a muffin a day.

by Janetha on September 19, 2012

in recipes,tips

when we got home from our family vacation, i had five black bananas staring me in the face. on sunday night, i decided to use them to make muffins. i have been trying time and time again to get that dome shape on my muffins, because they typically fall flat. after a whole lot of research on the interwebs, i think i’ve finally figured out how to make muffins with that rounded crown i was after.

here are the measures i took to achieve the dome-top:

  • i used new baking powder & baking soda
  • i barely mixed the dry & wet ingredients together… the batter was much clumpier than usual (this is reflected with the chunky muffin tops below)
  • i filled the muffin cups just over 3/4 of the way full
  • i transfered the muffin tin to the oven immediately after filling the cups—i did not let the pan sit and wait or give the uncooked cups a chance to rest
  • i increased the baking temperature to 400° F

these tweaks ended up working out for the best and i was thrilled to see my muffins rose to a point rather than laying flat as a pancake. i even sent a text to amanda and kerryne because i was super stoked!

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why, yes, i did let out a “whoop”.

anyway, onto the recipe! i used four different flours for this recipe. yes, four! i couldn’t decide which one to use, so i used a little bit of all that i had. each flour has a different flavor and i think the four of them combined worked really well! let me tell you a bit about each of the four flours. (click photos for source)

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almond flour.

per 1/4 cup: 180 calories, 5g carbs, 7g protein, 15g fat, 3g fiber

almond flour is simply ground almonds. i bought mine at trader joe’s, but you could easily make your own in a food processor or vitamix. because using almond flour is just like eating almonds, you reap the same nutritional benefits. while it is higher in fat, there is no trans fat in almond flour. it is rich in magnesium, vitamin E, iron, and calcium. almond flour is gluten free.

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coconut flour.

per 1/4 cup: 120 calories, 20g carbs, 4g protein, 3g fat, 12g fiber

coconut flour is a by-product of coconut milk that has been ground into flour. i buy bob’s red mill brand coconut flour. coconut flour is high in fiber. in fact, it is 58% fiber, making it the most fibrous flour out there! this gluten free flour ranks very low on the glycemic index, which is a system that ranks food by the effects they have on your blood sugar. because coconut flour is a low GI food, it will keep you full for longer and give you steady energy. additionally, because of the fiber content, coconut flour is low in net carbs. (net carbs are figured by subtracting grams of fiber from overall grams of carbs.)

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whole wheat flour.

per 1/4 cup: 100 calories, 21g carbs, 4g protein, 1g fat, 3g fiber

whole wheat flour comes from unrefined wheat. because it is “whole”, it contains the bran, germ, and endosperm of the wheat grain. it is rich in fiber and other nutrients including vitamins B1, B2, B3, E, magnesium, iron, zinc, and phosphorous. many say whole wheat is the “heart healthy grain” because it plays an important role in preventing cardiovascular disease. consumption of whole wheat has also lead to fewer instances of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. go, whole wheat, go!

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all purpose flour.

per 1/4 cup: 100 calories, 22g carbs, 3g protein, 0g fat, 1g fiber

all purpose flour is a blend of hard and soft wheat–it is refined from wheat. it’s easy to see that all purpose (also known as “white”) flour ranks last of these four flours when it comes to nutritional content. because it is a refined flour, it loses most of the nutritional content during the processing. however, some of the nutrients are added back in—this is why you see the word “enriched” on the label. while it contains very little fiber, it is high in thiamin, folate, and niacin thanks to the enriching process. the reason i like to use a little all purpose flour in my baking is because of the texture it lends to the finished product. it is really good for quick breads (like these muffins.) it offsets the heavy, dense texture that whole wheat flour can sometimes give to baked goods. i know many people avoid white flour at all costs, but i don’t think a bit of it is going to kill us.

now that you know way more than you wanted to know about flour, i will share these tasty muffins with you!

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healthy banana muffins
makes 12 muffins
prep time: 5 minutes
bake time: 20-22 minutes

ingredients

dry bowl:

  • 1/2 cup almond flour/almond meal
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup xylitol (or other sweetener of choice)
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

wet bowl:

  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed over-ripe banana (about 5 small bananas)
  • if needed, 1/8-1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

directions:

  1. preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. line a muffin tin with parchment paper liners.
  3. in one bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  4. in another bowl, combine the eggs, applesauce, and vanilla.
  5. fold bananas into the wet mixture.
  6. form a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well.
  7. gently stir to combine the ingredients, but DO NOT mix well. there will be clumps—that’s OK.
  8. fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way full with the batter.
  9. bake immediately for 20-22 minutes, tops will be golden brown. you will know they are done when a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into one of the muffins.
  10. remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from muffin tin/liners.

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enjoy!

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nutrition facts:

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i have to toot my horn on this one—i REALLY like these muffins. i have been eating at least one (and most days two) a day.. they are great for breakfast (crumbled over some plain chobani greek yogurt) or as a snack (heated in the microwave and smeared with butter!) no matter how you serve them up—they’re great.

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let me know how you like this recipe if you try it!

xo. janetha g.

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Liz @ iheartvegetables September 19, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Oh my gosh those look SO tasty! Banana muffins are my favorite!!! I’d add a smidge of peanut butter on top and I’d have a perfect breakfast :)

Janetha September 19, 2012 at 6:54 pm

That is exactly what I did today! I used dark chocolate peanut butter. Yum.

lindsay September 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm

all hail the mighty black banana! really, they do wonders.

