If you're a banana person, you likely have experienced that big ol' pile of 'naners on the side of the counter that are just a tad too ripe for your taste buds. As you stare at them, you wonder, "Do I be a good person and make something out of these, or just make my life easier and toss them in the can?" With me being that person who god forbid doesn't start her morning with a banana, I just couldn't let these lovelies go to waste.
After deciding I was going to get my hands dirty in the kitchen, the thoughts started to roll in. Banana bread? Eh, I made that the other week. Freeze them and make a vegan banana ice cream? But it's November and I want something warm. Next thought? Chocolate. Nut Butter. Bananas.
The key to these muffs is truly the chocolate almond butter. Although they are still quite satisfying standing alone, the swirl of ultra chocolatey gooeyness makes them extra delicious. And I'll admit, I was ever so tempted to just use that jar of Nutella hiding in the back of my cabinet (thanks Mom), however then we'd be adding those hydrogenated, processed oils and that's just not what we want.
Fairly simple to make, and with utilizing ingredients that are vegan and gluten-free friendly, you really can't go wrong with these muffins. Filled with whole grains, fiber, and a dose of protein for long lasting energy, these are completely acceptable to pair alongside your morning coffee, as well as an afternoon pick-me-up, or for an after dinner sweet treat.
Don't have all the ingredients? No worries, I'll offer a few modifications as I get into the recipe so that we can all still sing along with Gwen Stefani: "This sh*t is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!"
Chocolate Almond Butter Banana Muffins
- 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flax seed meal + 2.5 Tbsp water)
- 2.5 medium ripe bananas
- 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla or regular almond milk
- 3 Tbsp earth balance spread or coconut oil, melted
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3.5 tsp baking powder
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 .5 C. GF rolled or quick oats
- 3/4 C. GF flour (I used Bob's Red Mill) *you may also sub almond flour, and if no gluten free flour is available, you can use spelt, all purpose flour, or whole wheat pastry flour, etc.
- 1/2 C. Rice flour (or sub almond flour for GF, or just all purpose flour)
For the chocolate almond butter:
- 1/4 cup almond butter *you can use any nut butter to substitute
- 1 tsp cacao powder
- 3 tsp vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips (regular are ok if you don't want it vegan)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Make your flax egg first in a small container and set aside (this will allow it to thicken as you get the rest of the batter ready). In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas well & then add all wet ingredients. Whisk together well. Next, add all your dry ingredients and continue to stir until all ingredients are well-mixed.
In a small pot, add the almond butter, cacao powder, and chocolate chips. Set on low-medium heat. Continue to stir the mixture with a spoon to encourage ingredients to melt together well. Once fully blended, take off the stove. Try not to burn your tongue as you lick the spoon...
Grease a 12-count muffin tray with coconut oil spray or coconut oil. Place a spoonful of batter into each muffin space, only so that the batter reaches less than half way. Take a 1/2 tsp or so of your chocolate almond butter, and place in center of muffins. Spoon the remaining batter completely over to cover each chocolate spot, then you can take another 1/2 tsp of the almond butter and spoon onto the very tops of the muffins, using a tooth pick to swirl it a bit.
Gooey center and topping? Oh yeah.
Bake in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until edges brown. Store in the fridge for a few days if you need.
*Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker's Gluten Free Nutella Banana Bread