Delightful Cranberry Banana Muffins
Hi everyone! I hope you’re all doing well and have had a great week – if you’re lucky like us here in South Africa, we’ve had a couple of public holidays over the last few days allowing for an uber long weekend and a very short 3-day week. It’s been absolutely and gloriously timeous.
After coming back from Greece, my transition back into the home space was really hard. Being back in Grahamstown was a bit of a shock to my system, and more specifically, I was dealing with a deep plunging into my healing journey in a much more authentic and complex way. A way that has been so illuminating and in the long-run, very relieving, rewarding and joyous although there was a week where I felt like the wheels were falling off. I will write a more personal blog post soon, elaborating on what otherwise might seem like a very cryptic introduction so some Banana Muffins, but all of this to say thank you for sticking around and being such a supportive community of plant munchers and health enthusiasts!
So, finally, after a bit of tumultuous transition back into University life after a truly life changing experience in Greece, my partner Adam came down for the long week-end. It was just heaven. I hadn’t seen him for months, and WOW, I did not know how challenging but also growth-provoking making a long-distance relationship work could and would be. But, boy oh boy, worth every second. When you find the people that enhance your life, that bring you copious joy, light, growth, expansion, stability, connection, comfort and LOVE, you make it work. We spent the week-end gardening, doing yoga in the garden and SHARING life in a physical space again. We planted some Apricot trees, helped out at SPCA where we very nearly adopted two kittens who we fell in love with, went the Bathurst book fair (and got some absolute gems of books!) and ate delicious food. HOWEVER, our darn oven has been broken for the last 5 weeks. And this is a major creation-inhibitor. No doubt. There were so many times I would exclaim with joy a recipe I was intending to make only to realize that “oh no, the oven is broken”. And every time I would be equally, if not more disappointed. Today that all changed. As Adam left back to Cape Town (because he is full-on doing the adult-ing thing now and actually has a steady job and only 15 days of holiday per year (!!!)), the oven-man arrived with the equipment we’d been waiting on. Thank goodness it worked out this way, because without the distraction of a normal functioning oven this afternoon I may have just been an emotional ball of “I-miss-you-already-please-come-back”. But instead, I channeled it into feeling the feels that needed feeling while making something delicious and lovely. Baking and/or cooking really can be so meditative and reflexive. It can be such a powerful way of stilling the mind and being present with what you are doing.
This is the backdrop to how these muffins were created. They are light, fluffy and sweet but not too sweet, and just plain YUM. They also don’t use any uber refined-sugar, which is a major win. Especially if you want to have them as a mid-morning snack without spiking your sugar levels. They are cinnamon-y and great for that cosy transition into Winter that we’re experiencing right now. If you’d like to another great topping idea: just before popping them into the oven, sprinkle some chopped walnuts ontop. AND, serving suggestion: serve warm with nut butter of choice, a sprinkle of sea salt and a dash of maple syrup. Hmmm.. And a cuppa tea. Of course.
3 bananas (mine were small-medium in size)
1/3 + 1/4 cup coconut sugar
¼ cup maple syrup/honey/brown rice syrup etc.
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seeds + 3 tablespoons of water)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
15 drops stevia
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp peanut butter
3/4 cup plant based milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup frozen raspberries (optional although this does make them slightly more moist)
½ cup quick cook oats
1.5 cup flour (I used stoneground unbleached cake flour)
¼ cup almond flour
1/4 cup cranberries
¼ cup cococnut flakes and walnuts for topping
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease your muffin tin with coconut oil or line with muffin holders.
2. In a small bowl place your ground flax and 3 tablespoon water and let it sit to thicken in order to become your “egg replacer”.
3. In a big mixing bowl place your three ripe bananas (ripe banans peel easily and are very spotty!), baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon together and mash until fine.
4. Once that is all mixed, add in your salt, sugar, syrup sweetener, stevia, and flax egg and mix well.
5. Measure your plant based milk (I used soya milk) and add the apple cider vinegar into it letting it sit for a few minutes to become like “buttermilk”.
6. Add in the milk mixture and water, stir well.
7. In a small saucepan melt your 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and peanut butter together. Add this to your batter.
8. Now add in the rest of the dry ingredients – the oats, the flour, the almond flour and cranberries. Stir well. And then dollop mixture into muffin tin until about ¾ full. It should make 12 muffins.
9. Top muffins with extra cranberries, walnuts, oats or coconut flakes.
10. Place in the oven and bake for 28-30 minutes.
I was very luckily sent a beautiful package from Faithful to Nature, a brand that is, as the title says, faithful to nature in their drive towards reducing plastic usage and providing people with delicious plant based food items. In turn, I made these using their cranberries and coconut flakes which are both GREAT – especially the coconut flakes, being perfect for making coconut “maple bacon”. Definitely give the brand a lookout and support them in their vision to making the world more conscious in consuming. <3