nuts

Banana Pecan Date Muffins

Banana Pecan Date Muffins

Do you ever have a recipe that comes together out of things that you just happen to have on your counter, in your pantry, in your fridge and freezer? This is exactly how these muffins came to life! I happened to have some ripe bananas I didn't want to go to waste, a few pecans in the freezer, dates and banana chips in my pantry! I love how this all came together. 

I started to think about flavor combinations that I liked, and I love the richness of the pecans and wanted to really flavor the muffin with lots of that nut flavor, so I decided to grind the nuts instead of just chopping them. I did however leave some bigger chunks of pecans for the topping. 

I imagine that these would be fabulous for a little tea party, or for a breakfast with friends. However, right now I will just enjoy mine, here on a regular Tuesday with my cup of coffee. :) 

I hope that you make these soon and let me know what you think! 

Banana Pecan Date Muffins: 

Makes 12 small muffins

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup honey

1 cup ripe, mashed bananas (about 3 bananas) 

1 cup gluten free flour mix (I used a new Ancient Grains one. It already contains xanthan gum, but if your mix does not, add 1 teaspoon xanthan gum to this recipe) 

1/2 cup ground pecans (Put pecans into a food processor and process until ground but not turned into nut butter) 

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

3/4 cup dates, chopped finely

1. Grease the cups of a muffin tin with coconut oil. Heat the oven to 350F. 

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the coconut oil for 1-2 minutes. 

3. Add in the coconut sugar and honey and mix well. Then, add in the mashed bananas and mix together. Add in the gluten free flour mix, mix together. Stir in the ground pecans, baking soda and cinnamon. Lastly, add in the chopped dates and mix. 

4.  Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups. 

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool, and top with banana/pecan topping. (Recipe below) 

 

Topping: 

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup organic banana chips, broken into small pieces

1. In a small frying pan, add in the pecans, honey and cinnamon. Stir together the ingredients for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Make sure the nuts and honey are well combined.Take the pan off the heat. 

2. Mix together the nut/honey mixture with the broken banana chip pieces. Spoon a small amount of the topping onto each muffin. Enjoy! 

Popcorn Oat & Coconut Granola with Fruit- Gluten and Dairy Free!

    Popcorn Oat and Coconut Granola with Fruit- Gluten and Dairy Free! 

 

Popcorn Oat and Coconut Granola with Fruit- Gluten and Dairy Free! 

I remember growing up that my mom would make lots of delicious, whole foods for us. She believed in healthy ingredients and cooking from scratch. I have great memories of a popcorn granola similar to this one that she used to make for us. It was a healthy and yummy treat for us to have after school. 

We lived out in the country which meant that many times we would buy lots of ingredients in bulk such as popcorn and others we would make ourselves such as dried fruit using pears and plums from the orchard. 

I feel very lucky to have grown up in a very healthy household that valued food so much. 

Today I am passing on my version of this amazing popcorn granola that makes a great snack on its own or is great over fruit and yogurt for breakfast. 

I have made this version gluten free by replacing the wheat germ with flax meal. Flax meal is high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids which have many health benefits. 

I hope that you enjoy making this amazingly delicious granola! 

Popcorn Oat and Coconut Granola with Fruit: 

Makes over 2 quarts of granola

 

2 cups gluten free old fashioned rolled oats (uncooked) 

2 cups flax seed meal

3 1/2 cups popped popcorn (I like to pop my popcorn on the stove with olive oil) 

1 cup sesame seeds

1 cup large flake shredded unsweetened coconut

 

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (or if you have nut allergies you may use a seed butter) 

(optional) 1 cup whole raw cashews, almonds, pecans or walnuts (or you could add pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds) 

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoon salt

 

Add after baked and cooled: 

1/2 cup chopped, dried apricots

1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries

 

1. Preheat the oven to 300F. Grease a glass or ceramic 13x9 baking pan with coconut oil or vegetable oil spray.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter, coconut oil, water, honey, vanilla and salt. 

3. In a separate large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients: oats, flax seed meal, popcorn, sesame seeds and coconut. 

4. Pour the nut or seed butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well to coat. 

5. Place the mixture into the baking pan and press down on it with a rubber spatula. 

6. Bake for 20 minutes, then stir. Bake for another 20 minutes. 

7. Let cool to room temperature, then add the dried fruits. 

8. Keeps for several weeks in an air tight container. 

 

If this yummy granola post made you hungry, make sure to pass it on to a healthy-snacking friend! 

Enjoy! 

Trista