I’m not a baker. I don’t like the exactness it requires or that you often can’t fix mistakes until it’s too late. Dough tastes different from the final product and you can’t just go back and add more salt or a touch more sugar if you find what you’ve made lacking in some way. However, sometimes it’s good to expand your culinary limits. That’s how these delicious gluten-free banana bread muffins came about.
This weekend I started altering a recipe for banana bread that I ran across online. On Sunday I bought bananas, which I usually put straight into the freezer, but I’ve now spent the last four days patiently waiting for them to start browning. Today they were brown, enough.
These muffins are soft on the inside and a little crispy on the outside. They are not overwhelmingly banana-y and have a nuttiness from the almond and flaxseed meal. I was going to make a traditional banana bread loaf but I like built-in portion control with my baked goods. It’s so easy to keep nibbling off a loaf making excuses that you haven’t eaten that much but you can’t deny eating a muffin, or two, and a half. So, muffins it was.
Whichever way you decide to make these, I think you should. Maybe for your family when they come to visit in a few weeks? Or as a special treat to yourself as we get closer to the holidays and things get crazy?
Take a little time, put away the oatmeal packets, the Clif Bars and the Starbucks’ pastries. They get the rest of the year.
Make a cup of tea or coffee and savor these little treats. Savor December. It’ll be gone before you know it and we’ll be wondering why we didn’t take 15 minutes in this busy time to revel in a bit of stillness, some twinkly little lights, the smell of cinnamon and allspice baking in the oven. I can’t imagine you’ll regret any of these things. It may even bring about some unexpected joy in this hurried month.
I’ll step off the holiday soapbox now.
Gluten-free Banana Bread Muffins (vegan, gluten-free)
3/4 cup oat flour
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup pitted dates (this is ~12 dates)
1/2 cup +1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
If you’re making your own oat flour, place oats in a food processor until ground.
It’s okay if there’s a little texture.
Place oat flour, almond meal, flaxseed meal, allspice, cinnamon, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Mix.
Process dates with almond milk and vanilla until smooth.
This took about 2 minutes of running the processor consistently, however, I was using my small hand-held one.
Add date mixture to your dry ingredients.
I didn’t want to dirty another bowl for mashing my bananas so I processed my bananas as well. About a minute should do. The bananas were a little creamier than if I had just mashed them but they still turned out fine.
Add bananas to dates and dry ingredients. Stir.
Grease a cupcake tin. I used a little cooking spray. Put batter in tin. These didn’t rise much so fill each tin almost to the top.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes cleanly out.
I may be eating my second one topped with a little bit of peanut butter as I type. 🙂
Enjoy your little slice of the holidays!