I am so proud of these muffins. It was a whim, as most banana-themed baked goods are. You see the browning bananas on the counter and you think, “oh yeah, I should really do something with those”. Well I didn’t want a bread, thinking that muffins, being more portable, might be ok to make their way into lunch boxes this week (you’ll know soon enough where my logic goes wrong there).
Then while I was thinking about banana muffins, I was thinking about the banana bread with chia seeds that my friend Sherry mentioned she made when I was blogging about chia seeds. Ok, so I have two key ingredients, banana and chia seeds. Now what? Well, what if I could make them gluten free (and, as it turns out dairy and egg free)? I have that Cloud 9 Gluten Free baking mix from the Costcos that you’ve read about from me before.
Here’s what I came up with:
Banana Chia Muffins with Chocolate Chips
1-1/2 cups all purpose baking mix (Cloud 9)
3/4 cup unsweetened medium coconut
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (I use pink Himalayan salt but sea salt would work)
2 or 3 mashed ripe bananas (approximately a cup)
1/2 cup agave syrup or honey
3/4 cup 2% milk (you can replace with any non-dairy substitute like almond milk)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tin with liners (makes approximately 20 muffins). In a large bowl, stir together all dry ingredients except chia and chocolate. In a smaller bowl, stir together all wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry, stirring just until combined. Fold in the chia seeds and chocolate chips.
Bake for 25 mins or until a tester comes out clean.
The ECBF loved them. Even after I told him they were gluten-free (normally that automatically makes him not like something). I didn’t have the same success with the guys, but they have a hard time wrapping their heads around the chia seed concept and you can’t really blame them, kids and food textures are already at odds – add something like a chia seed and you’re looking for trouble.
Overall I’m extremely pleased with the Cloud 9 stuff. I’m a big believer that if you are going to give up gluten, you should give up all things pretending to be gluten too, but sometimes you just need the texture of a bread or other baked good. The Cloud 9 baking mix may be pricey, but a bag does go a long way (or at least the way I use it), and I can definitely tell you that it replaces cup for cup in all the recipes I’ve used it in. It is not the same thing as flour, for sure, but it is so close that only your most discerning tasters will get fussy.
Another option for these muffins might be replacing the milk with coconut milk. There is coconut in it, and coconut oil, but it only seems to add to the texture, not the taste. I think I’ll give that a shot next time.