Erica September 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Ow! I’ve been all about muffins lately. Totally trying these. They look just perfect

Michelle @ Eat Move Balance September 19, 2012 at 6:46 pm

You TOTALLY rock for doing the flour stat comparison!!! Seriously, I’ve been wanting to do this myself, but haven’t gotten around to it. Aaaaannnddd, I kinda want to find some coconut flour and try it out. Interesting stuff! Thank you!

Heather @ Heather's Dish September 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm

WOOHOO FOR MUFFIN TOPS!!!

never thought we’d see that on your blog, eh? :)

Lauren September 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm

I love cooking with almond flour. Can’t say I’ve done much baking with it (because baking doesn’t normally occur in my kitchen ;) but I can imagine it would be fantastic in these!

Katie @ Talk Less, Say More September 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Those look seriously AMAZING! Good work girl. ;)

Courtney September 19, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Could I use 1/4 cup of Stevia? Thats all I have.

Janetha September 20, 2012 at 12:17 am

Stevia is much more potent–I imagine you’d only need 2-4 TB of stevia.

hellonheelshon September 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm

mmmm those look really good. Saturday breakfast, anyone? I know what I’ll be making! Thanks for the healthy recipe! :)

Sam @ Better With Sprinkles September 19, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I’m not going to lie, I would probably throw some chocolate chips in there. They sounds so good though! I’ve been meaning to pick up some coconut flour, I haven’t tried it yet.

Brittany @Berries and Barbells September 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm

These muffins look fantastic. I haven’t done too much experimenting with different types of flours. I usually just stick with whole wheat or all-purpose. Thanks to your flour comparison I will be heading to the grocery store to pick up some almond and coconut flour. When I make these muffins I’ll let you know how it goes!

Sarah September 19, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Oh my goodness, yum! I might try making these with oat flour instead of the wheat flours for our sleepover with Gigi’s gluten-free bff on Friday. I hope I don’t sacrifice the muffin tops, though!

brandee September 19, 2012 at 10:55 pm

These look so good and I have all the ingredients except bananas…I think I’ll try blueberries!

Simone September 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm

ooh good one, i’ve got some bananas that really need to be used up. I may throw in some walnuts, i’ll let you know!

Paige @ Your Trainer Paige September 20, 2012 at 6:04 am

Niiice domes, girl! ;) haha No really, they do look fabulous! And despite having 4 flours, not many ingredients!

Wendy September 20, 2012 at 7:58 am

These look great! Does coconut flour have a coconut flavor? I know some people who use coconut oil say it doesn’t affect taste, but I find it very much affects the way things taste and I am wondering if the same is for the flour.

Janetha September 20, 2012 at 9:52 am

Not much–very subtle. Not anything like the oil. If you get refined coconut oil.. There’s no coconut taste. I know because I WANTED it to taste but bought that by mistake. The vurgin, unrefined coconut oil has the strong flavor. Xo!

hayley September 20, 2012 at 11:34 am

i was going to ask the same thing! not a big fan of coconut, and was disappointed with how strong the flavor in the oil was. good to know the flour isn’t as bad :)

Shaunna@mamas13minutemile September 20, 2012 at 8:10 am

These look awesome :)

Megan September 20, 2012 at 8:21 am

You sure can make a muffin top look like a totally wonderful thing!

Christin September 20, 2012 at 9:08 am

thanks for the flour info…I always see these and never know what to do with them if I had them! Your post is making me feel a little braver about experimenting :)

Annette@FitnessPerks September 20, 2012 at 10:25 am

Ohhhh hello delicious! THese look awesome! I can’t wait for TJ’s to come so I can get me some almond flour! YUMM.

Lisa September 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Oh boy, these look awesome! I love banana muffins! Now I just need to replenish my almond flour stash!

Jenny$1983 September 21, 2012 at 6:53 am

These look so good, banana muffins are definitely my favourite! So easy to throw chocolate chips and/or nuts in there too :)

I was wondering if you could think of a way to tweak the recipe to make these lower in carbs at all? I understand if you just think I shouldn’t mess with the recipe ’cause it’s perfect as it is though, especially with those mountainous muffin tops :D

Janetha September 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm

You could use all almond and coconut flour or replace some flour with protein powder (low carb) just as long as you have 2 cups total I’m sure it’d work!

Jenny$1983 September 21, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Thanks for the reply! I’ll try that :)

Sarah @ The Healthy Diva September 21, 2012 at 11:03 pm

yum….these look awesome! banana bread and muffins are one of my favs

Amy September 24, 2012 at 8:59 am

YUM. Love the variety of flours used! These look incredible, Janetha.

Amy
@Chobani

Madison @ Pilates Makes You Happy October 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm

So I just made these… FANTASTIC! Thank you!!

Janetha October 14, 2012 at 10:23 am

Thank YOU! Happy to hear!

Arman @ thebigmansworld July 28, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Just made these- Fantastic with a side of eggs! Thanks Janetha!

Leah January 21, 2014 at 6:59 pm

Can you use maple syrup as the sweetener? I’m not familiar with xylitol and don’t like anything that tastes fake (most sugar substitutes taste awful to me). Thanks!

Janetha January 28, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Yes, of course!

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