First of all, I should tell you that there is more to these muffins than just your standard banana and bran. I was considering calling them “Everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink Banana Apple Carrot Avocado Double-Fiber Lazy Morning Breakfast Rockets of Glory,” but even I had to admit the moniker was a little clunky. I do like the idea of these packed little hand-helds containing everything you need to jump start your day, though.
These are not gluten-free, but they are vegan- or rather, can be made vegan. Vegan baking amazes me, because it omits things usually considered baking staples: eggs, milk and butter. Still, my experience with “flax eggs” has been pretty good! Soy or almond milk is an easy substitute for cow milk. Butter can easily be substituted in most recipes for oil, although it will often change the consistency or baking times. I, however, did not use oil for the much-needed fats in the recipe (fat carries flavour, don’t skip the fat completely, even if you’re trying to lose weight). Nope, I used… avocado.
We all know avocados are full of healthy fats, but remember that they are also chock a block full of vitamins and nutrients, many of which are heat-stable, making them an excellent, creamy, vegan alternative to butter. The resulting baked goods are rich and moist and turn out so well, I regularly use avocado in place of butter for these muffins even though I am not vegan myself (I used chicken eggs and cow milk for this particular batch).
I mean, if we’re throwing everything and the kitchen sink in anyway, may as well include another plant! (As Michael Pollan says, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”)
These muffins get a lot of moisture, sweetness and nutrients via a handful of other plants, too. Apples, carrots and bananas. So, we’re up to four plants! Not bad for a little muffin. (^mmmm mushy brown freezer banana… so ugly, so perfect for baking)
Brown sugar isn’t the best for you, that we can agree on. But come on, it’s a muffin! We still want it to taste delicious. (see also Portlandia)
Add in some rolled oats, which provide healthy soluble fibre (great for keeping you full for longer) and wheat bran and whole wheat flour for insoluble fiber (to keep your guts clean and moving). Sprinkle in some walnuts for texture, more healthy fats and soluble fiber. Phew, these little muffins really do pack a punch!
Did I mention these muffins freeze well? They freeze really well. Make a big batch for grab-and-go breakfasts, your body (and wallet) will thank you for skipping the Egg McMuffins (but they’re sooo gooood! Okay, you can have the McMuffins every once in a while.)
|All-in-one Breakfast Muffins|| |
- 2 eggs (substitute flax eggs* for vegan)
- 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
- ½ large avocado, mashed
- 1 large apple, peeled and finely grated
- 2 carrots, grated
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup milk (substitute soy or almond milk for vegan)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup wheat bran
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup raw walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350. Prepare muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, bananas and avocado. Add apple, carrots and brown sugar and mix until fairly smooth. Add milk and mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, oats, bran and flour.
- Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until completely combined. Add walnuts and mix.
- Divide the batter evenly among the lined muffin tins, filling them all the way up to the top.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let the muffins set in the pan for 15 minutes then flip them up on their sides cool completely.
- Once fully cooled, store in a covered container at room temperature or freeze for future consumption.**
** To thaw these muffins, remove them from the freezer and let sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours.