I have always been a baker since I was a teenager. The first things I remember baking on my own were brownies and pineapple upside down cake from an old, thick cookbook of my mother's. In my late teens I was on the quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, one that was soft and chewy that flattened as it baked. The quest finally ended with a recipe found in a Canadian Living magazine. It is still the "go to" chocolate chip cookie recipe for my mother and sister.
In my adult years, I baked various kinds of breads and perfected baked cheesecakes with smooth, uncracked tops. I loved to bake, and rarely bought baked items from the store. Then, about six years ago, my daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and I had to relearn everything I knew about baking. All of my "go to" recipes were useless to me. I tried many gluten free recipes that went straight into the garbage after trying one bite. Many of these recipes had been published in cookbooks and I had followed the recipe with perfect precision. I wonder if the cookbook editors even tried the recipes. After three or four years, I had some decent, new gluten free "go to" recipes. I knew a lot about gluten free ingredients and different baking techniques. Still, one limitation of most gluten free recipes was that they went stale very quickly, and had to be frozen within 12 or 18 hours of baking to retain any freshness. Even then, many items were crumbly once thawed.
Lately, this downfall of gluten free baking has changed for me - mostly thanks to the Paleo food movement. I am interested in Paleo cooking, in that - it's grain free, which is great for our gluten free family - and my husband is very much a carnivore. So many of the recipes will appeal to him. (I am mostly a vegetarian, not necessarily for compassionate reasons, but more for the environmental and health benefits.) Reading Paleo cookbooks introduced me to coconut oil and flour. These ingredients have helped me to create some pretty amazing muffins that stay fresh and moist - for days on end!
I slowly developed these muffins after making the muffins in Practical Paleo. While the muffins in Practical Paleo are absolutely amazing, they didn't appeal too much to a child's taste buds. After a few months of switching this and that, this is what I came up with.
Gluten Free and Paleo Banana Muffins
Makes 12. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup coconut flour, preferably sifted
- 1 large ripe banana, diced
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Mix first six ingredients in a bowl. Whisk well. Add in melted oil while whisking. Otherwise the oil may solidify in a chunk within the batter. Not good. Add in coconut flour and whisk well until there are no lumps. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips (if using). Scoop into a muffin tin lined with muffin papers. Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack. Once cooled, store up to four days on the counter in a sealed container. May also be frozen.
You could also try maple syrup or agave syrup in place of the honey, although I have never tried this. To be honest, I never sift the coconut flour, but instead whisk and whisk and whisk until the lumps are gone. The coconut flour is amazing - after a minute or so, it kind of slurps up all of the liquids, creating a thick batter. I get mine at Costco (only 7.99 for 2 Kg!) or at Bulk Barn (a bulk food store in Canada).
These muffins don't last long in our house, and I have been baking about three batches a week!
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