Bananas are easily my least favorite fruit. I just don’t understand the appeal of the chalky, mushy, inevitably brown-spotted snack. Yet sometimes I still buy them because I hear they’re good for you and when still slightly green, they’re edible. As per usual though, the slightly green bananas on my counter quickly turned to spotted brown before I mustered up the interest to eat them. And the only thing I could think of to do with them besides throw them away was to bake. I’m also still soaking up all the flavors of fall and keeping warm with my chai tea, so the chai seemed like a perfect autumn addition to this classic muffin. And I’ve yet to add chocolate to a recipe which is shocking given my addiction, so I gave in to my natural impulses.
I’ve been on a coconut kick lately, and love the use of coconut flour in muffins (remember the lemon rosemary? nostalgic moment for my first post ever…) so I came up with something using both coconut flour and oil, that still doesn’t actually give off the flavor of coconut. I also replaced egg with flax seed meal and water, not only to cater to vegans, but also for that nutty flavor and texture.
I did have to go through a few batches to get these ones right and I actually learned a lot about baking soda versus baking powder in the process! Fun fact: Although both are used in all baked goods, baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate so it is used in combination with an acidic ingredient (here: agave) to neutralize and leaven, whereas baking powder is sodium bicarbonate PLUS acid, so doesn’t need an acid to help the baked good rise. I used both here so that I could get the extra lift with the baking powder, without the bitter taste of using only the powder.
Now that the lesson of the day is over…enjoy your baking and eating! These muffins are pretty dense but are about as healthy as chocolate banana muffins get! A perfect hearty snack, and breakfast…and dessert. My non-health-nut friends at school ate them right up and if they didn’t know me so well, they may not have known they were vegan and gluten-free!
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp each: cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cardamom
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 4 tbsp flax mixed with 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup agave syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup vegan (miniature) chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with muffin cups (a dozen).
- Combine the dry ingredients (coconut flour through baking soda) in a small bowl and stir to mix well.
- Combine wet ingredients (bananas through vanilla) in a larger bowl and stir well, until there are no large clumps.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the banana mixture, stirring well to combine.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Use a large spoon to evenly divide the batter into the 12 muffin cups. It should almost fill each of the cups.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned along edges, but not cracking.
- Let cool (or eat warm and gooey). Yum!