Great Gluten-Free Banana Chip Muffins


I found this recipe online and had made it a couple times, adding chocolate chips instead of nuts. It got rave reviews from not only my kids, but from a discerning clean eater who is both a friend and a functional health practitioner. He's particular and, as a practice, stays away from sweets - except for the occasional donut, which just means he is human like the rest of us. While this original recipe was pretty flawless, I had to adapt today as I was already deep in after I realized I was out of almond meal. I ground what slivered almonds I had and substituted coconut flour for the rest. Sometimes the best variations are discovered when you're forced to improvise.

I typically steer clear from making sweets in my house to avoid temptation. I learned that early on from my mom who only kept Grape Nuts in the house to put the kibosh on cereal binges. Grape Nuts was/is a pseudo-cereal that neither tasted like nor contained either grapes or nuts, but was simply - and plainly - hardened kernels of barley and wheat. Now you see why as a little kid I was given no choice but to jump the 6-foot fence in my backyard, risk my life crossing a 4-lane road to get to the nearest convenience store where I emptied pockets full of change for something sweet.

So on a similar sweet-seeking, almond-meal-missing mission today, I took my chances and wound up with this dense but not dry, sweet but not too sweet, somewhat healthy banana chip muffin that made my teenage son actually say real words that sounded vaguely like, "yah, that's good."

Today's variation cooked up a more rustic looking muffin with rough edges and top verses your typical puffed up muffin top. The original recipe was slightly less dense, but both are equally tasty.

Here's my variation with the original in (parenthesis).

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, beaten

  • 4 medium ripe bananas

  • 1/3 cup + 1 T agave nectar

  • 1/3 cup + 3 T unsweetened almond milk (just an extra 1T for original recipe)

  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 cup almond meal ground from raw slivered almonds - toss them in your Vitamix or buy Bob's Red Mill almond meal (2 cups almond meal for original recipe)

  • 1 cup coconut flour (omit for original recipe)

  • 1 cup + 1/3 cup oat flour, use Bob's Red Mill

  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips. I like Enjoy Life's dark chocolate chips - they're dairy, nut and soy free. The chips add sweetness, so if you choose not to add chips you may need to add more agave. (Add chopped nuts - walnuts or slivered almonds.)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350º F.

  • Spray muffin tin with olive oil spray.

  • In a large bowl, mash bananas. Let sit a minute or two to break down a bit more.

  • Stir in agave, baking powder, vanilla, eggs, and almond milk.

  • Stir in almond meal, coconut flour and oat flour.

  • Add chocolate chips.

  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

  • Remove from oven and rest in pan for 2 minutes. Then cool all the way on a cooling rack. You will need to cook the remaining batter in the already hot muffin pan, so the second bacth tends to cook faster - keep on eye on them.

  • Store in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap for several days. Share with friends! Reheat or eat room temp.

TIME: 10 minutes prep, 40 minutes cook time total for both batches

MAKES: 18 muffins

HEARTFUL RECIPE - One of our real food recipes that focuses on veggies, protein, healthy fats and/or healthy carbs and doesn't include gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, corn or peanuts.

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