped in a package that tastes like an authentic bakery treat. They’re a very wonderful way to start the day—especially with a little vegan butter or nut butter.
Let me know what you think. I hope the muffins will help to keep your homemade snacking game sweet and satisfying!