Sunday, 5 February 2017

Healthy Banana and Blueberry Muffins - Grain Free and Refined Sugar Free

Moist and delicious blueberry muffins without the guilt of refined sugar and flour!

I do like to pick up a bargain when out shopping (you might have already noticed this), and a bunch of very ripe bananas together with a punnet of blueberries picked up at the end of the day will give you a nice batch of muffins for the week (plus enough to freeze the extras!).

On top of this, I've been playing with different ways to bake tasty treats for my children without using wheat flour, as we found out not-so-long-ago that my daughter can no longer eat it. Plus, there's no harm in anyone cutting refined sugar out of their diets! There are of course natural sugars in the fruit, and the honey, so it's not a sugar free treat, therefore they are healthy compared with conventional muffins, and still to be eaten in moderation!

However, because of the high protein content in these muffins from the eggs and nuts, they are satisfyingly filling, so just one will keep you going for a while! 

Makes approximately 30 muffins. 140 calories per muffin (extra for optional crunchy topping, calories in square brackets).

  • 4-5 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork (500g) [515]
  • 150g coconut oil (gently melted) [1,348]
  • 120g almond butter (no added sugar) [780]
  • 75g honey (or maple syrup if you prefer) [245]
  • 5 large eggs, beaten with a fork (250g) [378]
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste [14]
  • 100g coconut flour [352]
  • 60g ground almonds [387]
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon [15]
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder (check gluten free if necessary) [3]
  • 350g blueberries, washed and dried [158]

Optional crunchy topping
  • Chopped pecan nuts (couple of handfuls)
  • Demerara sugar, or other unrefined sugar with large crystals (for those with a sweet tooth - couple of tbsp)

Recommended equipment
  • 12 hole cupcake/muffin trays (two or three, if you have them, but one will do)
  • Paper cases

1. Pre-heat the oven to  Gas Mark 4 / 180C / 160C Fan Oven. In a large bowl combine together the mashed bananas, melted coconut oil, almond butter, honey, beaten eggs and vanilla extract, until evenly mixed.

2. To the wet ingredients, add the coconut flour, ground almonds, cinnamon, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and combine thoroughly. Fold in the blueberries and leave the mixture to stand for 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, put the paper cases into the trays. You can cook the muffins in more than one sitting if your oven does not cook evenly, and the batter will be fine standing.

4. Put a heaped spoonful of the batter (which will be quite thick having stood) into each paper case. If you want a crunchy topping, then sprinkle a few chopped pecans on top of each one, and a pinch of demerara sugar if using.

5. Bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 35 minutes until the tops have browned a little and they are cooked all the way through. N.B. A skewer may come out clean after 25 minutes, although I found that they benefitted from an extra ten minutes to avoid having a soggy bottom from the high fruit content.

6. Cool, then store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week (or freeze). (They're quite tasty warmed through with a dollop of Greek yoghurt on the side too, shh!).

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