Blender Banana Muffins

For the easiest ever #quarantinebaking, this recipe is dedicated to those who have overripe bananas and no flour in their post-Covid pantry.

Just blend and bake!

These gluten-free muffins call for just FIVE ingredients. After 15 minutes in the oven, they’ve filled your kitchen with wonderful smells and created a protein-packed snack or muffinized meal. You can substitute different kinds of nut butters if you’re allergic to peanut butter and experiment with different toppings like coconut, chocolate chips, and dried fruit or raisins.

Blender Banana Muffins (makes 12)

2 cups peanut butter
4 large eggs
4 medium-size bananas, very ripe
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey (optional)
*optional toppings: dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, coconut, raisins, craisins

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray muffin pan with non-stick baking spray.
2. Place ingredients in blender and blend until fully incorporated.
3. Pour batter into muffin tin.
4. Add toppings* to each muffin cup. Use the back of a spoon to push toppings into batter slightly.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean. Leave in pan for 5 minutes to cool before transferring to wire cooling wrack or serving platter.

 

Avocado Brownie Muffins

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Whether life’s simple pleasures include avocado is up for debate, but fudge and brownies are first on the list, and this muffin combines both while concealing the debatable fruit.

Dark chocolate and fudgy mousse come together with avocado in this incredibly decadent muffin that tastes like a brownie. In addition to being velvety smooth, this recipe just so happens to be grain-free and dairy-free.

The pureed avocado adds a creamy texture without influencing the taste.

If you ever make a muffin, this is the one to make.

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Avocado Brownie Muffins (makes 12)

2 large ripe avocado, mashed (about 2 cups) 
2 eggs 
2 tsp vanilla 
1 Tbsp water 
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (equivalent to 1/2 cup melted chocolate)
1 cup + 1 Tbsp cocoa powder 
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda 
Pinch of salt

1. Preheat your oven to 355°F.
2. Grease muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a food processor or blender, puree avocado with eggs, vanilla and water until smooth.
4. In a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup, melt chocolate in 30 second increments until smooth.
5. Add melted chocolate to avocado mixture and mix through.
6. Add cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt and mix until just combined.
7. If mixture is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water and combine.
8. With an ice cream scoop, spoon mixture into muffin pan. Smooth out tops (optional).
9. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
10. Allow muffins to cool for 4 minutes before removing them from the pan. Chill in the fridge.

*Notes:
These will last in the refrigerator for a few days (and are even better after a day or two). They keep in the freezer for months.

 

Piña Colada Muffins

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This muffinized™ piña colada is full of the flavors of pineapple and coconut, without the rum. Adding pineapple also intensifies sweetness without adding additional sugar.

Out of the oven, the scent is wonderful in these almost-cupcakes that contain no butter or oil.

Fresh and light, this muffin is dense and yummy. There are bits of pineapple in each bite, and the flavor is reminiscent of a macaroon.

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Piña Colada Muffins (makes 18)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk (a generous 1 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup shredded coconut (plus 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top)
1 cup diced pineapple or diced dried pineapple

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl (or a liquid measuring cup), combine coconut milk, applesauce, and vanilla.
4. Make a well in the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients, and stir just to combine. Fold in the ½ cup shredded coconut and pineapple.
5. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 full. Sprinkle additional shredded coconut on top.
6. Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool before removing muffins from tin.

 

 

Flourless Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

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For my readers who have requested gluten-free recipes, I consider it my duty to muffinize™ the crumbly, dry baked goods they are generally stuck with.

Moist, rich, and decadent, these muffins satisfy the chocolate-peanut butter craving. The recipe is dairy-free, oil-free, and contains no refined sugar. So how could the muffins be good? Believe.

With the help of a blender, the batter is transformed in minutes. No gluten means no risk of over-mixing the batter, which could create tough muffins.

Thanks to the banana and honey, the taste is sweet but not too sweet, the texture fudgy but still cakey and springy like muffins. The peanut butter is there, but does not overwhelm. The chocolate flavor is enhanced by the ever-presence of mini chips.

These muffins are a wonderful way to justify having chocolate for breakfast.

