Bananas are a staple of our household; we eat them by themselves, in our cereal, in smoothies and even give them to our dogs as treats. No matter how fast we eat them a few bananas do occasionally end up over ripe and covered in brown spots. When they turn brown and mushy I usually stick them in the freezer for smoothies, but with winter in full swing smoothies aren’t sounding very appealing. When I was recently left with a collection of blackened bananas I knew it was time for something different.
With muffins in mind, I set about building a baked good I could grab as a healthy snack. Mashed bananas bring sweetness and moisture, so I was able to reduce the added fat and use less sweetener than usual. I like using maple syrup to sweeten things because it is less processed than table sugar and thus still retains its minerals.
These muffins contain a large amount of flax, which not only holds them together well, but adds a super boost of omega-3′s. Many Americans are deficient in this essential fatty acid, which can lead to fatigue, poor memory, immune weakness and depression. Getting enough omega 3′s can reduce inflammation, increase brain function, help stabilize moods and contribute to heart health. Adding flax to your diet is a great way of increasing this vital nutrient, which can only be absorbed when the flax is ground. Ingredients:
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup pure maple syrup
3 large over-ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup ground flax (sometimes sold as flax meal)
1 1/4 cup brown rice flour (I like the Bob Red Mill brand)
3/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup tapioca starch
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (sometimes sold as “Sugar in the Raw”)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 muffin pan with muffin liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk the coconut oil, maple syrup, lemon juice and vanilla together. Stir in the mashed bananas.
- In another bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Slowly mix into the wet ingredients. Carefully fold in the frozen blueberries.
- Spoon the batter into the ready muffin pan. Sprinkle each muffin with a small amount of the turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until dark golden brown. Let cool completely before storing in an air tight container for up to a week.
*Note: If you don’t need to make gluten free muffins you can replace the brown rice flour and tapioca starch with whole wheat pasty flour and omit the xanthan gum.
Makes 12 muffins