Honest Recipes: Banana Flax Muffins

I haven’t done a recipe post in a while. (Maybe several years.)

Anyway, we tend to like muffins in this house. (And by we, I mean, the toddler likes to eat them and I like to not think too hard about packing her weekday breakfasts. Win win.) I often find myself hiding vegetables, fiber, and other nutrient dense items in these muffins because let’s face it, toddlers aren’t going to eat it alone.

My usual Spinach Banana muffin standby recipe was thwarted by under-estimating how much spinach this household goes through. Alas, no more spinach left. Since I’m not going to Target for the 5th time this week, I decided to be resourceful and use what I had in my kitchen.

Banana Flax Muffins

My pantry tends to be a breeding ground for good intentions that never see the light of day. I go on Pinterest and find cool recipes with obscure ingredients, buy said ingredients, and then never do anything with them. (Usually, because those recipes feature even more obscure ingredients I forgot to purchase.) This is the one occasion where Pinterest did not steer me wrong, so I must share.

IMG_5865

Banana flax muffins sound as about as interesting as the backside of my hand, but they are actually really good. I’m sure the toddler will find them most appealing in her morning fare; especially because they crumble into pieces of sweet allergen-free banana bread flavor quite easily. (I can hear the “Mommy, I made mess” from the backseat of my car now.)

IMG_5867

Why are they so crumbly? Well, that would be the rice flour and the flax meal… and not a lick of eggs, flour, dairy, or refined sugar or fun to be seen here. I literally have no idea why I had brown rice flour in my pantry. It was sealed and old – so I definitely brought it over during our move because I felt guilty for paying so much for it. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a decent recipe that uses only rice flour?

IMG_5868.JPG

And flax meal – well, bonus for me as I’ve been looking to incorporate more fiber-rich whole grains into my diet. Apparently, flax can help lower LDL cholesterol. Cool – I’ll scarf down a few of these a week and maybe that will get my endocrinologist off my back. (Don’t worry – my LDL level is okay-ish for a normal person. Just not a person with diabetes.)

Thank goodness they taste pretty damn awesome.

Without further ado, I present Banana Flax Muffins.

Banana Flax Muffins

Banana Flax Muffins

Makes 16
Ingredients
  • 2-1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup golden flaxseed meal
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed bananas (3 medium)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup maple syrup (or agave, or whatever liquid sweetener you prefer)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 – 1 cup water or milk of choice (I used almond milk)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Line 2 muffin pans with 16 muffin papers. Spray liners with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, flaxseed meal, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, mash bananas very well. Stir in oil, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice, and water or milk until well mixed. (I used a Kitchen Aid mixer on the lowest setting.)
  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Fold in raisins, if using.
  5. Fill the muffin tins to the rim with batter. Bake in the center of the oven for 20-23 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Cool completely before serving.

Notes

  1. The dough is going to look odd if you don’t normally bake with alternate flours. It almost had a gelatinous, gooey look to it. It’ll come together – flax is often subbed out for eggs.
  2. There was a note about the muffins sticking to the liners – solve that by spraying the liners with cooking spray. Or use silicone ones.

 

title

 

*Affiliate links present.

Advertisements

Housewife Adventures: Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Well – I’ve sent out so many resumes to jobs that I’m either overqualified for or severely underqualified for. My plan is to dedicate the two hours a day each morning to the job hunt, and then live on unemployment for as long as humanly possible The good news? My COBRA isn’t going to be unreasonably expensive and I’ll still have great coverage.

So – now I’ll embrace the duties of housewifedom, as I told my husband this morning. (His response was that he expected a martini when he got home.) First order of business? Bake!

I found this recipe on Pinterest, but all the pins are marked incorrectly as SPAM.

photo

Ingredients
2.5 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup plain low fat greek yogurt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar {or sweetener of choice}
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 ripe bananas 

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray tin with non-stick cooking spray or line 12 muffin tins with silicone or foil liners.
2. Place all of the ingredients, including bananas in a blender or food processor, and blend until oats are smooth. {I added the oats a cup at a time and blended in between}
3. Divide batter among cupcake liners, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Of course, you can add Splenda instead of sugar, but I used organic cane. The batter tasted delicious, so I assume the muffins do to.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Under the Influence

muffins

I really do love Pinterest and the amount of recipes I’ve found for my busy lifestyle, diet habits and pickiness of my hubby. (Can’t complain much – he still cooks a majority of the dinners around here.) People way more creative than I can post their cooking experiments online for the world to try.

