These muffins are not very sweet at all. There is only a tiny amount of sweetener. This is because I don't like sweet cornbread since I like to pair it with savory recipes like chilis and soups. It is only very mildly sweet from the syrup and natural sweetness from the pecan.. So, if you'd like yours a bit sweeter, add 2-3 tablespoons of dry sweetener (not more syrup) to the dry ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a muffin pan with 10 nonstick liners. I like parchment paper liners or the Reynolds Staybrite foil liners. Both never stick.
Make sure the milk is room temperature and the can is shaken well first before measuring. To a medium bowl, add the milk, vinegar and syrup. Whisk well.
Add the cornmeal to the to the milk mixture and leave to sit for 5 minutes only. This helps to soften the coarse cornmeal some and yield a wonderful texture to the muffins. Do not skip this step.
Grind the pecans in a vitamix or food processor into a fine flour, being careful not to overprocess into a paste. Scrape the sides if needed for any chunks of pecans. Should only take a few seconds.
To a large bowl, add the the ground pecan meal, oat flour, tapioca, baking powder and salt and whisk very well. If adding the optional sugar for a sweet muffin, add it as well. See NOTE above.
Add the reserved milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until well mixed and smooth.
Divide the batter into exactly 10 nonstick muffin liners. This will yield the perfect size muffins.
Bake for 15 minutes only. They should be beautifully risen, golden and have a clean toothpick from the center of a muffin.
Cool 15 minutes before eating. Store at room temperature sealed well. These have the best texture the first day, but are still good the next. Rewarm if desired with a bit of vegan butter or drizzle of syrup or agave. I like these savory because you can drizzle a tiny amount of syrup for sweetness and I like to eat a savory muffin with chili or soup.
Medium grind coarse cornmeal: This is not the standard cornmeal you see in most recipes. This is a more coarse cornmeal, giving a really hearty, amazing texture. This is crucial to these muffins. Regular cornmeal does not work here. If you prefer a regular cornmeal texture, then I have the best cornbread recipe ever in my cookbook. That uses regular fine cornmeal and readers say it's their favorite cornbread ever.