I know that there are SO many different things I could be posting about, so it is a little absurd that out of my 7 ( count that, 7) blog posts to date, I will have posted about banana muffins twice. However, I am really trying to perfect a couple of recipes to replace my reliance on energy bars, and these muffins are a great substitute. I’ve found that I really need something in my bag when I’m doing a double workout and I’m not at home or going home any time soon. So I would for instance, swim, eat a Kind bar, run, eat a Luna bar, and then hurry home to try to get some real food in my system. This muffin doesn’t have enough protein for a solid post-workout recovery snack, but it something really good to eat in between workouts or right before one. It’s easily digestible, filled with healthy carbs and fats, and doesn’t have too much sugar. As soon as these muffins are cooled I put half of them in a Ziploc bag and pop them into the freezer. When I’m on the go I just wrap a frozen muffin in tinfoil and throw it in my bag. It defrosts on its own in an hour(ish), and is fresh, healthy, wholesome, not too sweet, and just filling enough to keep me going!
In the baking world, muffins (and loaf breads) are characterized as quick breads. You don’t need a lot of technique to prepare them, they are easy to make (hence their name), and most importantly they are very forgiving. So, if you are interested in playing around with different types of flours (oat, almond, rice, millet, spelt, buckwheat, etc) or fats (real butter, coconut butter, olive oil) quick breads are a great way to experiment.
I really liked my gluten-free banana muffins, but I personally am NOT gluten-free, and found myself really missing the proper muffin texture that wheat provides. Soooo, I took a standard banana bread recipe, cut the sugar, cut the fat a little, and substituted whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, and some almond meal for the all-purpose flour. I chose the pastry flour because it is finer and a little lighter than regular whole wheat flour. I added the spelt flour for its flavor, and the almond meal for some extra protein and healthy fats. Also, I know that blueberries are not in season, but I always have frozen blueberried on hand for smoothies, and I really like the extra tartness that they add to muffins. You can leave them out if you want! I hope you enjoy!
Yield: 12-18 muffins | Bake Time: 35 mins | Oven Temp: 350 degrees F
- 5 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp coconut butter
- 1 Cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 Cup almond meal (or flour)
- 1/2 Cup spelt flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 Cup organic dark brown sugar, packed down
- 1/4 Cup organic cane sugar
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 Cup organic frozen blueberries
- 1/3 Cup blanched slivered almonds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a cupcake tin with muffin cups. **If you don’t have muffin liners, you can spray the tin with non-stick spray, but I think the liners help to keep the muffins more moist- especially if you plan on freezing them and eating them later.**
- Combine butter and coconut butter in glass bowl and melt in microwave in 20 second increments until just melted. Set aside
- Combine flours, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside
- Mash the bananas in a separate bowl. I like to leave it a little chunky to have bigger bits of banana in the muffins, but that is a personal preference. Add the melted butter to the bananas, the vanilla and the beaten eggs. Then add the sugar and mix again until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture, and when combined fold in the blueberries.
- I like to use an ice cream scoop to portion out the muffins. It is cleaner and you get more evenly shaped muffins!
- Top the muffins with raw slivered almonds (optional) and bake in the center rack of the oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.
- If you want to make this into a loaf, this will make 1 loaf of banana bread, and will take about an hour to bake.