Paleo Coconut Banana Muffins

I apologize.  I took a blog hiatus.  I cooked up a storm and played with recipes, but the one thing I have learned about blogging is…not to post something just to have content.  I share recipes because I am proud of them, think they taste good, and hope you enjoy them too!  I missed sharing stories and taking pretty food photos.  It feels so good to be back on the blog :)

Paleo Coconut Banana Muffins

We have been SO BUSY.  I do not know if anyone else feels this way, but every week I think to myself next month will be more relaxing.  Less packed with activities and somehow when I look at our calendar I notice that we have only 3 free weekends in the next 4 months!!!  How does that even happen???  (Answer: Everyone you know if getting married.)  I honestly should not even complain, because Andrew will tell me I need to stop planning.  He says all I do is plan and organize.  With a packed calendar, you have to plan!

Paleo Coconut Banana Muffins

One good thing about being a “forever planner”  = I am always trying to create recipes that my family and friends can enjoy.  Andrew’s brother is one of those super successful, athletic, motivated people…ugh I know…you want to hate them ;)  Well not only does he dabble in real estate, but he gets to jet-set since he’s a pilot.  He doesn’t let his busy, unpredictable schedule stop him from doing cross-fit work outs or sticking to a primal diet.  Now I am not a primal or paleo guru, but I am always curious about the diets/routines people take on and how to dream up delicious treats that they can enjoy.

Paleo Coconut Banana Muffins

The story of my paleo coconut banana muffins starts there.  Andrew’s brother told me about a friend of his who owns a paleo bakery in Florida.  I was instantly curious and decided that if someone can have an entire bakery dedicated to this lifestyle, I should be able to execute at least one baked good.  Oh yes, I am pretty determined (errr slightly competitive).

No processed sugar
No dairy
No grains
LOTS OF FLAVOR.

Paleo Coconut Banana Muffins

I brought these muffins to our softball game last night and I received the highest praise.  One of the girls told me that my banana muffins taste exactly like her grandmother’s banana bread.  (My inner amateur baker is doing somersaults)  She requested the recipe to re-create the treat for her family.  If that is not a good review, I don’t know what is?!?  After that stamp of approval, I am so excited to share these moist, dense, muffins with you all.

P.s. please share your favorite paleo/primal baked treat.  I would love to try it out.

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins

The Players: 

2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 C coconut cream
1/4 C coconut oil
1/4 C natural sweetener (I used honey)
1/2 C coconut flour
1/2 C unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking soda

Optional toppings: banana chips, coconut flakes, peanut butter

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Place all the wet ingredients, including bananas, in a medium mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to combine.
  3. Add all dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until well-incorporated; do not over mix.
  4. Divide batter among muffin tins, filling ~3/4 full.  Optional, top each muffin with a dried banana chip or additional coconut flakes and press topping into the batter.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Allow muffin to cool in muffin tin.  Serve warm or store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

Who else loves the taste and more importantly the smell of cinnamon?!?!  Seriously, cinnamon reminds me of Autumn…my favorite season.  I might be slightly biased since I am born in November, but hello all great things are associated with Autumn.  Football season, changing colors of the leaves, cozy layers, everything pumpkin, the start of Holiday Season…oh yes Fall is perfect.

Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

I am a firm believer that cinnamon-boosted baked goods should be enjoyed throughout the year.  Everyone smiles a bit wider when they walk through the door and are engulfed in the aroma of cinnamon and know a yummy baked treat is waiting.  It’s almost as exciting as walking through the door to your excited puppy.

Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

I decided to surprise Andrew with some fresh from the oven, cinnamon swirl muffins this week.  I did not want to make any special trips to the grocery store so I decided to get creative with my pantry and refrigerated goods.  Usually I feel that baking is a science, but these muffins seriously came together with no effort.  They are moist and not too dense.  The perfect balance of cinnamon and sugar.  They taste even better warmed up in the morning with a cup of piping hot black coffee.  Hello work day, with a little extra swagger in my step!

Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

Look who wanted to be a part of the photo shoot or wanted a bite of muffin hehe.

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins

The Players: 

For the batter: 
1/3 C egg whites
3/4 C brown sugar
1 C greek yogurt
3/4 C coconut water
1 t vanilla extract
2 C flour (I used 1 C whole wheat + 1 C coconut flour)
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

For the cinnamon swirl: 
1/4 C coconut oil, melted (I microwave for 15-30 seconds)
2 T brown sugar
1 T cinnamon

The Rules:

  1. Preheat over to 350 F and line cupcake tin with liners.
  2. Combine dry ingredients for the batter in a small mixing bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Using a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, whisk egg whites and sugar.  Add greek yogurt, coconut water, and vanilla extract mixing until well combined.
  4. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients.  Do not over-mix the batter.
  5. Whisk together ingredients for the cinnamon swirl.  Set aside.
  6. Scoop muffin batter evenly into muffin tins ~3/4 full.  Divide cinnamon swirl among muffins, ~1/2 tsp per muffin, and use a knife to swirl into muffin batter.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Allow to cool.  Store in air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Skinny Double Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Chocolate.  Are there many things in life that are more delightful than chocolate?  Puppies, babies, the perfect sunset/sunrise, wine/charcuterie, a great work out, new shoes, and CHOCOLATE.  Those are a few of my favorite things…in no apparent order.

Skinny Double Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Now when I enjoy chocolate, I do not want to feel the slightest bit of guilt with each bite.  After all dark chocolate has many health benefits.  Don’t take my word for it… you can read about a few of them here: http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/6-health-benefits-of-dark-chocolate.html#b

So how does one make dark chocolate even healthier???  By adding veggies to it.  Seriously, think about how spectacular carrot cake is AND it is loaded full of carrots and nuts.  These double dark chocolate zucchini muffins are carrot cake’s second cousin…dessert packed with veggies :)

Skinny Double Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Don’t be a skeptic.  You literally cannot taste the zucchini.  And you can’t even see the zucchini so it’s a great way to sneak in veggies into your kid’s or sig other’s diet.  Sneaky, sneaky.  Chocolate – 1, Ives – 0 (more like Chocolate – 3, Ives – 0 since I ate 3 of these decadent guys in less than 24 hours).   Added bonus: they are dairy-free and refined-sugar free.

Skinny Double Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Double-bonus: they are ready in < 30 minutes and tasting amazing warm out of the oven or re-heated in the microwave.  Yeah, you know you will be tempted to whip up a batch this weekend.  I am already planning on making a second round ;)

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 15-20 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins

The Players: 

1 large zucchini, peeled and grated (~1 1/2 to 2 C grated)
2 egg whites + 1 egg
1/2 C unsweetened apple sauce (alternatively sub vanilla or honey greek yogurt)
1/4 C agave syrup
1 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
3/4 C dark cocoa powder
1 T ground cinnamon
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
4 oz baking chocolate (I used dark cocoa), roughly chopped

The Rulers:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Combine dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon in a small bowl.
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine zucchini, eggs, apple sauce, agave,  and vanilla extract.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, do not over-mix.
  5. Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way full with batter and top with remaining chocolate chunks.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Allow to cool.