Wednesday, January 29, 2014

RECIPE: Clean Banana Nut Muffins

One of the best things about doing The Whole Life Challenge so far has been discovering all the amazing, healthy recipes people share with each other. Yes, the grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning (hey! cleaning!) can be overwhelming at times. But it's worth it when you're putting your health first...and when the results are this ridiculously delicious. Seriously, when I first saw this recipe I thought there was no way they'd taste like real banana-nut muffins. I could not have been more wrong. These babies are moist and every bit as good as (if not better than) the ones I used to make that were loaded with flour, sugar and more sugar. Pretty amazing for baked goods that are Whole Life Challenge compliant at the advanced level, not to mention gluten-free (and Paleo, if that happens to be your dietary preference)!

The sweetness in these comes from nothing more than the bananas and dates, and the moist and buttery taste is courtesy of coconut oil. (Don't complain to me about the saturated fat! I've read a ton of research on coconut oil and will write more about its many health benefits in a future post.) If you want to make these vegan, I've been told you can substitute 1 cup applesauce for the 6 eggs, but I haven't tried that yet. (If you do, please report back with your results!) I have baked eggless cookies using a baking soda-water substitute for the eggs, but I'm not sure if that will work with these since you're using coconut flour instead of death flour (seriously, you know that refined white stuff will kill you, right?). Incidentally, coconut flour has a phenomenal nutritional profile (hello? 3 to 5 grams of fiber per tablespoon, depending on the brand!) and creates a much better bread-like texture than almond flour, in my opinion. ALSO NOTE: I usually halve this recipe and get about 9 muffins out of it, which winds up making the serving size slightly smaller (and therefore each muffin lower in fat and calories). Anyway, here's the recipe. Enjoy!

(printable recipe)
Serves 12
1/2 cup coconut oil
6 eggs
4 medium-ripe bananas
12 pitted dates
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice, to taste
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Grease muffin tin with coconut oil.
3. Puree the coconut oil, eggs, bananas and dates in a food processor or blender until smooth.
4. Add all dry ingredients except walnuts and blend again until smooth.
5. Stir in walnuts (reserve a few to sprinkle on top if you like).
6. Fill muffin cups almost all the way (they don't rise as much as traditional muffins) and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.
7. Try not to eat them all in one sitting.

271 calories; 19 g fat (10.1 g saturated); 108 mg cholesterol; 200 mg sodium; 21.1 g carbohydrates; 4.5 g fiber; 10.7 g sugar; 6.3 g protein; Vitamin A 3%; Vitamin C 9%; Calcium 2%; Iron 48%

*With special thanks to The Whole Life Challenge BEATS team members, Xen Buchanan and Hannah Parfitt, for the recipe inspiration!


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