Friday means yet another recipe and I’m sorry I’m not sorry if you are getting tired of my fall food posts but it tissss fall so there! 😛 I’m still intrigued by pumpkin and the various things I can make up with it that ‘fit’ my standards of snackage. I recently came across a few posts of individuals who infused their pumpkin goodies with banana and, well, if banana is in the picture, it’s a winner in my book!
So who were some of the standouts that inspired this latest recipe?
These lil Healthy Banana Pumpkin Muffins from Jennifer over at Peanut Butter and Peppers. The ingredients were A-okay in my book, nutritionally speaking, they had banana in them AND I liked the combination of flours and meals for the dry ingredients. Lil bit of flour, lil bit of flax meal, lil bit of oat bran. Lil bit of this, lil bit of that. I like making combos myself so I liked this list. Of course, my ‘flour’ choices were all different (exception of the flax) but still, the combining idea is there. And hey, look at them, super moist and cute!
The second recipe that I oogled was by FitKitten on Instagram. Lindsey has some AMAZINGLY droolworthy IG posts and all of her recipes can be found on her blog, The Fit Kitten, or her IG account. Make sure to check her out!
Foodporn no? This was the recipe that really got me inspired and I followed the most. Obviously, like the other recipe, the first thing that caught my eye was the banana-pumpkin combo. I tweaked the flour choices and their ratios to be more of a blend like the first recipe, which led to my version having slightly more ingredients, but hey, it’s tasty so that’s what matters right? I also made two versions….
So… ready for the recipe?
Here you go!
Choco-Nanner-Pumpkin Muffins (or bread)
Makes 12 mini muffins OR 1 lil loaf OR 6 mini muffins and 1 thinner loaf
3/4 cup oats blended into a flour
1/4 cup oats left whole
1 scoop (~33g) Cellucor Cinnamon Swirl Whey (or can use another cinnamon or vanilla protein)
4 tbsp raw coconut flour
2 tbsp flax meal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon **
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 ounce of raw cacao nibs (OR about a 1/4 cup of unsweetened carob chips)
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/2 cup liquid egg whites
1/4 cup plain goat yogurt (or plain greek yogurt)
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp maple extract
*I don’t have pumpkin pie spice so I used the 4 spices as mentioned. If you have pumpkin pie spice, feel free to use a tbsp of that instead of the 4 separate spices.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Throw all your dry ingredients in a bowl. Melt the banana in a bowl and combine all of your wet ingredients together. Work quickly or your coconut oil will harden and become clumpy. If that happens, heat the mixture in 30 second intervals so re-melt it and not cook the egg whites. Fold your wet into your dry and portion out into your sprayed muffin or loaf tins. Bake in the oven until the tops are brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool before attempting to flip them out of the tins and enjoy!
- I did not add sweetener but if you really like your goodies sweet, feel free to add some Stevia or another sweetener of choice. If liquids are used you may have to add a bit more oats depending on the volume added.
Both me and my boyfriend enjoyed these very much. They are not overly sweet, but rather, have a nice mildly spiced flavour. The carob chips melt into the bread if you choose to use those (or regular chocolate chips) versus the cacao nibs provide a nice crunch.
Why did I choose to alter the use of the flours used in Lindsey’s original recipe?
- Because I can never leave a recipe unaltered it seems. Ever. I don’t know why, I just cannot leave it alone.
- I don’t use wheat flours in my baking. Instead, I prefer to add in other types of “flours” to amp up the nutrients and play around with the macro ratios. Let me explain the variety I chose for this recipe (and many of my previous baked goods).
- Coconut flour… Great source of fiber, gluten free, and it contains more protein and less carbohydrates than most other flours. I find that using it in the right amounts can result in baked goods that have a denser, cake-like feel, which I tend to like. This is probably due to the fact that this flour soaks up a ton of liquids so make sure to add ‘moisturizers’ (eggs, egg whites, fruit/veg purees, etc) and liquids to your recipes when trying to use this flour to prevent dried baked goods.
- Flax meal… Great source of fiber, healthy omega-3 fatty acids (particularly ALA), and manganese (antioxidant properties). Flax meal is great for the digestive system as well as it forms a gel-like substance that help to keep things movin along through the tract. I find that the oils found flax not only keeps baked goods more moist but they also add a nutritional boost! Also, like coconut flour, but not to such a high degree, flax meal tends to thicken batters resulting in fluffier baked goods as well as things like pancakes and mugcakes.
- Oats or oat flour…High in fiber, selenium (antioxidant properties) and manganese. So many good things come from these lil guys including, but not limited to, lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and cardiovascular risks, antioxidant properties, stabilizing blood sugar levels, keeping you full and satisfied longer and just being so darn yummy! I have found that some people complain that oat flour in recipes make for denser and heavier goods. For this reason, I tend to combine flours to add some moisture (ie. fattier flours/meals) in to add some variety and counteract some of the heaviness. Personally, I don’t find this flour too heavy, but that could be because I have adjusted to it rather than pastry flours that rise better when baked.
- Whey… This is completely optional in baked goods but it adds protein, great flavour, calcium and bulk to batters with very little extra carbohydrates. That being said, it’s hard to ensure that goodies don’t get dried out when using whey. Due to this, like coconut flour, ensure that you take care to add some moisturizers to prevent eating a tire. Vegan protein powders are also great choices and tend to have a more flour-y consistency.
Please don’t take my points here as the stone cold truth. I have spent lots of time experimenting and I’m still working with these flours to see what works and what doesn’t. Gluten free and alternative flours are not always the easiest to work with and require a lil bit more work than traditional wheat flours do. What I have mentioned here is simply what I have seen from my own baking adventures.
To truly understand these mysterious and sometimes frustrating ingredients, experiment a lil bit and enjoy the process of learning. Sometimes it may end not so nicely…
but sometimes you end up with a nice treat.
I also want to say a big thank-you to Kiersten for hosting Recipe Friday every week so that all of us baking and cooking experimenteurs can showcase some of those creations that came out of the good side of the oven.
Check out Kierston’s recipe this week
Umm.. Delicious! And also sneaky as something green made it’s way into this cake too. Good thing that nutritional booster doesn’t scare me as I have come to love my zoats. Also, you can jump for joy that it’s something not pumpkin related. 😉
Any tips for working with alternative flours?
Any Paleo followers out there?