Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year's Muffins [Whole Wheat Flax Banana Almond with Chocolate Chips or Raisins!] (eggless)


[UPDATE:  I've replaced some of the original pics of the muffins with newer ones.  Some of the originals were a bit grainy.  Like I really needed an excuse to bake again!]

I went on a massive baking bender over Christmas.  It was magical!  I churned out four different eggless confections (with the help of a wonderfully patient assistant) in one day.  My loved ones and I then spent several days in a sugar-high haze.  You'd think that we'd need a break from all of this sugar! However, this is one of the few times of year when I have the time to really indulge in baking.  I was also treated to some silicone cupcake liners and a silicone baking sheet over the holiday.  Not baking was not an option!  So, in honour of the New Year and getting back to healthier eating, I played around with one of my go-to eggless muffin recipes with delicious results.

Full of healthy and delicious ingredients.  Also, sugar.

Before I introduce the recipe, I thought I'd quickly share my first-time experience baking with the silicone cupcake liners.  I did some very basic research online before using them.  This was how I found out that it is best to "season" the liners with some cooking spray or other grease for the first few uses.  I took this precaution and it worked out like a dream!  The muffins popped right out (I found it best to push them out from the bottom after loosening the sides). I feel pretty confident that the cooking spray won't be necessary after a few more batches.  I LOVED that these liners protected the muffin tin. I have found in the past that I am never quite able to clean out the corners of the tins - no matter how much grease/flour I use - and I hate to use disposable liners.  The only caution I would give when using these liners is that they do get very hot in the oven and need to cool in the tin for several minutes before being transferred to a cooling rack (this is probably common sense, but yours truly had to find out the hard way!)

The highlight of my holiday season!

Enough of my blabbering about silicone!  On to the recipe for these dreamy New Year's muffins.  They contain relatively healthy ingredients such as whole wheat flour, flax meal, banana, almonds, and canola oil (as opposed to butter).  However, the healthiness is balanced with some brown sugar and chocolate chips.  I'm all about balance ;)  They are packed with flavour and are addictive when warm.  This is a simple eggless recipe.  I added the flax for its omega-3 benefits, but you could easily substitute a 1/4 cup of flour for it, if you wish.

The muffins all nestled snug in their liners :)

New Year's Muffins (eggless)
Adapted from Sprinkle Charms blog.

Makes 12-14 muffins
  •  2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (canola is my preference)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with silicone liners (or grease tin).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream bananas until smooth.
  3. Add oil, milk, and vanilla to banana mixture.  Mix until combined.
  4. Stir in flour, flax meal, baking soda, and sugar. Mix until just combined. Add chocolate chips and almonds to batter.
  5. Fill silicone liners (or greased tins) 3/4 full and bake for 20-22 minutes.
  6. Let muffins cool in tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a rack until cooled to room temperature. Serve!
[Update: These muffins freeze well.  Seal baked, cooled muffins in an airtight, freezer-proof bag (I would remove silicone liners first, if using) and store in freezer for up to 1 month.  They defrost beautifully if left out at room temperature for 1-2 hours.  Alternatively, you could defrost/heat in the microwave, but the texture will change.]

I hope you enjoy :)

7 comments:

  1. These look so moist, fluffy and delicious!! Love the flavor combination too. Can't wait to make these! And you're right, a girl's got to have her balance! ;)

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    1. Amen, Rachel! Thank you for stopping by :) I hope that if you do make these, they will meet your expectations for moist-, fluffy-, and delicious- ness! I'd love to know how they turn out for you.

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  2. Delicious much? They are suuuuuuper moist. The almonds and raisins are so good together!

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    1. I wondered when you would sneak one out of the freezer, Tash ;) I'll update the post with freezing instructions. I was also surprised at how much I liked the raisins with the almonds - I absolutely thought I would prefer the chocolate chips, hands down. Hmmm, I guess there is always the option to add both...

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  3. I tried to make these today, but they turned out flat and wet looking. What did I do wrong? I don't know if they are supposed to be like this or not. I was really sad, because these were going to be my breakfast and it was already 10:00. I would love to try making these again, but better. Do you have any tips for me to make them better?

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    Replies
    1. I'm sorry to hear that they didn't work out for you :( I've made these several times now and they've always have the texture of a rather moist muffin. When you mentioned that they turned out flat, do you mean that they just weren't rounded on the top or did they actually collapse in the middle? Also, did you bake with flax and what flour did you use?

      Hmm... It's hard for me to say without being there, but off the top of my head here are a few tips (only try one of these adaptations per batch):
      1. Try increasing the sugar to 3/4 cup
      2. Try increasing the flour by 1/4 cup
      3. Try decreasing the milk to 1/2 cup
      I've never tried any of the above things so I can't say that they will work. The other potential hiccup with this recipe (and many other banana-based cake recipes) is getting the proportion right for each baker - the bananas I use could be much bigger or smaller than yours or the their ripeness may have differed.

      I will probably have the chance to make these again in the next week or so. When I do, I'll try a few different things and I'll actually measure the amount of banana once its creamed.

      Hopefully this will help - I totally understand, no one likes missing out on her muffins for breakfast ;)

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    2. Hi Addielyn,

      Here is an update on the muffins based on my test batches this week. Firstly, the amount of my two bananas once creamed ended up being about 7/8 cup (i.e. 1 cup minus 2 tbsp).

      I still didn't seem to have the problem of them being particularly wet, they were relatively flat but this recipe doesn't necessarily produce the "puffiest" muffins. However, two variations that I tried might get you results closer to your preference:

      1. I increased the whole wheat flour by 1/4 cup for one batch. It produced a slightly stiffer muffin, the taste was similar to the original recipe.

      2. In another variation I replaced the flax with 1/4 cup whole wheat flour. These muffins puffed up quite nicely for me, so they had nice rounded tops.

      Anyway, I hope that these options might help! Another suggestion would be to let them bake for another few minutes, just keep an eye on them to ensure that they don't get too brown. Also, you might want to let the batter rest for a few minutes before spooning into the muffin tins - this might give the baking soda some more opportunity to create bubbles in the batter.

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