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Flourless Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins (makes 6)

1 medium/large ripe banana, peeled
1 large egg
heaping ½ cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
3 tablespoons honey (agave, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup may be substituted)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
heaping 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (for sprinkling)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. To the canister of a blender, add banana, egg, peanut butter, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
3. Transfer batter to a mixing bowl. Fold in heaping 1/2 cup chocolate chips and stir.
4. Use an ice cream scoop to distribute batter into muffin cups to ¾ full.
5. Sprinkle each muffin with a generous pinch of chocolate chips.
6. Bake for 13 to 18 minutes*, or until the tops are set, domed, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
7. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 10 minutes until they’ve set.**

*Watch muffins closely and bake until done.
**These muffins will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

 

 

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

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OK gluten-free lovers, here’s to satisfying your sweet tooth!

These are the fluffiest, most moist baked products on the global gluten-free menu. The texture is reminiscent of peanut butter fudge. They are more cakey than the usual muffin. The peanut butter does not overwhelm, and the banana flavor is barely detected, albeit the riper the banana the sweeter the muffin. The melty chocolate chips complement the peanut butter in every bite.

Let’s talk all the things these muffins are not. They are gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free, oil-free, and refined sugar-free. So how could they be good?

Trust, but verify.

With the help of a blender, the batter is transformed in minutes into the best excuse for eating chocolate for breakfast.

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Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins (makes 12)

2 medium ripe bananas, peeled
2 large eggs
1 heaping cup creamy peanut butter
6 Tbsp honey (or agave or maple syrup)
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 heaping cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (for sprinkling)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. To the canister of a blender, add bananas, eggs, peanut butter, honey, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
3. Transfer batter to a mixing bowl. Fold in heaping cup of chocolate chips and stir.
4. Use an ice cream scoop to distribute batter into muffin cups to ¾ full.
5. Sprinkle each muffin cup with mini chocolate chips.
6. Bake for 13 to 18 minutes*, or until the tops are set, domed, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
7. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 10 minutes until they’ve set.**

*Watch muffins closely and bake until done.
**These muffins will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

 

 

 

 

The Ultimate Comfort Food: French Toast

This article was featured in Swirls and Spice on October 21, 2014.

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To kick off the pumpkin season, the food world seems to be baking with orange-hued vegetables like carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes. Culinary creators are enhancing dishes with seasonal spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger.

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These fall tastes bring memories of home and hearth so much so that there is no doubt about the level of comfort in the autumn-inspired muffin. Variations include pumpkin cream cheese, carrot cake, sweet potato, and honey corn.

However, when I think of Autumn and its ultimate comfort food, I think of French toast. It’s a breakfast classic. Often served with maple syrup or jelly. Sometimes finished with melted butter and salt.

My grandmother, whom I remember making breakfast in her hot pink bathrobe and slippers, would serve French toast dusted with powdered sugar. The following recipe takes me back to her. It’s a muffin that’s light and fine. Its taste is French toast. Its texture, more delicate.

Both toppings below are equally delicious. The first is a cinnamon and sugar glaze, and the second combines the traditional tastes associated with French toast: drizzled maple syrup and powdered sugar. As on French toast, apply the topping by drizzling. Or, dip each muffin into a puddle of maple syrup and a mound of powdered sugar or cinnamon-sugar mixture.

For more nutritious fall muffin recipes, go to www.MuffinMama.org

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French Toast Muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or allspice)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup dairy milk (or coconut milk* for dairy-free)
  • 1/3 cup butter or coconut oil, melted

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Grease muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper muffin liners.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together egg, milk, and melted butter.
4. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir until just moistened (batter may be lumpy).
5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
7. Top each muffin with one of the two coatings (recipes below) and serve warm.

*Note: For dairy free muffins with coconut milk, you may need to add about 2 tablespoons more liquid, such as water.

Topping 1: Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter or coconut oil, melted

1. In a bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar.
2. In a separate bowl, melt butter.
3. Dip tops of finished muffins in the melted butter, and then in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Topping 2: Maple Sugar Coating

  • maple syrup
  • confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar) for dusting

1. With a toothpick, poke a few holes in muffin tops.
2. Spoon over a good quality maple syrup.
3. Sprinkle powdered sugar on tops.

