While I’ve never been a baker, I was struck with the sudden urge to make muffins this week. Maybe it’s the changing season. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m now a homeowner. Maybe it’s just an inherent muffin gene that somehow activated and is slowly changing my DNA, causing me to evolve into a higher species. Whatever the reason, this urge hit right in the beginning stages of my healthy eating/Jillian Michaels Body Revolution quest so I wanted to make muffins that were vegan, gluten free, and as healthy as possible. Now, that being said, don’t fool yourselves my friends, muffins are NEVER the healthiest option out there because they always require flour. Whether that flour is made from rice, or nuts, or oatmeal, or pixie dust, it is still not the best thing you could be eating. An apple or a zucchini or celery is way healthier than a muffin any day, so don’t let yourself make these and eat the whole plan just because you’ve classified them as health food. You should not eat more than 3 of these at a time, in my opinion. I will say that these are a much better option than conventional muffins and even though you shouldn’t gorge yourself, you can feel good about eating these in moderation or as a treat, or, if the temptation becomes to great, bringing the entire batch to the office break room.
If you’ve never seen muffinfilms.com, you’ve been missing out. I’ll sample one for you. Quite relevant, don’t you think?
what you need
- 3 very ripe bananas, we’re talking brown spots galore bananas
- 1 small 6oz tub of plain, coconut milk greek yogurt. Here’s a link so you know what to look for at Whole Foods. This will be our egg substitute.
- 1/4 c. coconut oil. This is our butter substitute
- 2 tbl. maple syrup
- 3/4 c. coconut palm guar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 c. gluten free all purpose flour
what you do:
Place bananas in a large bowl and mash. I used a handheld blender like this one but you could also use a food processor. Mash the bananas well, but leave a few banana chunk here and there as they are yummy to bite into later on.
Add the tub of coconut greek yogurt to the bananas. It is important to get the greek yogurt because it is thicker than the plain and makes for a better consistency. Also add the rest of your wet ingredients: coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Mix together by hand.
In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients: GL flour, coconut palm sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and xanthan gum.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend by hand. If you WANT, you can fold in semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips. Add 1/2 c. This makes these muffins absolutely KILLER, but it does increase the calories and sugar. I compromised and added 1/4c. of the chips to only half the batter. This way I had a version without chocolate for breakfast and snacks and a version with chocolate for dessert.
Fill the mini muffin pans almost to the top (they don’t rise that much and I think they look prettier if the muffin tins are full, it gives the distinctive “muffin top”).
Baking at 375 degrees for 11 minutes. Don’t over bake or they won’t be moist.
This recipe made 37 muffins for me, using this pan. The muffins slide out of the pan without adding any extra oil, and it washes clean in seconds. I love it!
And, for anyone interested in why I chose coconut palm sugar and coconut oil, check out this quick video I made about their health benefits.