EASIEST Vegan Banana Bread Muffins

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**Please note that memo2munch caters toward a vegetarian/vegan diet and while food memories of all kinds are welcomed, recipes shared on the site may be adjusted.**

EASIEST Vegan Banana Bread Muffins | memo2munch

I like to call the above photo, “The Evolution of Banana Bread.”

This is a natural progression, right? Once bananas get ripe enough they just morph into banana bread? And the chocolate chips just appear at some point, and we’re just like “Oh, youuuu,” all exasperated but really we don’t mind one bit.

Hey, stranger things have happened. (Like sweet potato cupcakes?!)

EASIEST Vegan Banana Bread Muffins | memo2munch

Growing up, my momma would make banana bread for us fairly often. Whenever I saw a few forgotten bananas resting on the counter, speckled with brown, I would internally fist-pump because I knew banana bread was in my near future. (Still happens, honestly. Except now when I’m at school I have to make it.)

The days leading up to the “Momma Cake,” as we called it, bake day seemed to drag on. We like to let the bananas get reallllly ripe and black. That’s when they’re the sweetest and add the most flavor to baked goods. So every day after school I would peer over the counter and check on the ripeness of the bananas to see if they were ready yet, like a very small, very hungry serious scientist tracking the progress of an experiment.

EASIEST Vegan Banana Bread Muffins | memo2munch

Then, when the bananas were FINALLY LIKE UGH COME ON ready, my mom would let my sister or me mash them with a fork while she measured out the other ingredients.

Ok quick note: banana mashing is so fun. Can I say cathartic? It’s cathartic. None of that blender or food processor stuff, plz. Use a fork.

There’s another “Evolution of Banana Bread” in this story, and that’s the shape the finished product would take. In my earliest memories of my mom’s banana bread, she always made it in a square pan. And I was the brat that would only eat middle pieces because children hate edges on anything??! Pizza crust—->no. Corner brownies—->not a chance. I would like to say, though, that I never took the edges off my Smucker’s Uncrustables. Never.

EASIEST Vegan Banana Bread Muffins | memo2munch

Anyway, the original recipe my mom used called for the bread to be baked in a loaf pan. She switched to the square pan after having issues getting the bread to bake through. But then there was the problem of the sunken middle…

As in, the bread would be a baked all the way, but the middle would sink into a kind of banana bread dome once it cooled. But Mom persevered and found a solution! *clapclapclap*

Now she makes the recipe in a Bundt pan. The sunken middle issue is taken entirely out of the equation, and the cake cooks through fine because the batter is more spread out. Innovation!

EASIEST Vegan Banana Bread Muffins | memo2munch

Banana bread will always make me think of “Momma Cake,” but for the recipe today I made a few tweaks. We’ve got cute banana muffins that are vegan and very forgiving. You can’t mess them up. They’re also sprinkled with coconut, which Momma never did because she hates coconut. But I like it, soooo.

The recipe is based on one my friend and I found the other day when it was raining and we wanted dessert and she happened to have three very ripe bananas so what choice did we have? She is also responsible for the coconut topping idea. Thank you, Esther <3

EASIEST Vegan Banana Bread Muffins | memo2munch

We made our version with a mix of chocolate and butterscotch chips, which was i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e. So if you aren’t vegan, I would highly suggest that.

Hope you enjoy the muffins! Don’t forget to tell me about your food memories!!! memo2molly@gmail.com

Vegan Banana Bread Muffins
(makes about 12 muffins)

Ingredients

3 very ripe, medium bananas
1/3 cup Earth Balance or any margarine, melted (can sub butter if not vegan)
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ – 1 cup mini chocolate chips
Coconut flakes for sprinkling (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/175 degrees C and grease a muffin pan or line with muffin papers.

Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl with a fork until smooth and no lumps remain. Stir in the melted Earth Balance.

Add the sugar, vanilla, baking soda, and salt and mix completely. Gently stir in the flour until no large lumps remain. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into the lined muffin pan, filling each well ¾ full. Sprinkle with coconut flakes. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the muffins comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack briefly before enjoying. Muffins are great days after, especially heated for 12 seconds in the microwave.

Any-Flour Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

You guys, I’m having a banana moment.

Or is obsession a better word?

Any-Flour Double Chocolate Banana Muffins | memo2munch

Cuz “moment” makes it sounds like a temporary thing. (It’s probably not.) But “obsession” makes it sound like a bad thing. (It’s definitely not.)

Whatever, bananas are awesome and fun to spell in a duet with Gwen Stefani. Also, this kinda makes me a Despicable Me minion, correct? Correct. Dave and I are best friends.

bananaminions

See? Best friends.

I’ve always loved bananas, but now I’m becoming a banana fiend! I have half a banana on my oatmeal at breakfast and then for lunch I’ll have the other half on some toast with almond butter and honey (TRY THAT) or just by itself as a snack later on in the day. I’ve got a whole system, you understand. Other times I’ll toss it into pancakes or caramelize it and use it in baking.

Any-Flour Double Chocolate Banana Muffins | memo2munch

Can we talk about how versatile bananas are for a sec? They’re a dream when you mash ’em up and bake with them. They have binding properties like an egg, they’re naturally sweet and can replace some of the sugar in recipes, AND they can replace some of the fat as well while still maintaining a soft and fluffy product.

Any-Flour Double Chocolate Banana Muffins | memo2munch

Baking aside, bananas themselves are very nutritious! They are very rich in the electrolyte potassium. Potassium helps our bodies control blood pressure and aids in muscle function. If you have high blood pressure, eating foods with potassium can be just as beneficial as cutting down sodium! (Doing both is even better!) Have muscle cramps? Digestive issues? Cramps? Bananas can help with each. You go, bananas!

Need more reasons to eat bananas? Here are 25 more!

Any-Flour Double Chocolate Banana Muffins | memo2munch

Any-Flour Double Chocolate Banana Muffins | memo2munch

As it turns out, though, most Americans aren’t eating enough bananas. Of the 4,700 milligrams recommended, we only eat an average of 2,500 to 3,000 milligrams. Get on that banana eating, people!! (Other good sources of potassium: avocados, citrus fruits, blackberries, prunes, raisins, carrots, spinach)

Any-Flour Double Chocolate Banana Muffins | memo2munch

For today’s muffins, I did what any sane person would do and combined banana and CHOCOLATE!!!

The two go together wonderfully, but then again chocolate is incredibly easy to get along with. 😉 I’m beginning to think there are very few things that don’t pair well with chocolate. I tried an ancho chili and cinnamon dark chocolate the other day, and it was soooooo yuuuuummmmmyyyyy. Wasn’t expecting to like it too much, but boy was I wrong. Gobbled that thing right up, mmmmmm mm. (Side note–have you tried something you expected not to like and ended up loving it? Leave me a comment!)

So anyway, you can see why banana and chocolate together was a given. Chocolate drizzles are also a given. Oh, yeah.

Enjoy!!!

Any-Flour Double Chocolate Banana Muffins | memo2munch

Any-Flour Double Chocolate Banana Muffins | memo2munch

Any-Flour Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 1 egg
  2. 1/4 c. brown sugar
  3. 1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
  4. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium, very ripe bananas)
  6. 1 cup flour of your choice (oat, almond, coconut, brown rice + corn mix, spelt, all-purpose, whole wheat, etc.)
  7. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  9. 1/2 tsp. salt
  10. 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  11. 3/4 c. chocolate chips
  12. More chocolate, for drizzle (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. grease a muffin tin or line with papers.
  2. Whisk together the egg, sugar, apple sauce, vanilla, and mashed banana.
  3. Toss the dry ingredients together in a separate, smaller bowl.
  4. Pour dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Depending on what flour you use, you might need to add a little water at this point. Aim for a batter that is not as runny as pancake batter, but not as solid as cookie dough.
  5. Scoop into muffin pan and bake for 18-22 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove from tins.
  6. Prepare the drizzle: place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is completely melted. Use a spoon to drizzle over the muffins. I used about 1 Baker's bar of semi-sweet chocolate to do this.
Adapted from Yammie's Noshery
Adapted from Yammie's Noshery
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins

Normally I’m a pretty patient person. I’m trying to think of specific examples right now, but none are coming to me, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

That wasn’t very patient of me, was it?

