Growing up, I was never really a big fan of bananas. I think it was a texture thing. Yet as a mom, I find myself buying them all the time...mostly because they're healthy and convenient; self-sealed and completely germ-free...at least until my kiddos get their hands all over them. But the second my kids see one brown speck on a banana, they start seeing a fine fruit past its prime. On the flip side, I start seeing an baking ingredient that often comes in very handy when I'm in a pinch. This was the case when I wanted to bake with my kids last week.
I always have a bag of chia seeds around, and love baking with them, too. The subtle crunchy-pop they make with every bite is really appealing to my kids. They also add quite a bit of nutrition and act as a binder. I bake entirely gluten free, so baking with ingredients that help bind (something glutenous foods naturally do), is very helpful. This ensure that the end result will stick together instead of falling apart.
I know not everyone follows a gluten-free diet, but I truly believe most people have no idea how good they could feel if it was eliminated - especially if you're dealing with inflammation. We've all dealt with inflammation, and many of us are continuously dealing with the chronic variety. It's important to remember that you will never regain complete health until you get inflammation under control. Eliminating gluten can help. Try eliminating it for a couple weeks, then re-introduce it. You'll notice very quickly if you're at all sensitive to it.
Giving up gluten is not the end of the world. In fact, these days it couldn't be easier. That said, I strongly encourage people who commit to a gluten free diet NOT to substitute commercially made gluten free products (like cookies, etc). They're great for some occasions, but are still typically loaded with sugar - another key contributor to inflammation.
On to the recipe. I took it easy on adding sweeteners in this recipe, but I really feel the bananas helped out tremendously. These muffins are delicious and moist. Store them in a sealed container and refrigerate or freeze to grab when you need a healthy snack or complement to a nutritious breakfast.
Each muffin is just 122 calories, and contains 5 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates and 6 grams of fat. Perfect!
Banana Chia Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins
2/3 cup buckwheat flour (<----yes, buckwheat is gluten free!)
1/3 cup almond flour
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 bananas, mashed
1 egg, room temperature and lightly whisked
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1. Preheat oven to 375 and line muffin pan with cups, or grease with coconut oil
2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, combine all wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
5. Using a ladle, pour mixture into muffin cups, filling halfway.
6. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and the center of the muffin passes the toothpick test.