Sunday, 1 December 2013

Banana Date Muffins

Yesterday was my father-in-laws birthday and as they live in the far south and we live central east we decided to meet in the middle at the botanical gardens for a picnic lunch. I had never been to the botanical gardens, and I was not disappointed…what a fantastic place! It was absolutely beautiful and the kids had a blast running around and checking everything out. There was a massive sculpture display on so there was some amazing art to look at, and the kids garden is such a well thought-out alternative to a traditional kids playground. There was a maze, a desert, a jungle and lots of cool little paths and walkways to explore.

One of the sculptures at the gardens - Hubby and the kids having an 'King Arthurs Sword' moment!

To turn the picnic into a birthday celebration it was decided that cake would be required. Being a stinking hot, gale-force wind kind of day I made the call that a traditional cake would probably not be the most practical idea, so we settled on making some muffins. There were a bunch of very dark brown bananas that were screaming to be 'caked' - decision made on the flavor!

The end result was these delicious, moist sweet little treats that were a hit with the whole family. Easy to pack for a picnic as muffins, but could quite easily be baked as a cake if you were wanting a more traditional birthday option. The muffins are also a good option to make into mini muffins and kept int the freezer to pop into school lunch boxes for a little sweet treat.

These muffins were gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, and free of white sugar. They use coconut sugar, dates and the bananas for sweetness, and I have found this wonderful culinary coconut flour from Natural Abundance which I sometimes use that creates a really light fluffy cake. This is a fantastic product to keep in the pantry if you like to do a bit of baking. It is similar in texture to a very light, fluffy desiccated coconut.

Banana Date Muffins

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, free of white sugar

3 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup culinary coconut flour
1/2 cup dried dates, roughly chopped
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted 
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Line a 12 hole muffin tin (or 24 hole mini muffin tin)
2. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, sugar and dates).
3. In a blender or using a bowl and whisk, combine the wet ingredients (bananas, eggs, butter or oil). 
4. Combine the wet with the dry and mix well.
5. Put about 2 tbsp of mix into each hole of the muffin tin.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown