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.

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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.)

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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?

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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.

 

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Loco Coconut!

My instructor’s birthday is Friday. He’s allergic to everything. (Well, maybe just everything delicious.) So bringing baked goods to the studio becomes an extra fun challenge! But hey, it benefits me since most baked alternatives are lower in sugar and carbs… score!

Anyway, I tried a paleo recipe for a low carb, non-dairy treat. I even went out and bought coconut flour, which is crazy expensive. But – low carb. Sigh. Fine. Take my money.

My recipe of choice were some chocolate chip cookies from this blog, which were stolen from this blog. Oddly enough, the photos in each respective blog look nothing alike so I really didn’t have an accurate reference point. I chose the first recipe because the blogger went on and on about how this recipe doesn’t suck.

Well……..

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My cookies look more like the latter blog.

My experience:
– I’ve never worked with coconut oil before. I also don’t know the difference between raw honey and organic clover honey. I figured there wasn’t. I might have melted the oil a bit too well, but again, I had no idea.
– The dough is super crumbly. Like fall apart in your hands and onto the floor crumbly. You really have to work it into a ball and then flatten it without it splitting down the sides. Coconut flour doesn’t flatten, so what you shape your dough into is what you’ll cook.
– I felt like it needed more liquid. Crumbly dough is usually a result of something being too dry. But – wasn’t sure what to add.
– The recipe made exactly 24 cookies and started burning at 10 minutes in the oven. (Not 12.)

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The taste is deceiving. If you expect to bite into this awesome Nestle Tollhouse, step away from this recipe and don’t look back. With all of the coconut content, I honestly felt like I was eating a macaroon. They aren’t too dry, but definitely not the butter and sugar rich cookie I’m used to.

Are they edible? Sure! They got the husband stamp of approval. And I’m excited that they are mostly low carb. (You can’t really get away from semi sweet chocolate chips.)

 

 

Diabetes and Desserts

Just keep swimming… my fun body art from last night’s formal.

First off: Happy Veteran’s Day to all those who have served or are currently serving. Thank you for your time and dedication.

I’ll be spending the observed holiday working from home because I have a massive deadline coming up and I’m nearly done. So – why wait until Tuesday? And, I was reminded that there are only 33 days left until, possibly, my last showcase at my home studio. I have two routines that have completed choreography. (YAY!) Now I just have to practice them both… a lot. Which I’m not doing… at all. Sigh. If only I could learn my routines by osmosis.

But I got the fantastical news from my mom today that I’ve been put in charge of bringing a dessert to Thanksgiving this year. Why we need 4 different types of dessert for 20ish people is beyond me, but whatever. I now get the choice to bring something I can have and not feel guilty about it later.

I have this collection of low sugar desserts on Pinterest, plus a smattering of cool looking gluten free recipes that I might try, pending I can find the ingredients. I also may try a vegan recipe that I know works. But something with Pumpkin in it… or something fall-like is probably a better idea.

Here are my contenders:

1) Stevia Apple Cake – I’ve never worked with Stevia, but I find it creeping up more in recipes. I generally use Splenda, so we’ll see.

2) Pumpkin Brownies – Which just sound amazing, but I’m having a hard time imagining brownies without chocolate.

3) Crustless Mini Pumpkin Pies – This would be interesting to see if subs for whole wheat flour and Splenda would still keep this palatable. I like the portion size… and never liked pumpkin pie crust anyway.

4) Pumpkin Cream Cupcakes – Already has a decent amount of calories kicked out by using low fat/sugarless everything. Can’t imagine the carb count would be out of control either. They just look way too labor intensive for a Wednesday afternoon.

5) Apple Crisp – Duh! This NEEDS to be at every party I attend. And it’s low sugar/fat? Cool.

6) Cinnamon Apple Cake – Sounds delicious. Not sure how I feel working with agave yet.

So those are my options. For the record, the party already has cookies, pumpkin pie, and a small cheesecake coming.

Any thoughts on what I should try?