Are you getting enough vitamin B12? This dietitian's vegan muffins can help you hit your recommended daily intake

Top up your B12 levels with these delicious savory muffins

vegetable muffins
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It can be difficult to get your recommended daily intake of B12 if you’re vegan, as the vitamin is mostly found in animal sources like meat, dairy, and eggs. The easiest way to get your fill is via B12-fortified foods, such as dairy alternatives and breakfast cereals.

If you don’t fancy guzzling a B12-infused soya drink, you can use it as an ingredient in something tasty instead. That’s what dietitian Paula Hamman has done with this quick and easy muffin recipe.

The snack is perfect for breakfast, adding to lunchboxes, or as a mid-afternoon snack to beat the 2pm slump. As it features two fortified ingredients (nutritional yeast and plant-based milk) it should help you top up your B12 levels, too.

Paula Hallam
Paula Hallam

Paula Hallam is a registered specialist paediatric dietitian with 24 years experience. She's also a representative of Plant Based Health Professionals. She offers 1-to-1 online consultations, group courses (via Plant Powered Little People) and masterclasses, as well as consulting with food brands to optimise the nutritional profile of their products.


  • 1 ¼ cups/300g broccoli, steamed and chopped
  • 1 cup/240g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp/15g nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup/ 250ml B12 fortified dairy alternative drink
  • ½ cup /125ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard


  1. Steam the broccoli for 10 minutes until soft (but not mushy)
  2. Combine the self-raising flour, baking powder, flaxseed and nutritional yeast in a bowl
  3. Roughly chop the steamed broccoli and add it to the dry ingredients.
  4. In a jug whisk the dairy alternative drink, oil and Dijon mustard together.
  5. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients in the bowl and gently fold everything together until combined​.
  6. Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tray and bake at 180 degrees C for 20 minutes until golden brown

Nutrient breakdown

When using an unsweetened and B12-fortified soya drink, one muffin contains:

  • 190 kcal
  • 16g carbs
  • 2.5g fibre
  • 4g protein
  • 12g fat (of which 0.9g saturated fat).
  • 0.6mcg vitamin B12 (25% of your recommended daily intake)

Why do we need vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is a micronutrient that our body needs to complete several vital functions. While B12 doesn't give you energy directly, it plays a role in how we access energy from our food.

Dr Simoné Laubscher, leading nutritionist and formulator for WelleCo, explains: "Vitamin B12 is essential for a multitude of processes, such as protein metabolism, and the formation of red blood cells and the central nervous system," she said. "However, as it’s not produced by the body it has to be consumed."

The Vegan Society recommends eating two to three portions of B12-fortified foods a day if you’re following a plant-based diet.

What are some symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

Vitamin B12 is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies for vegans.

"Symptoms can range from fatigue and headaches, which are brought about through the decrease in normal red blood cell production resulting from deficiency, to depression and mood disorders, caused as a result of your central nervous system not getting the B12 that it requires to function effectively," said Laubscher. "It can even stunt your hair growth cycle!"

Which foods contain vitamin B12?

B12 is mostly found in animal-based products like meat, eggs, and dairy, with only trace amounts in most vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

If you’re vegan, you might want to try achieving the recommended daily intake through supplementation. Or, as in this recipe, you can add B12-fortified foods such as nutritional yeast into your diet.

Lou Mudge
Fitness Writer

Lou Mudge is a Health Writer at Future Plc, working across Fit&Well and Coach. She previously worked for Live Science, and regularly writes for and Pet's Radar. Based in Bath, UK, she has a passion for food, nutrition and health and is eager to demystify diet culture in order to make health and fitness accessible to everybody.

Multiple diagnoses in her early twenties sparked an interest in the gut-brain axis and the impact that diet and exercise can have on both physical and mental health. She was put on the FODMAP elimination diet during this time and learned to adapt recipes to fit these parameters, while retaining core flavors and textures, and now enjoys cooking for gut health.