As we’ve been driving around the state on our mini mountain trips, I’ve noticed something. Every road sign in Colorado announcing you’ve entered a new town, displays not only the name of the town, but also proudly list the town’s elevation. Do other states do that? I have to admit I don’t know for sure. But, I’m guessing not. My theory being that “elevation 23 miles.” just doesn’t sound all that impressive compared to “5280 miles”. Maybe towns with really low elevation do it too? That could sound reasonably impressive: “You’ve entered the town of soon to be at the bottom of the ocean, elevation absolute 0 feet. Welcome!”
I don’t know, maybe it’s standard to put this on road signs, and I’m just a weirdo for thinking about it this much. But still… I do think the people of Colorado have a thing about elevation.
Denverites are really very proud of their status as the Mile High City. (Almost as proud of they are of their green chile. Though I don’t think people will come to blows over the title of Mile High City. I think it could happen over green chile recipes.) Think about it. Mile High is the name of many a store, the phrase shows up in advertisements a surprising amount of the time, our stadium is nick-named Mile High… I’m telling you we have thing.
Anyhow, this randomness I’ve been pondering is really neither here, nor there; and certainly has nothing whatsoever to do with Mini Banana Nut Muffins. So, we’ll drop it and move on to the muffins now.
So. Quinoa flour.
I didn’t know such a thing existed until I was looking for healthier alternatives to put into my morning baked goods. I’ve really been trying to cut down on my sugar consumption, and my consumption of highly processed carbs. Unfortunately, often the only thing I can stand the thought of for breakfast is highly refined carbs. Please, please, just give me a cup of coffee and muffin or scone in the morning. Since completely giving up my carry breakfasts has been met with no success, I’m trying to compromise and up the health factor in my muffins, scones, and whatever else… and so this recipe for Mini Banana Nut Muffins were born.
If you’ve ever baked with any alternatives to white or wheat flour you know that things sometimes end up going a little wonky, or just plain old end up tasting horrible. Fortunately muffins, which tend to be very forgiving, handle flour substitutions fairly well compared to other types of baked goods. In fact, when working with quinoa flour, you can generally completely eliminate the white flour in a muffin recipe and substitute quinoa flour to good effect. (In other baked goods, you would likely only want to substitute 1/2 quinoa flour at the most.) This is great because quinoa flour has more protein and more diary fiber then white flour, which helps up the health factor of your muffin.
Add bananas (potassium, vitamins!) and walnuts (omega-3s, more vitamins, hearth healthy fats!) to the quinoa flour and you’ve got a carb-y breakfast that isn’t so bad for you at all. Plus, it still tastes like a normal (i.e. tasty) banana nut muffin. I went for mini muffins for the sake of easier portion control and the fact that they happen to be bite sized for my kids, but you could also make these full sized if you prefer. I find I eat three for breakfast and feel satisfied so that works really well for me.
Mini Banana Nut Muffins– Yields 48 mini muffins.
- 4 ripe bananas
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 2 cups quinoa flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
- 1 cup walnut or pecan pieces
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Prepare a mini muffin pan by lining with paper liners or greasing well, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl; add the bananas, eggs, maple syrup, and canola oil. Mix until well blended using either the stand mixer or a hand mixer.
- Mix the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Then add the flour mixture to the large bowl and mix until a batter has formed. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides as needed. The batter may be slightly lumpy from the bananas.
- Add the pecan pieces to the large bowl, and mix in using the lowest setting on the mixer.
- Use a small spoon to evenly distribute the batter between the prepared muffin cups, the cups will be close to completely full. Bake at 375° for 11-13 minutes or until the muffins are a light golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the pan until comfortable to touch (about 10 minutes) before removing from the pan.
Notes/Substitutions: Since I was going for healthier with these muffins, they definitely run towards the less sweet side. If you prefer your muffins sweeter and aren’t concerned about the sugar, try adding another 1/3 cup of maple syrup, using the ripest bananas you can, or adding in about 1/2 cup shredded coconut. Any of these options will up the sweet factor.
In case you were wondering there are 58 calories per muffin, 2.6 g of fat, 20mg of sodium, 50 mg of potassium, and 2.5 g of sugar.
P.S. These are gluten free and dairy free! Yay!