Readers, I adore muffins, however I have avoided them my entire life thanks to my mother’s scary (but true) words from my childhood: “You eat muffins, you look like a muffin”. Point taken mom! This was until recently when I created these uber-healthy, gluten-free, guilt-free, banana almond muffins, which are so simple that they only require three ingredients (unless you choose to embellish them)! Now I cannot take full credit for this recipe, as I was inspired by Mark Sisson’s clever banana almond pancakes (which use the same ingredients), however since there is no binding agent in the ingredients the pancakes often fall apart during cooking, and they also lack the convenient portability and portion control of a muffin. I like to think of it as a beautiful union of health-minded individuals. So here’s how you make them:
Ingredients (Makes 2-3 servings)
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 heaping tablespoon of almond butter
- 1 egg
- almond meal flour (you can now find this at most grocery stores) OR coconut flour
- pure coconut extract (powdered – makes a great sugar substitute!)
- pure vanilla extract
How to Make
1. Mash ripened bananas until there are no “chunks” remaining.
2. Add in egg and almond butter, and stir until you achieve a uniform colour (or use a blender!)
3. Pour batter into a muffin pan and put in the oven at around 350 degrees until fully cooked through (should yield approximately four reasonably sized muffins). I find that these are extremely dense, so two of them makes a satisfying meal, and will set you back about 200 calories a pop (don’t worry, these are healthy, essential, good-for-you calories)!
Now, these are pretty delicious on their own, however the consistency is slightly “gooey-er” than that of an ordinary muffin (as you might expect). I experimented a little bit with some gluten-free flours and came up with some other options:
This one above is with almond flour. You really do not need to add much at all to the mixture (I only added 1.5 tbsp!) Just add enough that it looks more like traditional baking batter.
You can also use coconut flour (like I did above), which is actually quite tasty, and lower calorie than the almond flour. The only thing is that coconut flour does not rise (nobody tells you this when you use it!), so it will come out of the oven in the exact same shape it came in. This freaked me out the first time I tried baking with coconut flour, but it’s normal!
You can also experiment further by adding as much cinnamon as you want, a bit of vanilla extract, and sugar alternatives such as coconut extract or even some maple syrup if you want them to be more like cupcakes. The wonderful thing about gluten-free flours is there are very few rules, so you have a lot of room to play. Let me know what you come up with. (: