Blueberry banana muffins with a surprise inside

jammy muffin

I had some waaaaay overripe bananas to use up but was too impatient to make banana bread – that takes 45 minutes to bake in the oven. So, instead I opted to make mini muffins. These little cuties are moist and delicious and nutritious thanks to chickpea flour, bananas, blueberries and walnuts. I put a little jam centre in some of them for an extra gooey, delicious surprise. Best of all, these muffins are super easy to make. Like right now. Make them now.

 

open jammy muffin

 

Jammy!

 

Dry ingredients

2/3 cup flour (whole wheat or white)

1/3 cup chickpea flour (if you don’t have this, you can just use a full cup of flour)

½ cup cornmeal

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup blueberries tossed with 1-2 tsp flour to coat them. The flour coating stops the blueberries from leaking blue in the batter.

¼ cup chopped walnuts

Wet ingredients

2 very ripe bananas mashed

¼ cup coconut oil melted

1 tsp vanilla

¼ cup agave nectar

1 cup plant-based milk (I used almond milk)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

 Optional – raspberry, cherry, strawberry or other flavour jam

 

open muffin no jam

I made some of the muffins without jam and they were still moist and delicious.

 

 Directions

Pre-heat your oven to 350F. Grease a mini-muffin tin, a regular muffin tin or a loaf pan. This recipe will make 18 mini-muffins, 6-12 regular muffins (depending on the tin size) or one loaf.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Sift in the baking soda so you don’t have any weird crystal lumps in your final mix.

In a separate bowl, mix all your wet ingredients EXCEPT the jam, if using.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to incorporate everything and make a batter. You don’t need to stir a lot or vigorously – just combine everything.

If you’re going with a jam-less muffin, at this point you can simply fill your baking pan. Don’t overfill the tins since the muffins will puff up.

If you’re going to add jam, fill your muffin tins just half way full. Then add a dollop of jam – a true measured teaspoon full. Cover with batter so the jam is hidden inside.

If you are making a loaf, then fill the loaf pan with half the batter. Spoon on jam in a strip down the middle of the batter and cover with the remaining batter.

Depending on the size and shape of your pans, here are your baking times.

Mini-muffins – 25 minutes

Regular muffins – 25-30 minutes

Bread loaf – 45-50 minutes.

The muffins are done when they are golden on top and a fork or toothpick inserted in them comes out clean.

Allow the muffins to cool in their pan for 10 minutes or so and then serve them up! These beauties also freeze well and make great snacks or breakfast on the go.

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Oat groats and blueberries

BlueberryOats.jpg

Nope, this isn’t oatmeal. These are groats – the whole oat before it’s been processed in any way other than having the inedible husk removed. Groats are loaded with insoluble fibre – the kind that’s great for lowering cholesterol.

Groats do take longer to cook than even steel cut oats, but you never end up with mush. Instead the groats are chewy and nutty.

You can find groats at your health food store (or probably a farm feed shop, but I don’t recommend that unless you want a 50 pound bag).

I make a few variations of my groats. This one is a mix of spices, nuts, applesauce and blueberries for a delicious, satisfying breakfast that will take you right through to lunch time.

You can make these groats on the stovetop or in a slow cooker overnight for a “wake up to a hot breakfast already made” day.

Ingredients

1 cup groats

2 ½ cups water

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cardamom

1 tsp vanilla

A pinch of ground cloves

2 Tbsp maple syrup (or more if you like it sweeter– my groats are not sweet at all)

2 Tbsp pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)

2 Tbsp walnuts

2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce

½ cup blueberries (I use frozen wild blueberries).

Directions

In a small, covered pot, combine the groats, water, vanilla and spices. Bring to a boil then simmer covered for 40 minutes.

Alternately, you can put everything in a small crockpot/slow cooker and cook on low for 7 hours.

At 40 minutes you should have cooked groats with a bit of liquid left. Stir in the remaining ingredients and serve.

This dish makes 3 servings and can be served hot or cold. You can store the groats in a covered dish for up to 3 days in the fridge.