I’ve never had much of an affinity for muffins. As a kid, I liked the buttery, sugary, crumble topping. I would then succumb to boredom and pass of the rest to whomever would finish it. These muffins bear little resemblance, nutritionally speaking, to those empty-calorie abominations. Not only do these taste delicious, they will transform your concept of what a muffin is.
Once I became vegan and moved next to (and later worked at) a Whole Foods, I had regular access to vegan muffins for breakfast. Still, I typically went for an Odwalla bar instead (and later a Luna Bar, which I soon traded the several different “raw foods” bars that were all the rage in 2006).
Then there was the Lara bar (which I splurged on for a minute, until noticing that a handful bulk raw cashews and dates amounts to exactly the same thing for $$$ less).
Still, muffins have kind of a “comfort food” quality. They really did have a significant presence in my childhood (though not a very exciting one, if I recall correctly).
Costco muffins, for example, made their way into girl scout meetings and camp, volunteer activities (usually girl scout related), school functions, as a snack after sports games, etc. I also had to frequent Costco regularly for those muffins (to feed touring crews) when I worked at a music festival.
Between the excess sugar and fat/cholesterol (butter & eggs), most muffins are glorified cupcakes. So no, muffins (in the conventional sense) really aren’t my thing.
So you might wonder why I would decide to make a batch.
1. I found a really great deal on Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour (2 for 1), raw almonds, and coconut butter in the mark-down bin at a mainstream grocery store (score!).
2. Muffin-making does not require wheat flour (or other grain)
3. Egg can be replaced easily with ingredients such as flax meal, arrowroot, apple cider vinegar, and banana. Since muffins typically have a very egg-y texture, this recipe utilizes all three.
These muffins have the opposite effect of the aforementioned Costco muffins, as well as most bakery muffins, muffins served at diners, and your typical, run-of-the-mill homemade blueberry muffin: the minimal carbohydrate content, low glycemic index, and high protein provide a lasting energy boost. Consuming these will not induce a sugar high, nor a mid-morning or afternoon “crash”.
Flourless Banana Blueberry Muffins
Serves 12 (using a standard 12-cup muffin tin)
2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flax seed + 5 Tbsp water)
1/2 cup unsweetened light coconut milk
4 very ripe bananas
2 Tbsp stevia baking crystals
1/4 cup coconut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 fine grain Himalayan pink salt
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup almond meal*
2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries
*I highly recommend using raw and/or blanched almonds and creating the almond meal in a food processor at home, over store-bought almond meal/flour.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a standard size muffin tin with muffin/cupcake liners.
2. Prepare flax egg in a large mixing bowl. Let set for 5 minutes.
3. Add banana and mash into a puree.
4. Add stevia, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk for a minute or until thoroughly combined.
5. Stir in the softened coconut butter.
6. Gradually add coconut flour, almond meal, and arrowroot powder. Continue to stir. If batter is too thick, add more coconut milk by the tablespoon.
7. Divide batter evenly into each muffin liner, filling almost completely or about 3/4 full.
8. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Test with a toothpick, knife, or fork; if it comes out clean, muffins are done. Let cool for a few minutes before removing muffins from tin. Serve warm. Once cooled, they are best stored in a covered container at room temp. Freeze for long-term storage.