And then I can try them and critique them. 🙂

I saw these muffins floating around my boards by a number of different people. I went back to them because 1) I like chocolate, a lot. 2) I like the idea of not incorporating white flour or refined sugar in as many things as possible given my new obsession with post prandial sugars. 3) I like that all of these items were already in my pantry/fridge so I didn’t have to shop for anything special.

Well, so I thought.

I tried these out on Sunday. I had a glass of my Mambo wine again for dinner. (I was still trying to finish the bottle… it kind of grew on me.) I broke out the blender that was inherited from my hubby’s pre-marriage rental home, which may have easily belonged to some other roommate, but it came with us. I added all the ingredients into the blender and made my batter.

Two things went wrong:

1) The blender is horrible. It mixed the bottom half of the ingredients… and only the bottom half. Mental note: when I get a raise, I’m buying a Vitamix.
2) The muffin batter was definitely not chocolate. I had to add in chocolate chips later, but surely it wouldn’t turn that dark by melting chocolate chips. It was weird. I needed cocoa powder. But I read the ingredient listing again and didn’t find any cocoa powder. (Wait…)

So I baked as instructed. I then reread the ingredient list, only to discover that cocoa powder was indeed part of the ingredients list. Hidden, I might add. Whatever… too late now. The muffins are already baking. What could go wrong.

They turned out horrible. Like a gelatinous form of cookie dough with no taste. I usually don’t mind raw dough, but others might. I wasn’t going to keep these around. Tempted to make them again on Sunday, I realized I was out of oatmeal – the base of the muffins. Hm… guess these aren’t happening. Silly Mambo wine.

Tonight I went to the store and bought more oats and egg whites in a carton. (Because I’m lazy.) I cook dinner first and treat myself to a glass of V. Suttui Moscato, which is heavenly. Attempt two included the 3/4 cup of cocoa and some semi sweet chips. My blender is still shit; almost to the point that I much rather would have dealt with my teeny tiny food processor.

Some alterations:
1) These did NOT cook in the time allotted. It said they’d be done in 12-15 minutes total? I baked for 22. That was 10 minutes to put the extra chips on top and then another 12 to make the centers solid.
2) I probably overmixed because of the blender. So the dough wasn’t as solid. I ended up filling only 1.5 trays of muffin tins, but they still turned out pretty small.

Verdict: they are edible. Are they perfect? Not really, but it’s enough to get some sort of guilt-free chocolate kick. And with the greek yogurt included, there is a little bit of protein there. (There weren’t any nutrition facts on the recipe page except for a calorie count.)

Cookies for Breakfast

Yes, you read that right. I made cookies on Sunday that are supposed to be my breakfast for the remainder of the week. However, the carb count is still to be determined, so it’s throwing my breakfast sugars under the bus.

Mmm... nutrition

Mmm… nutrition

Here is the recipe.

As you can see, no refined sugar nor flour. It’s basically an oatmeal cookie made with fruit and peanut butter. The protein count is supposedly off the chart. So I made them thinking this would be a great alternative to my missing English muffins.

The problem is the whole “homemade” aspect of it. Sure, I like knowing that what I’m putting into my system is healthy, organic, fresh, and not processed. With the exception of the extract and the protein powder, I feel pretty confident eating this. And the original blogger even gave us the nutrition facts. How nice! That’s something you don’t ever really find for insulin pumping purposes.

Except they aren’t quite accurate or don’t factor in the tiny bit of chocolate chips that I added in. Guess I should have read closer.

The original nutrition facts say 11.8 carbs for a cookie. This assumes that there are 16 in a batch and you didn’t add chocolate chips.

