Friday, March 15, 2013

Chef Aj's Just Banana Muffins. Possibly the World's Most Perfect Treat.

I'm a sucker for the donut pan.

When I saw this recipe on the Forks Over Knives newsletter/website this week, I was thinking, "How soon can I try this recipe out?" The ingredients are so simple, I was intrigued at the idea of it. Sweetening a muffin with only bananas and applesauce? No date paste, date syrup, maple syrup, stevia, etc.? Could it work? Would my kids like them? My husband? Me?

I'm looking for things that satisfy my sweet tooth, because I see now that it will never go away, no matter what I do. So satisfying it with things that are healthy but don't cause me to overindulge is the key. Ain't nothin' wrong with that. Remember that potato chip commercial, "Betcha can't eat just one!" Well, if I can't eat just one, it doesn't qualify.

The good news: I can eat just one of these donuts. Two out of three children tested loved em. Husband: check! Super easy to make. Better warm than cold. Gluten free, I think (that's not my area of expertise).

Plus, the only ingredient in this recipe that I don't keep in my kitchen is the unsweetened apple juice. But it wasn't worth a cleaning session with my juicer, so I just bought a bottle. I should have purchased apple juice boxes (that was my friend Chris-Anna's suggestion, after the fact), because now I have a large bottle of apple juice in my refrigerator with no one to love it. So please come over to my house and get your half cup.

The bad news? I mean the other good news? They're not very sweet, and they have that sorta rubbery texture that all gluten free baked goods have. At least to me. But right now, I'm really happy with that.

Chef Aj's Just Banana Muffins
makes 12 muffins or 10 donuts
note: instructions were edited somewhat from the original recipe

print me!

4 very ripe bananas
2 cups oats, ground into flour
½ cup unsweetened apple juice
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (flaxmeal)
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla
½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder (Rumford brand or Trader Joe's)
½ teaspoon sodium-free baking soda (Bob's Red Mill brand)

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners (or prepare donut pans).

Grind oats into a flour. Place in a large bowl and add flaxmeal, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Stir.

Puree bananas in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade until smooth. Add the apple juice, applesauce and extract and process again until combined.

Pour over dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Add the apple cider vinegar and stir.  Let mixture sit for 10-20 minutes. It will "puff up."

Ladle into muffin liners or donut pans, filling about 2⁄3 full (for muffins) or full (for donuts). Bake for 20-22 minutes until tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Baking time is the same for muffins or donuts.

Chef Aj’s note: Gently stir in 2 cups of frozen blueberries for blueberry banana muffins and increase baking time 8-10 minutes.

My husband's note: "These would be good with some finely chopped nuts in them. Maybe some walnuts?"

Thank you Chef Aj for another great no-oil, no sugar, no salt, no wheat flour recipe! We love you!

Did you see this recipe burn like wildfire through the Internet this week? Did you make the muffins? Thoughts? To leave a comment/view the comments, please click on the title of this post (the orange text above).
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