Here is a great recipe for those of you craving a healthier, sweet dessert. Since this doesn’t contain any flour it is great for those of you following a gluten-free diet. The sweetness in this recipe comes from the bananas and dates, which also provide a great deal of fibre. There is no refined or processed sugar in this recipe at all. Bananas provide not only 3g of fibre, but also a good dose of potassium, Vitamin A, and folate. Dates are also super high in potassium, iron, and magnesium. A dessert packed with all these amazing nutrients? Yes, please!
I made these as muffins or you can use a traditional banana bread dish. Be aware if you cook it in a bread dish, you will have to cook it for slightly longer.
This recipe is GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY FREE, GRAIN FREE, PALEO, NUT FREE, SOY FREE, LOW ADDED SUGAR, HIGH FIBRE
For the banana muffin
- 6 bananas (brown ones are sweeter)
- 4 dried dates, pitted
- 4 eggs
- ? cup coconut cream concentrate or homemade coconut butter (see recipe)
- 3 heaping tablespoons of coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1-2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
Coconut Butter Recipe
- 200g unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (you can also use almond extract)
- Pinch of Kosher salt.
Place all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and blend together until smooth. This may take up to 10 minutes to get smooth depending on the power of your blender or food processor. Store at room temperature in a sealed container.
Frozen blueberries or raspberries
Dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
2. Add dried dates to the food processor and puree until you get a lumpy paste.
3. Then place bananas in the food processor and pulse until completely pureed.
4. Next add eggs and coconut butter and puree.
5. Then add coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt.
6. Pour batter into well-greased muffin tins (baking paper works best).
7. Add blueberries, cacao nibs (or chocolate chips), flaked almonds or whatever other topping you like onto the muffins. Mix with a knife to incorporate if you like.
8. Place into the oven for 30 minutes or until you poke each one with a skewer and they come out clean.
9. Let rest for about 5 minutes.
These densely succulent morsels of beaniness (yep, that’s a new word!) come after many requests for ideas for healthy, chocolately sweet treats. You all said it couldn’t be done – but here it is – a healthy brownie! And trust me, even my doubter of a husband who loves proper brownies with all their fatty goodness, said they were delish. You get all that yumminess, plus it is high in fibre and allergy friendly too! This also comes at a great time as the school year is almost ready to start again (wow, where did the school holidays go…bet the parents out there don’t quite agree with me there). Great for a low sugar treat for everybody but see the hint down the bottom if you want a little more sweetness to start with. ENJOY!
These brownie are DAIRY FREE, EGG FREE, VEGAN, LOW GI, SUGAR FREE & HIGH FIBRE. Could be GLUTEN FREE if the flour is substituted for a good quality gluten free flour like White Wing’s plain flour. Could be NUT FREE if nuts are left out.
What you need…
- 2 cup/250 g dates
- 1 small beetroot, peeled and quartered
- 1 cup/180 g unsweetened applesauce (IXL brand has no added sugar) … OR make your own in your Thermomix by blitzing cored apples with a few tablespoons of water for 10 seconds at speed 8, then cooking at 90º for 8 minutes at speed 4 with the measuring cup off, then blitzing on speed 8 for another 10 seconds)
- 2 tablespoons/15 g ground flaxseed/linseed (grind prior in Thermomix or food processor)
- 400 g cooked or canned beans (equiv to 2 x 400g cans, drained) – any variety is fine but I used 1 can of butter beans and 1 can of red kidney beans)
- 2 tsp natural vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup/30 g cacao powder
- 3/4 cup/100 g flour (could use gluten free flour)
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 1 cup/110 g walnuts or macadamias (optional)
How the magic happens…
Doing it the traditional way:
- Preheat oven to 180*C
- In a food processor, roughly chop nuts, then set aside.
- Chop the dates into small pieces (either by hand or in food processor).
- Combine black beans, beetroot, dates and applesauce in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add cacao, ground flaxseed and vanilla. Blend again.
- Fold through the flour and bicarb soda. If mixture is too dry, add another few tablespoons of apple sauce.
- Gently stir through nuts (leave some aside to put on top)
- Spoon the mixture into a 30 cm x 25 cm slice tin. Top with extra nuts if desired.
- Bake at 180º for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Slice while still warm. Best when chilled before eating.
- Roughly chop the nuts for 3 seconds at speed 4, then set aside.
- Blend dates with peeled, halved beetroot for 30 seconds at speed 10.
- Scrape down the bowl and lid, then add applesauce, flaxseed, beans, vanilla and cacao. Blend for 30 seconds at speed 8, using the spatula to scrape the bowl while processing. Remove the lid and scrape it and the bowl again, then blend for another 20 seconds at speed 8. Mixture should be thoroughly homogenised.
- Add the flour and baking soda, and mix on Reverse at speed 3 for 20 seconds, using the spatula to push the mixture down into the blades. Remove the lid and scrape it and the bowl again, then mix for another 10 seconds at speed 3. Repeat as necessary until all the flour is mixed in.
- Add the chopped nuts and mix for 10 seconds on Reverse at speed 3.
- Spoon the mixture into a 30 cm x 25 cm slice tin and bake at 180º for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Slice while still warm. Best when chilled before eating.
Hint: If you’re weaning your children (or yourself) off sweet foodS, you may want to substitute 1 cup of a relatively unprocessed sweetener such as coconut sugar or rapadura for 1 cup of the dates.
I had a whole heap of mushie brown bananas and didn’t know what to do with them. I put it on our Facebook page, and our followers had terrific suggested to use them up. Some great ideas included smoothies, banana frozen yoghurt, pancakes (using banana instead of sugar) and even cocktails! The winning vote however was for muffins. Being a self confessed horrible muffin maker, I was guided by the suggestions of all our followers to make a really amazing finished product. The trick is – don’t overmix, keep the oven temperature lower and only cook them for 15-20 minutes.
These delicious banana and walnut muffins are perfect for a sweet treat – even for those that are gluten free, dairy free, soy free or on a low FODMAPs diet. Plus, they are higher protein and have good fats due to the walnuts and chia seeds. Don’t forget to freeze them for lunchbox fillers.
BANANA & WALNUT MUFFINS
[Options for gluten free, dairy free and soy free]
Cooking Time 20 minutes
Makes 12 muffins
- 1 1/2 cups (150g) self-raising flour (I used Orgran gluten free)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 70g butter, melted, cooled (I used Nuttelex lite)
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
- ½ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line 12 x muffin pan.
- Combine flour, sugar, chia seeds and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk butter and eggs together. Stir in banana and walnuts (do not overmix). Spoon into prepared muffin pan.
- Bake for 20 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan for 10 mins before turning out onto a wire rack.
– To make this into banana bread instead, use 1 cup plain flour and ½ cup self-raising flour. Cook for 45-50 minutes.
– Freeze extras for easy snacks