I keep trying to make bran muffins more interesting... Obviously, you could use dairy and/or soy products instead. The almonds are there because I like a little texture and protein. You could just use another 1/4 c of flour or bran. The original bran muffin recipe called for 1/4 of honey or molasses, but I like to cut down on sugar so I use the applesauce instead. Enjoy Life brand makes dairy- and soy-free chocolate chips if you don't like carob.