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

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These self-contained, portion-sized muffins are ready to be reheated at a moment’s notice. Top with spaghetti sauce or ketchup, Parmesan or breadcrumbs. These make an excellent dinner if you’re short on time. They also freeze well for quick meals on the run. To add a splash of color or sweetness, add dried cranberries or serve with a side of cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving dinner.

These muffins are especially tempting with crushed Ritz crackers on top. The sprinkle of Ritz makes an exciting impression and adds a taste that is buttery-delicious.

Tip: Use a fork to mix in order to aerate the mixture to produce a less-dense meatloaf.

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Turkey Meatloaf Muffins (makes 12)

1 Lb lean ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs (or 14 Ritz Crackers, crushed)
3/4 cup marinara sauce
1 tsp onion salt
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin cups with olive oil or cooking spray, or line with paper liners.
2. In a bowl, combine turkey, egg, bread crumbs, marinara sauce, onion salt, and seasoning. With a fork or your fingers, mix all ingredients. (Use a fork to mix in order to aerate the mixture to produce a less-dense meatloaf.)
3. Distribute evenly into prepared muffin cups. Use a spoon or ice-cream scoop to pack each mound, for a more typical looking muffin-top and denser finished product.)
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

 

Low-Sugar Banana Muffins

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For Michael’s first birthday, I served these low-sugar banana muffins to compensate for the chocolate icing I lathered on top (his first-ever taste of chocolate). Michael ignored the chocolate icing and couldn’t get enough of the banana muffins!

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For Joey’s first birthday, again, I served these muffins – some with icing and some without. The picture below demonstrates Joey’s choice.

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This recipe is a great way to use rotten bananas. These muffins have plenty of potassium and not a lot of sugar. Plus, as you can see, for the toddler, they are much easier to eat than peeling and eating an actual banana!

Note: Omit raisins and walnuts for young children.

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Low-Sugar Banana Muffins (makes 12)

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 medium bananas, cut into chunks
1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
1/3 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup orange juice (or unsweetened orange juice)
1/2 cup raisins, soaked in water (optional)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir to blend.
3. In another mixing bowl, mash bananas with a fork until they are all mushed. Add egg, applesauce, oil, and orange juice to the mushed banana.
4. Combine all ingredients in one bowl.
5. Fold in raisins and/or walnuts.
6. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 full.
7. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

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Apples & Honey Muffins

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Inspired by a Rosh Hashana playdate, these muffins are quite the comfort food and perfect for welcoming the Jewish new year. Made with crunchy rolled oats and honey, they are heavenly for the holy days. The combination of orange juice, applesauce, and cinnamon intensifies the flavor and makes these treats a perfect Rosh Hashana house gift.

This simple, delicious recipe is perfect for Rosh Hashana or just because. Start your own tradition by serving your next batch alongside sliced apples and honey. These muffins will definitely become a family favorite.

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Apples & Honey Muffins (makes 12)

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats (or oatmeal)
l Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup applesauce
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, rolled oats, baking powder and cinnamon. Make a well in the center.
3. In a small bowl, mix together applesauce, orange juice, honey, oil and egg.
4. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir just to moisten.
5. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 full.
6. Bake for 22 minutes.

24 Karat Muffins

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Yes it’s true, a 24 karat muffin counts as a serving of vegetables! I grew up eating carrot cake at my Grandma and Zayda’s. This recipe is a family heirloom now transformed into muffins. Loaded with tasty ingredients like pineapple, golden raisins, and walnuts, the combination of carrot and pineapple is wonderfully fresh. Thanks to this recipe, my son has discovered a love of golden raisins.

These muffins are so moist and delicious, you don’t need icing!

*Note: Omit walnuts and raisins for young children. To make a full-size cake, bake for 50 minutes.

24 Karat Muffins (makes 24)

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
3 (4 oz.) jars of carrot baby food
3/4 cup canola oil (or saflower or peanut oil)
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup white raisins
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 small can (8 oz) crushed pineapple (1 Cup)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin pans with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix eggs and sugar for 3 minutes. Add carrot baby food and oil.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon.
4. Add flour mixture to egg mixture (reserve a tablespoon to mix with raisins or nuts)
5. In a separate bowl, dredge walnuts and raisins in flour mixture.
6. In a separate bowl, mix vanilla and pineapple.
7. Add everything together, mixing walnuts and raisins in last.
8. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 full.
9. Bake for 20 minutes.