With the hoards of hungry children in my house due to school holidays I often encourage (okay “force”) my children to make smoothies and healthy muffins or cakes to help ease the load of “feeding time at the zoo.” If your’e in a similiar predicament with copious children grazing in your kitchen then here’s two great recipes. One simple grain-free spiced banana, date and walnut muffin recipe and another for rich, moist chocolate muffins (which can be easily adapted to be grain-free) both from Lunchbox Solutions.
This recipe is also great if ever you find yourself with bananas that are too ripe to eat and allows us to use the unsightly banana’s as a sweet, high fibre, potassium- rich ingredient.
We use coconut flour which is a rich source of lauric acid an anti-fungal, anti-microbial, is gluten-free and full of dietary fibre. While coconut sugar is a great tasting, low GI (35) sugar alternative and it’s rich caramel flavour is high in potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron and B vitamins.Prep time 10min Cooking time 35min
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (to grease pan)
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup (180 ml) coconut milk, nut milk or milk of choice
- ½ cup (120 ml) honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ripe bananas
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon all-spice (optional)
- 1 cup finely chopped dates
- 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare a muffin tray by greasing it with the coconut oil. For extra decoration, you can line the muffin tray with cupcake papers.
- In a food processor, blender or thermo-mix, mix the eggs, milk, honey, coconut sugar, salt and vanilla extract until well combined. (Tip: if mixing by hand, mix the eggs and milk together before adding the other ingredients.)
- In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, then add to the mixture and beat until smooth.
- In a large bowl, sift the coconut flour with the baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and all-spice (if using). Add the wet ingredients and thoroughly combine until the mixture is smooth. Fold in the dates and walnuts.
- Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the prepared muffin tray, so that each mould is half-full.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack, cool for another 5 minutes and serve. You can now make your favourite icing and garnish with berries or dust the muffins with icing sugar.
These muffins do have a few ingredients but their moist, rich chocolate flavour are well worth the effort. Use this recipe as a base and then add your favourite ingredients such as berries, nuts or dried fruit. We especially love using raspberries.
These muffins are particularly “fabulous” (in my humble opinion :)) because they contain chia seeds. While many of us take fish supplements each day to get our omega oils, few of us want to eat fish seven days a week. These tiny, crunchy little chia seeds are however a rich plant source of omega-3. In fact, by weight, chia contains more omega-3’s than salmon. Chia is also one of nature’s highest plant- based sources of complete protein.”PREP TIME 30 minutes COOKING TIME! 25-30 minutes
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil (to grease pan)
- 3/4 cup (approx. 120 grams) coconut flour
- 3/4 cup (approx.120 grams) gluten-free self-raising flour
- 1/2 cup (approx. 80 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup (approx. 60 grams) almond meal (finely ground almonds)
- 1/2 cup (approx. 30 grams) desiccated (shredded) coconut
- 1/4 cup (approx. 40 grams) coconut sugar or rapadura sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
- 6 free-range eggs
- 3/4 cup (approx. 185 ml) coconut cream
- 3/4 cup (approx. 185 ml) coconut syrup or 1/3 cup of brown sugar
- 3/4 cup (approx. 185 ml) honey
- 1/4 cup (approx. 60 ml) melted coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut chocolate butter, or melted chocolate (use a high-quality dark chocolate)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 cup raspberries (frozen work best as they retain their shape)
- 100 grams dark chocolate chips
NOTE: you can replace the gluten-free flour with almond meal, this makes the total amount of almond meal 1and 1/4 cups of almond meal.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
- Prepare a muffin tray by greasing it with the coconut oil. For extra decoration, you can line the muffin tray with little cupcake papers.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the coconut flour, self-raising flour and cocoa powder. Add the almond meal, desiccated coconut, coconut sugar and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs for 30 seconds with an electric beater, or by hand until lightly beaten.
- Add the coconut cream, coconut syrup, agave syrup (or honey), melted coconut oil, melted chocolate (or coconut chocolate butter), vanilla extract and chia seeds. Mix well to combine.
- Set the mixture aside for 3-5 minutes to allow the chia seeds to expand.
- Once the mixture has been left to stand, stir it again. Now add the dry ingredients slowly and mix thoroughly. The mixture should be smooth and without lumps.
- Add the raspberries and the chocolate chips and mix in gently.
- Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the prepared muffin tray, so that each muffin mould is half full.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the muffins start to brown on top. Loosely cover them with baking paper to prevent them from burning, and continue baking for another 10- 15 minutes or until the muffins are firm to touch.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack, cool for another 5 minutes and serve.
NOTE: These muffins will keep well in an airtight storage container for 3-4 days.
For further recipes and health tips please see Lunchbox Solutions…