Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins

This weekend has been incredibly low key. I’ve been nursing a cold for the last few days, so decided I needed to take it easy. It’s felt a little frustrating having to stay in whilst the whole world seems to be out and about, but in the long run, I know it’s what my body has needed. In fact, I’m giving myself a pat on the back. I’ve managed to be pretty productive despite my bug. I’ve caught up on the new serious of Broadchurch (does anyone else watch it?), sorted my stationary (yes, I’m one of those), begun to compile a list for next week’s trip to Amsterdam (whoop!), whipped up two deliciously thick smoothies, and baked a batch of muffins.  So maybe I’ve not been productive in the ‘work’ sense, but it’s about priorities, right?!

Now I hate wasting food. In fact, my freezer is stock piled with fruits and vegetables that were slightly past ‘fresh’, but not too far gone to be thrown out. The ‘kinda-mushy-but-still-edible-when-blitzed-in-a-smoothie’ type? With four incredibly ripe bananas and far too many frozen bananas already stocking up my freezer, I decided it had to be a banana themed bake. And what better thing to do when you’re resting at home than to bake up something delicious?  Surely food that makes you smile makes you feel better inside too?  Okay so I know it’s not as simple as that, but either way, a weekend bake seemed like a good idea. Really though, when is weekend baking ever not a good idea?

Now onto the muffin ingredients. I went for a banana and chocolate flavour as these two staples compliment each other ever so well.  Bananas are serious powerhouses. They’re super high in potassium and rich in fibre too.  Plus, they’re naturally sweet so you don’t need to add very much else to sweeten your bake. And chocolate, well, I don’t know about you, but chocolate (*in moderation) definitely makes me feel good. I used a ‘free from’ chocolate spread by a brand called Mr Organic. It’s a deliciously smooth dark chocolate hazelnut spread with a high cacao content, it’s free from palm oil and is vegan friendly too.  Feel free to use whatever kind of chocolate spread that floats your boat (regular Nutella fans - have no shame) or if you’re feeling really adventurous, then you could always whip up your own. I’ve been eying up this one by Minimalist Baker for a while, so as soon as I’m all out, I’m going to give it a try.

http://minimalistbaker.com/4-ingredient-nutella-vegan-gf/

Equally, if chocolate really isn’t your thing, then you could replace it with nut butter. Almond or peanut would work just as well. Or dare I say it, maybe you could even swirl a mixture of nut butter and chocolate spread together? Now that does sound good…

These muffins are actually gluten free, made using a mix of chickpea flour and coconut flour (my two favourites) and are naturally sweetened with plenty of bananas and just a smidge of maple syrup.  Oh if you could smell them when I opened the oven, you’d be making them in a flash. The whole kitchen oozed happiness. I munched down two of these little beauties before even clearing up! It’s safe to say, the batch won’t last long.

Now for the recipe...

 

Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins

Time: 35 minutes

Serves: 12 small muffins (I had to cook them in two batches as I could only find my 6 hole muffin tin!) (*see note below)

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium ripe bananas (approx. 350g)
  • 2 heaped tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 4 tbsp. maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten (**for a vegan version see note below) 
  • 2 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 150g chickpea flour
  • 3 tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 1-2 tbsp. of almond milk (if necessary)
  • 12 heaped tsp. free from nutella/chocolate spread/nut butter

* Note: I debated making a loaf cake, but decided on muffins as they’re easier to transport and I hoped to take a few to a friend’s house for dessert the next day.  If you fancy baking a loaf instead, then make sure to grease the loaf tin with a little extra coconut oil and bake for 35-40 minutes (or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle).

**Note: I haven’t yet tried making a vegan version of this recipe yet, but if you’d like to give it a go, then let me know how you get on. Substitute the eggs with two flax eggs (2 tbsp. ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp. water).

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cases.
  • Crack the eggs into a mug and briefly whisk using a fork.
  • Combine the bananas, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, beaten eggs, and vanilla in a large blender or handheld mixer (I used my Ninja Kitchen) and blend until creamy and smooth.
  • In a separate bowl measure out the chickpea flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking power and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend until combined. If the mixture appears too dry, add a couple of tablespoons of almond milk. You want it just about pourable from a spoon.
  • Divide the mixture between the 12 muffin cases, dolloping roughly two heaped tablespoons in each, until about 3/4 s full. Then top each muffin with a heaped teaspoon of chocolate spread and use either a toothpick or the end of a teaspoon to swirl it into the batter.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
  • Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. I recommend serving them warm with a plain yoghurt of your choice (greek/coconut/soy) as a delicious dessert or afternoon snack alongside a cuppa. Freeze any leftovers for a quick grab and go mid week bite.

Creating your swirl: 

I hope you liked this rather spontaneous weekend bake! These are really straightforward to make, but still a little bit exciting too due to the chocolate swirl.  Trust me, it’s quite satisfying seeing it materialize when they bake. They’re a perfect lazy Sunday treat. As usual, make sure to tag me @mylifeisforliving, comment below, or drop me a message to let me know how you get on!

Until next time,

Hannah

#mylifeisforliving