Vegan Banana Muffins

November 11, 2014

Vegan Banana Muffins

These Vegan Banana Muffins have been some time in the making.  It has taken a few tries to get these right, so I am really happy to share this recipe with you now. My Vegan Banana Muffins are gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, egg free and nut free, so they are the perfect lunch box snack for your kids and a delicious healthy treat for you.

I love the smell of banana muffins and banana bread cooking in the oven.  There is nothing quite like it.  It is such a comforting and familiar smell that conjures up happy memories of times spent cooking and eating with friends and family. I know my kids will have similar memories of banana bread when they get older.  As they say, ‘it’s an oldie but a goodie’.

As this is a vegan recipe, I have replaced eggs with flax eggs.  Flax eggs are made by combining ground up flax seeds (or linseeds) with water. You grind up the flax seeds in a grinder, mortar and pestle or Thermomix and then add 3 tablespoons of water for every tablespoon of flax seeds. You mix the flax seed powder and water in a bowl or cup and then let this sit in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes to set. This creates a gelatinous mixture that is very similar to whisked eggs, making flax eggs a wonderful vegan replacement for eggs in baking.

I normally make my own gluten free flour in my Thermomix.  This can be as simple as grinding up the right quantity of chickpeas, quinoa, buckwheat, rice or millet to make fresh gluten free flour from the whole grains or legumes.  I sometimes add tapioca starch to my milled flour as well. If you want to give this a try in your Thermomix, simply add the correct quantity of grains or legumes (e.g. if you need 200g of flour then add 200g of whole foods), and then mill on a high speed (e.g. speed 8 or 9) for 1 to 2 minutes.

I wanted to try something different with this recipe.  I went to my local supermarket and bought a packet of Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour from Bob’s Red Mill to see how this works in my recipes.  Those of you who don’t own a Thermomix would be buying this product or something similar to use in your baking. This flour is a mix of a few different grains and legumes so the taste is quite pleasant. Overall, I think it worked well.

I have used organic vanilla powder in this recipe, which is ground up and dried vanilla beans. Vanilla powder can be a little tricky to source, but most good health food stores should stock it or be able to order it in for you.  You can certainly buy vanilla powder online. I prefer organic vanilla powder to vanilla essence or vanilla bean paste because vanilla essence and paste generally contain sugar, preservatives and often alcohol.  Just check the labels on what you are currently using.  I also like whole vanilla beans, but I find it’s just easier to use the vanilla powder most of the time.  It is expensive, but so worth it.  I think it smells and tastes superior to any other vanilla products I have ever used.

Bananas.  The most essential ingredient in this recipe.  It is really important to use beautifully ripe bananas. As bananas ripen the starch turns into natural sugars, enhancing their sweetness and flavour. You will know your bananas are ripe enough for baking when they have little brown spots on the skins. Relish this moment, because these ripe bananas will produce beautiful muffins, banana bread and banana pancakes without having to add huge amounts of maple syrup, rice malt syrup, dates, stevia or raw honey for additional sweetness. Speaking of added sweetness, I have used rice malt syrup in this recipe.  You could also add organic or 100% pure maple syrup.

The beautiful thing about baking with no sugar and no dairy is that you can eliminate the step of having to beat butter and sugar together, which is generally the first step in baking most cakes and muffins. I love making recipes like this in my Thermomix. You literally add all of the ingredients to the Thermomix bowl at once and then mix. It’s so simple and easy. It takes about 10 minutes of preparation, 25 minutes of baking and then you can enjoy these delicious Vegan Banana Muffins fresh from the oven. Gotta love that!

Vegan Banana Muffins

Makes 16-18

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds (linseeds)
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 220g gluten free flour of choice
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bi carb soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 80g coconut oil, melted
  • 85g rice malt syrup or pure maple syrup
  • 4 ripe bananas, chopped into large chunks
  • Extra coconut oil, olive oil or muffin cases

Thermomix Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Oil one and a half muffin trays with coconut oil or olive oil (or use muffin cases).
  2. Make your flax eggs. Place your flax seeds in your Thermomix bowl and grind on speed 8 for 30 seconds.  Remove from the bowl and place in a bowl or cup.  Add the water to the flax seed powder and mix well.  Place the flax eggs in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up.
  3. Add all of the other ingredients to the Thermomix bowl and mix on speed 5 for 15 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for a further 15 seconds on speed 5.
  4. Spoon large spoonfuls of the mixture into the prepared muffin trays.  Fill each hole 3/4 of the way up with mixture to allow for rising.
  5. Bake the Vegan Banana Muffins in your pre-heated oven for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the muffins comes out clean.
  6. Let the muffins sit in the tray for 10 minutes then remove them and let them cool on a wire rack.

Conventional Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Oil one and a half muffin trays with coconut oil or olive oil (or use muffin cases).
  2. Make your flax eggs.  Place the flax seeds in a grinder (or use a mortar and pestle) and grind until they look like coffee grounds. Remove the flax seed powder from the grinder and place in a bowl or cup.  Add the water to the flax seeds and mix well.  Place the flax eggs in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients and mix well to combine – gluten free flour, baking powder, bi carb soda, cinnamon, vanilla powder and salt.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, add the banana chunks and mash them well with a fork.  Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the banana – apple cider vinegar, flax eggs, coconut oil and rice malt syrup (or maple syrup).  Mix well to combine.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well, either with a wooden spoon or with electric beaters.
  6. Spoon large spoonfuls of the mixture into the prepared muffin trays.  Fill each hole 3/4 of the way up with mixture to allow for rising.
  7. Bake the Vegan Banana Muffins in your pre-heated oven for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the muffins comes out clean.
  8. Let the muffins sit in the tray for 10 minutes then remove them and let them cool on a wire rack.

These Vegan Banana Muffins are so good it’s hard to stop at one!

 




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