Oh! Like waiting for bread dough to rise. I will do that happily. Mostly because I can distract myself by reading other food blogs or watching Youtube videos to waste pass the time, (VlogBrothers, anyone?) or by doing homework, of course… heh. But also because I’m patient!

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

However, sometimes I have streaks of impatience. (Don’t we all?)

For example, when I get a craving for banana bread, I wanna make banana bread THAT DAY. The only thing is, for deeeeelish banana bread, you just have to use really ripe bananas, as in so-ripe-the-peels-are-almost-all-brown bananas, because the flavor comes out much deeper and richer.

Well, that means you have to wait for them to ripen. Which takes a day or two, even using the handy brown bag trick.

So that means I won’t get my banana bread for at least another 24 HOURZ. Or will I?

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

One of my favorite ladies, Lindsay, over at Pinch of Yum has basically rescued me from ripe-banana peril now and forever.

Her recipe for banana bread muffins uses caramelized bananas to add a decadent layer of sweetness. Doesn’t that just sound wonderful?!

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

But here’s the best part: caramelizing the bananas cuts out the whole waiting for the bananas to become overripe step because they need to be fairly sturdy to caramelize well. Hello, yellow bananas sitting on the counter, you are perfect!

SO we get impeccable banana flavor without the wait, and caramelizing the bananas brings out such a rich, sweet taste that we can cut down on the sugar too. YAY!

Plus you get to call them caramelized banana muffins. Look at you, being all fancy and talented. Oh, yes.

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

Also, can we take a moment to appreciate the bits of crunchy granola on top? And I though muffin tops couldn’t get any better.

Lindsay used oat flour in her muffins (aka grinding up oats in a food processor), but I used almond flour instead. The substitution worked great, although I strongly suggest waiting until the muffins have cooled quite a bit before eating them so that they can set properly. Otherwise the texture will be kind of mealy. I know you wanna eat ’em piping hot, but it’s a lot better than waiting for bananas to ripen, amiright?

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

Since these muffins are predominantly almond flour with just a little whole spelt flour, they should be fine for you if you just have a gluten sensitivity. Spelt still has gluten in it, though, so they are not good people with Celiac. (Read more about why spelt is okay for people with gluten intolerance here, near the end) You might be able to make them truly gluten free by experimenting with some other GF flours, although I have not tried it yet. YOU SHOULD DO IT AND LET ME KNOW HOW IT WORKS.

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins
Yields 12
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For the muffins
  1. 4 bananas, peeled and sliced (NOT overly ripe)
  2. 1 cup almond flour
  3. 1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. whole spelt flour (can sub whole wheat)
  4. 2 tsp. baking powder
  5. 1/2 tsp. salt
  6. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  7. 3/4 c. plain almond milk
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 5 tbsp. melted Earth Balance or coconut oil
  10. 2-3 tbsp. honey or real maple syrup
  11. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the topping
  1. 1/3 c. oats
  2. 1 tbsp. melted Earth Balance or coconut oil
  3. 1 tbsp. honey or real maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray generously with a nonstick cooking spray. (The oil is necessary for the caramelization) Slice the bananas into rounds and place them flat on the baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes, flipping once and removing from the oven when the bananas are a deep, golden brown on the outside. Transfer to a bowl and mash the bananas with a wooden spoon.
  2. Toss the almond flour, spelt flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, melted Earth Balance, vanilla, and honey until combined and smooth. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet.
  4. Stir gently until batter is just barely combined. Fold the bananas into the mixture, stirring just 5 more times.
  5. Transfer the batter to a greased 12 cup muffin tin. Mix the topping ingredients together and sprinkle over the muffins. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the muffins are puffed slightly and spring back when you touch the tops. Let cool completely before enjoying, or the consistency will be mealy.
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/