Recipes

Cardamom Almond butter Banana Muffins (gluten free!)

feature-photoEager to say hello to autumn but not quite ready to commit to that pumpkin spice latte? I feel ya.

I’m currently in that mindset where I’m reluctant for summer to end (oh long, sunny days – how I love thee) but I’m also looking forward to cooler weather and everything that comes with it – scarves, sweaters, Thanksgiving, and baked goodies galore.

For days when you’re feeling similarly conflicted, these gluten-free oatmeal muffins are the perfect guilt-free choice. They’re bright and sunny with chunks of sweet, ripe bananas and zesty citrus whilst nodding to Fall with warm, comforting spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Cardamom is one of my absolute favorite spices to bake with as the aroma gives you all the fuzzy feels – like you’re constantly being hugged! And I promise you, your kitchen will smell heavenly!

I truly hope you enjoy these muffins. They’re

wholesome and hearty
fluffy
oh so almond butter-y
subtly sweet
a harmonious balance of warm spices
the perfect afternoon pick-me-up!

Muffins can usually be little sugar bombs, laden with far too much fat, sugar, and refined flours. These bad boys, however, are packed with nutritionally dense ingredients:

Oat flour. I used gluten-free oats as the base of this recipe. The high amount of fiber will keep you satiated for far longer than any refined flour. Oats have even been linked to help regulate blood glucose levels and improve immune system defenses – talk about a superfood!

Honey. Sweetened with a hint of honey, these muffins will not result in those infamous sugar crashes that accompany refined sweeteners. Since honey is comprised of more complex sugars than granulated sugar, your body will spend more energy to break them down into the end product glucose = fewer net calories. And yes, it is still a sugar, but the nutritional profile of honey (trace elements, vitamins, lack of additives) makes it a far superior alternative.

Almond butter. It’s hard to go wrong with nut butters! A wonderful source of healthy fats and proteins, almond butter keeps the muffins moist and lends them the perfect amount of sweetness to counterbalance the warm spices.

Spices. There are so many benefits to using spices in the kitchen! For one, they always make a dish taste infinitely better. And let’s not forget the superpowers associated  with them: Cardamom, for instance, is thought to be anti-inflammatory, aid in digestion and is even thought to improve cardiovascular health.

Flax. For days when you don’t want to (or cannot) use an egg in baking, a flax egg is a great alternative. Flax is rich is omega-3 fatty acids, a great source of dietary fiber, and even helps regulate cholesterol levels. However, keep in mind that flax seeds should preferably be consumed ground (i.e. flaxmeal) instead of whole to get the most nutritional bang for your buck.

Dairy-free milk. I love using plant-based milk when baking healthy treats because it is a lower calorie option that does not increase the sugar and fat content but still provides the perfect amount of creaminess.

close-up

These make the best afternoon snack when slathered with some almond butter and a drizzle of honey, alongside a cup of steaming tea. Or toss a couple in some Tupperware or Ziploc to take with you for a breakfast on-the-go!


CARDAMOM ALMOND BUTTER BANANA MUFFINS (GLUTEN-FREE!) 

feature-photomuffins-nutrition

Hearty and flavorful gluten-free muffins that can be enjoyed as breakfast, snacks, or dessert! Made with nutritious, wholesome ingredients you can feel good about eating.

Serves: 12
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cup oat flour*
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves (I ground mine fresh from 4-5 whole cloves)
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom (I ground mine fresh from 6-7 green cardamom seeds)
  • 2 medium ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup creamy(!) all-natural almond butter*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • Scant 1/2 cup almond milk (or any plant-based milk)
  • 1 flax egg (4 tsp flax seeds + 2 1/2 tbsp water)*

 

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Make a flax egg by mixing together the flax seeds and water. Let it sit at room temperature for at least 5 minutes until a gelatinous consistency is reached.
  3. Add the oat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and cardamom into a bowl and mix well.
  4. Mash two ripe bananas in a separate bowl and whisk in the honey, almond butter, vanilla extract, orange zest and almond milk.
  5. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and fold until everything is well combined.
  6. Spray a nonstick muffin pan and divide batter evenly among 12 muffin cups, filling 2/3 of the way.
  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with only a few crumbs attached.
  8. Remove from oven and let them sit in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Optional: Feel free to add in some shredded coconut or orange zest for a more tropical flavor.

NOTES

 * This recipe can be made vegan by substituting the honey for maple syrup.
Almond butter adds the perfect amount of sweetness but any other kind of nut butter may be used as well.
If a flax egg is not possible, a regular egg can be used as well.

What are you looking forward to most about Fall? And what will you miss most about the summer?

 

 

 

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