Breakfast & Brunch · Gluten Free · Vegan

Banana Muffins (Gluten Free, Naturally Sweetened, & Vegan)

You know that song you probably sang at summer camp that goes “peel banana, peel peel banana”?

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Gosh I hope someone knows what I’m talking about. Every time I bake something with bananas, this song plays in my head. The problem is I can’t remember how it starts and only recall select lines. Like “bananas have no lips… mmm.” “Banana split. Bananas unite.” And that’s about it. So basically four phrases go through my head. Does this song come to mind when I peel a banana to eat as is? No. Only when I bake with bananas.

We all have our weird quirks, I guess? I think I may have even more of them being a music teacher though… it has to come with the territory.

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I know we did banana bread only a week ago, but I can’t get enough. Maybe it’s because it took me so long to come up with a solid recipe before finally nailing it; I like reaffirming to myself that no baked good puts Sara in the corner. I don’t want to talk about how many recipe failures I’ve had this past week. Not little “someone at church will eat it” mistakes either. These have been  “entire cakes down the garbage disposal” mistakes.

Ugh. And one of those recipes was even a variation on my *perfect* banana bread. “Peanut butter and jelly banana bread” sounded so good in my head. Banana bread with fresh raspberries and swirls of peanut butter! …It is not good. Think solid lines of baked peanut butter that totally overpower any banana flavor. And raspberry seeds in your teeth.

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So instead, let me share with you one of my most long held recipes. I mentioned them in that last banana bread post. These gluten free, naturally sweetened, and optionally vegan Banana Muffins were one of the first recipes I ever developed on my own. They use a few ingredients I very rarely bake with today (like EarthBalance and stevia), but I continue to keep these things on hand so I can make these muffins. I have a batch in my freezer at all times, and eat at least one if not two a week. There was an extended period of time where a banana muffin was breakfast every day. Lately I’ve been trying to not eat the same things every single day, as is my tendency to do, so Morning Glory Muffins have also been making frequent appearances in my breakfast rotation!

It sounds silly, but I’ve learned a lot about baking from these Banana Muffins. They’re pretty much what got me started weighing ingredients. The first five or six times I made these after I thought I’d gotten the recipe just right, I kept having varying results. Weighing ingredients solved this problem, and proved to me just how inaccurate measuring by hand can be.

Another thing that contributed to the variations was the bananas. Everyone who’s ever made banana bread preaches that the more ripe and browned the bananas are, the better. Not here. For whatever reason, super spotty bananas alter the texture of these gluten free muffins and weigh them down. They almost get kind of “gummy” for lack of a better term, and that’s no good. You’ll want to use a banana that is fully ripe, maybe the littlest bit browned, but not so ripe you wouldn’t want to eat it. Mash the bananas, and then measure/weigh them. If you do not have a scale, then shame on you I’d say aim for a *scant* 3/4 of a cup.

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I just wrote a whole paragraph on banana ripeness. Yikes.

These muffins are also easily made vegan by subbing soy or coconut yogurt for dairy yogurt. Also, if you don’t need them vegan and don’t keep Earth Balance in your fridge (you should… It is the best on toast), regular butter is  just fine.

My absolute favorite way to eat these Banana Muffins is split in half and lightly toasted under the broiler. The oat and brown rice flours these are made with produce the greatest flavor when toasted. With a little extra Earth Balance spread on each half… yum. If you can’t spare the time, these Banana Muffins are also plenty good eaten just as they are!

You may make them on the smaller or larger side, eat them toasted or plain, but whichever route you choose to go, make sure to save some space in your freezer. A big batch of Banana Muffins make for the perfect quick, healthy breakfast to eat throughout the week!

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And anyone who can remind me of the rest of the banana song gets a batch of muffins mailed to their house for free.


Banana Muffins
Yields 8-12 muffins (depending on desired size)

Light and wholesome banana muffins made with whole gluten free grains and natural sweeteners. Easily adapted to be vegan. One of my favorite breakfasts!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (g) brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (85g) oat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (165g) mashed bananas*
  • 3 1/2 Tbs. vegan buttery spread, melted**
  • 1/4 cup (48g) coconut palm sugar
  • 6 Tbs. (90g) plain low fat yogurt, dairy or soy
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk***
  • 21 drops liquid stevia****

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray, or grease lightly with oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the mashed bananas, melted butter, coconut palm sugar, yogurt, almond milk, and stevia.

Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet until thoroughly combined. Divide the batter evenly between 8-12 muffin cavities, depending how large or small you want your muffins.

For smaller muffins, bake for 18-19 minutes, for larger, 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan before removing and transferring to a cooling rack.

These muffins keep well stored in an airtight container for 4-5 days, or you may freeze them to have for future breakfasts on busy mornings! Thaw for an hour or overnight at room temperature. My favorite way to eat these is cut in half and toasted under the broiler.


*Please read the above post for banana notes.

**I use Earth Balance soy free vegan buttery spread. You may also use regular butter. If unsalted, add 1/4 tsp. of salt.

***Any low fat milk, almond, soy, coconut, or dairy, is fine.

****I use this brand of stevia. It is the only one I’ve tried that does not have a gross aftertaste, and I cannot guarantee good results with these muffins using any other stevia.  I wish they were paying me to say that but they’re not. I’m also unsure of how much powdered stevia you could or should use instead, but here is a conversion chart for your reference if you want to test it. For the best results, use my recommended brand and follow the recipe as written.

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3 thoughts on “Banana Muffins (Gluten Free, Naturally Sweetened, & Vegan)

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