The farther away I’ve travel from the west coast, the worse and worse the muffins begin to taste. And this has consistently really bummed me out. There, I said it. Phewf, that was oddly releasing. I always think optimistically about new cities and coffee shops, I’ve even been known to google search ‘best muffins in so and so town’, but these tactics are never to any avail. I’ll walk in, press my little face to the glass, taking one look in the case of fluffy white cakes, and shutter away in disappointment. I clearly remember the one time this summer in New York, when I was unorganized and therefore found myself out of the house and famished. I headed into a coffee shop before work and saw a blueberry muffin which appeared really promising. I took it to go and headed to my internship where I eagerly dug into the top (like the true Elaine I am), only to discover the weird taste of artificial cake, and the icky feeling of pasty white flour and sensation of greasy fingertips. A sudden wave of disappointment hit me, and I’m pretty sure the rest of it laid untouched all day.
I don’t know why, but the hippy dippy lifestyle of the Pacific coast offerers the prime conditions for nourishing and fulfilling muffins that’s second to none. Unlike said oversized, gummy-centred, mini cakes often found in cafes and bakeries most other places, west coast muffins are heartier, less sweet, and often full of wholegrain goodness. And that’s just the way I like them! While I know that ‘hockey puck’ bran muffins aren’t for everyone, there is certainly something to be said for having a breakfast/ tea time snack that doesn’t leave you feeling empty, or worse yet, just gross, after eating.
By replacing the white flour with wholegrain, adding fibre with fruit, and reducing oils and sugars, I’ve come to a happy medium where west coast hippie muffins and east coast cakes can mingle and become one. Tossing in some dark chocolate chips helps to bring these muffins from the realm of healthy hippy to that of cakey indulgence without sacrificing flavour, texture, or healthfulness. Aaaaand just putting this out there, my guy who is very particular to what he calls tasty, called these yummy more than once (we actually made three batches they were so good)!
If you are wanting to make these with gluten, they work just as well if you replace the flours called for with spelt, which is what I did here. And this recipe halves perfectly too.
Buckwheat Banana Muffins
Gluten Free Flour Mix from Green Kitchen
Makes 10 Print it Here)
1 Cup Almond Flour (or 3/4 Cup Almonds)
1 Cup Rolled Oats
2/3 Cup Buckwheat Flour
2 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder
1/3 Cup Coconut Sugar
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 1/2 Cups Mashed Banana
1/3 Cup Avocado or Coconut Oil
1 tsp Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Plant Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
3/4 – 1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (depending on taste)
1. Begin by adding rolled oats to a blender and pureeing them until they turn into a coarse flour, then set aside. If using whole almonds, process them in the same way until they too are flour. If you are using almond flour instead, then just skip this step.
2. Add the ground oats, 1 cup of almond flour, the buckwheat, arrowroot, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices in a bowl. Stir to combine.
3. In a separate bowl combine the banana, oil, lemon juice, milk and vanilla, stirring well. Combine the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until combined. Lastly, stir in the chocolate.
4. Divide batter amongst 10 lined muffin cups and sprinkle the tops with a little bit of almond flour if desired. Bake in a 190 C (375 F) for about 25 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.