I made 9. Yikes. That’s quite a difference in size to batch ratio. And full of melted chocolate. Yum! (Well that explains my crappy glucose control.)

Some other edits besides making these ginormous cookies.

  • I used crushed almonds as my “nuts.” I didn’t have anything else. I probably should have used almond butter instead of peanut butter. Lesson learned.
  • I used regular oats rather than quick. They are a little bigger than those pictured in the original blog.
  • I didn’t have butter extract. I have no idea what that is or where to find it. She said it was optional, so…

Taste wise… I’ll be honest. I don’t know if I’d like them without chocolate chips. They are pretty bland otherwise. But reheated in the morning with my cup of coffee and a hard boiled egg is nice and quick.

Quinoa Experimentation

photo

Quinoa Bake attempt – “fancy oatmeal”

I’ve been busy trying to start my year off right with new food ideas. Particularly at breakfast time.

I had some luck with this recipe (though it molded super fast. Yay zero preservatives!) I managed to have one slice for breakfast with a hard boiled egg and my postprandial records seemed to stay semi normal (i.e. didn’t spike above 200.)

Quinoa at other meals has also been beneficial as a side. Much more so than my typical rice standard. (Which has a really high GI, apparently.)

Tonight I tried making another breakfast recipe so I wouldn’t have to worry about scrambling to find something healthy to start my day with. And I have to take my boss to the airport tomorrow so I don’t have an hour to putz around as usual.

So here is the Cinnamon Quinoa Bake. My version is nearly sugar free, gluten free, and dairy free. (But not vegan.)

A couple things that I changed:

  • I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of soy milk.
  • I used sugar free maple syrup instead of plain. (Because I’m still a PWD; “fake” food be damned.)
  • Yes – that is 2.5 cups of cooked quinoa. (Or 1 cup pre-prepped.) The baking doesn’t cook the quinoa. I made that mistake once before.

The taste? Well… as I was prepping this, I noticed the recipe only had about a 3 star rating. Honestly, it tastes like Quaker Instant Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal and it kind of has a jell-o consistency. And with a lot more protein (that’s 4 eggs there). The hubs didn’t really care for it. I’m debating, but I’ll see what happens after I store and reheat in the morning.

99 Problems and A Breakfast Ain’t One of Them

Warning… my Type A Personality kicked into overdrive on this post… needed something to counter balance yesterday’s humor.

The increased morning basal rate seems to be working better than expected. I’ve had the same breakfast meal for the last two days, and most likely will continue to until I have reason to try something else. But I haven’t experienced the extreme highs I have been for last, oh, I don’t know, 6 years.

I can’t really remember the reason behind giving me an extremely low basal between the hours of 8 am and 10:30 am. I think the logic was it was to mask the extreme lows I’d experience around those times when I was on Lantus. Each time my docs would increase my Lantus to decrease my post prandial highs, I’d always peak much later than expected, resulting in lows.

And why was this never adjusted later? Who knows. Maybe other things were a priority. Like my middle of the nights. And my fastings. Or that I just didn’t have the time to care.

At any rate, as long as I have a high fiber snack in the morning, my blood sugars seem to respond favorably until lunch.

And then I eat lunch and it all goes nuts for some reason. This is when I experiment with dual wave boluses the most because my lunches are lower in carbs, but higher in protein and fat. It doesn’t always work. However, neither does giving all the insulin in one fair swoop. So – here in lies my issue. Am I eating the wrong things? Or are my basals in need of adjusting again? Or maybe I’m not bolusing enough. The insulin to carb ratio at that time is 1:5, for reasons I can’t remember.

My usual fallback of “well I can’t take that much insulin because I’ll crash” doesn’t seem to work anymore. The last few afternoons have elevated into the 180 range and don’t fall further unless prompted by another correction. Otherwise I just hang out there.

So – rather than checking every single hour to see what my sugars are doing, I really hope the CDE has more productive answers. My goal is to not hit those 200s anymore. And to fall normally within a 3 hour range so I can eat a small snack and continue. This plan works so long as I have no other outside factors to hinder them. (Blocked insulin pump, hormones, stress, etc.)

But hey… breakfast! Those are good, right?