We are going to make Banana Oat Muffins (gluten free, sugar free). These are a great alternative to the typical banana bread recipe loaded with oil and sugar. We swap out a few ingredients and still end up with a tasty alternative! These muffins make a great lunchbox addition or afterschool snack. (I don’t know about you but I get SO stuck in a rut with making school lunches I need a few new ideas!)
This recipe is an adaptation from Amy Green’s cookbook “Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.”
Hot TOPIC alert… GLUTEN! Gluten free foods have become very popular in the U.S. Sales in 2013 were to the tune of $10.5 billion which is up 44% from 2011. Surprisingly 65% of consumers who eat gluten free foods believe them to be healthier as noted by foodproductdesign.com. I tend to agree that the gluten we consume today can be inflammatory when consumed routinely. I still eat it occasionally but I prefer to “mix it up” with the grains I feed my family. The more that we vary the diet the less likely the body will develop sensitivity. As a dietitian I’ve seen the gluten free trend explode in the last 5 years. In my 15 years in this profession the gluten free products have gone from barely edible cardboard like substances to products that can hardly be differentiated from their gluten containing counterparts. I chose to use Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking Mix rather than go to the trouble of using xantham gum and a variety of other products. Pamela’s mix contains everything you need while the taste and texture are pretty good considering it contains no gluten!
Sugar has become a four-letter word in recent years as well. It wreaks havoc on our organs, blood vessels, and our appetite just to name a few. The problem is that as Americans we eat way too much of it! A century ago people ate a small fraction of the sugar we do today. Why you might ask? Our food supply is so processed and refined today that added sugars are everywhere. It’s even in that whole wheat slice of bread we’ve been told is healthy.
The truth is that we must educate ourselves on how to read ingredient lists, not just the food label with percentages of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. The ingredient list tells all! In the last century our ancestors were eating more whole foods and food made from scratch. My recommendation is to try to purchase foods with less than five ingredients. It’s a challenge, but if you follow the 80/20 rule it’s do-able. I recommend that people eat whole foods and products with less than five ingredients 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time just live life and don’t stress over it. What we do 80% of the time is going to make more of a difference day in and out.
Ok, I digress… so, back to sugar. In this recipe I chose to use raw honey instead of the agave nectar the author suggested. Agave nectar is actually higher in fructose than table sugar or honey. Fructose can be hard on the liver so I chose raw honey for this recipe. It gives the muffins just enough sweetness and it provides other natural benefits that agave and sugar do not (since it was made from God’s amazing creature called the honeybee).
Ok, enough of my long windedness. Let’s get down to making these little handfuls of deliciousness!
- ½ cup honey (I prefer raw and organic)
- ¾ cup milk of your choice (I used organic almond)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 lrg ripe bananas
- 2 lrg eggs (preferably organic)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cup Pamela’s gluten free baking mix
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ cup butter melted (butter really isn’t as evil as we’ve made it out to be- in fact if you get organic butter it’s much less inflammatory to the body than margarine or vegetable oils)
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Pour the oats and milk in a small bowl and set aside.
- Mash bananas in a medium sized bowl. Add honey, vanilla, slightly beaten eggs., and melted butter. Blend together well.
- In a separate large bowl combine the baking mix and remaining dry ingredients.
- Create a well in the bowl of dry ingredients.
- Pour the wet into the “well” and stir just until incorporated.
- Line a muffin pan with paper liners or use coconut oil to grease the pan.
- Makes approx. 18-20 muffins. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Enjoy!