Monday, April 14, 2008

Whole Grain Banana Nut Muffins (Gluten Free)

We traveled over the weekend to visit my Great-Grandmother. She fell last week and broke her hip along with several vertebrae in her neck. Despite that hard fall, she is doing wonderful and is ever spunky and surprising! I have no doubt she will make it through rehab with flying colors, even at 97! We truly appreciate all the well wishes and kind thoughts we received through email and comments!!

There is something therapeutic about making muffins. I made these muffins last weekend for our trip to see Grandma, and then again when we returned home for our "grab and go" breakfasts this week. Packed with nutritious whole grains, healthy proteins and fats, and just a touch of sweetness, these muffins are satisfying and delicious!

I need a "photographic lighting" fairy to visit my kitchen! That hole in the muffin is where a walnut resided. It was yummy!

This recipe is an updated version of my "Easy Banana Nut Muffins." This version is made with more whole grains for a heartier muffin. I also use an additional egg and non-fat yogurt in this recipe to keep the muffins moist and delicious. I hope you will enjoy them! Feel free to use agave nectar in place of the granulated sugar, I used sugar because I didn't have any agave nectar on hand.

Whole Grain Banana Nut Muffins (Gluten Free)
Created by Carrie Forbes of
Free of gluten, soy, and options for dairy free
For a printer friendly version, click here.

Dry Ingredients
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons chia seed meal -or- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
*1/2 cup walnuts, broken into small pieces

Wet Ingredients
2 eggs
1/4 cup non-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons heart healthy oil -or- melted butter
2 ripe bananas (about 1 - 1 1/2 cups mashed)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 granulated sugar -or- agave nectar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners or non-stick cooking spray. In a medium sized bowl whisk together all dry ingredients, EXCEPT walnuts. Set walnuts aside. In another bowl mash bananas with a fork, cream in sugar or agave nectar. Add eggs, vanilla, yogurt, and oil or butter. Mix together thoroughly. Add banana/egg mixture to dry ingredients. Stir together just until incorporated. Fold in walnuts. Pour batter 2/3 full into prepared muffin tins. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs. Makes 12 nice sized muffins.
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  1. Those muffins do look so yummy.
    Andy mailed our taxes in a couple of days ago. Luckily, when he finally remembered to do them last week, he had 4 days at home to spend completely on taxes.
    But I could still use a muffin...

  2. Nicole - Thank you!!

    Cassandra -- LOL We did our taxes several weeks ago, but it wasn't fun! I could have used a muffin! lol I'm always amazed when we get stuff done before it's actually due!!

  3. That is great about your grandma. I'm so happy for you family.
    The muffins look wonderful. Thankfully our CPA does our taxes early, it's the only way we can afford out property taxes every year.

  4. I love banana bread! (And yes, I'm still alive! Surprise!) I also love that well-used muffin pan... I'm such a sucker for that kind of stuff.

  5. Lea - I sure wish we used a CPA sometimes! Turbotax is it for now though! Thank you for your thoughts on my grandma! The woman truly amazes me! I am blessed to have her!

    Abby! Girl! How ya doing? I'm so glad you commented! I'm glad you like my old rusty pan. That's actually my favorite muffin tin. I got it at Goodwill when I moved into my first apartment after college and I just can't get rid of it. It's tried and true!!

  6. Look at the size of those beauties, Carrie!
    My muffins never rise that much. :(

  7. You've done it again! I believe you have mastered gluten-free muffin baking. Your muffins taste SOOOO much better than all the others I've made, and they're much healthier, too. I'll admit that I only look to your site when I want to make muffins!

    These are delicious! Hearty enough to make a great start to the day, but not heavy, and certainly moist. I couldn't resist adding a couple shakes of my cinnamon as well as a dash of nutmeg and allspice. Yum. I used half sugar and half agave nectar - came out great!

    I'll admit that my muffins generally do not rise like your picture either, or if they do, they fall quite a bit. Do you think I work the flour too much, could that be why?

  8. Kelly -- Thanks girl! Ohhhh nutmeg and allspice! Why didn't I think of that!! Great ideas gal!

    YES, you can definitely overwork muffin batter. I usually mix the batter until JUST combined. It's perfectly okay to have lumpy batter to pour into your muffin tin.

    Another trick, if your muffins aren't rising as high as you think they should, is that you can separate the egg whites from the egg yolks, and whip the whites separately then fold them in the batter last. That will really help your muffins to rise!

    Also make sure your baking powder and soda are fresh!! If they are over a year old I would throw them out and start over! I use mine so frequently that I buy new every other month or so!

  9. Oh, I'm still pregnant. Heh. Still sick at 6.5 months, but I'm making it. Not too much longer to go!

  10. Hi Carrie,
    These look AWESOME!!
    You did a fantastic job!!
    I was wondering if there is anything to sub the yogurt with? We are also CF here and now, I'm drooling all over the keyboard, LOL!!
    Thank in advance!

  11. Aunti-Mama , YES! You can substitute applesauce for the yogurt and it will work perfectly! I'd love to know how they turn out for you!!

  12. YUM! i have some bananas to try these muffins with this weekend. I would like to sub in agave for the sugar though. Won't I need to reduce the amount though since Agave is sweeter than sugar? And also wont I need to change the liquid quantity somehow too since agave is a liquid? Please let me know, I don't want them to be a flop!Thanks, Jill

  13. Jill -- Actually I used a reduced amount of sugar, so using 2/3 cup of agave should be fine! I've found in baking that it really isn't a whole lot sweeter "tasting" than sugar is! And you shouldn't need to change any of the liquid quantities, it should bake just fine, especially being gluten free the more "moist" you can make a baked product, the better!! Let me know how they turn out for you!

  14. This has restored my faith in gluten free baking! My last attempt was a quick bread that was a ton of work and turned out terrible but these came out very nice. I didn't get quite the rise you did but I am happy nonetheless! My kids have been chowing down on them all day and that says a lot!

    I only had about 1/2 cup of bananas so I substituted applesauce up to 1 cup plus an additional 1/4 cup for the yogurt I also didn't have on hand. I also used guar gum instead of xantham and 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar and 1/3 agave. Thanks for the recipe!


    1. Kathy -- THANK YOU! I'm so glad these worked out for you and 'restored your faith in gluten free baking' -- that is just pure awesome! So glad your substitutions worked as well! that's just fantastic! I'm always glad to know when other things will work well in a recipe! Many thanks for letting me know how it worked for you!! OH... and the rise? I just fill the muffin cups up until they are about even with the pan! I overfill! :-)

  15. Carrie,
    I just made these fabulous muffins using brown rice flour in place of the millet flour, agave for the sweetner and coconut oil, sprinkled coconut on top and they are an absolute dream. I found your blog while on Elana's Pantry and am totally addicted. I just love your recipes and am so happy I found you! Thank you so much for all of your hard work! Patty

    1. Dear Patty -- this comment just made me smile!! Thank you SO much for trying the recipe and I'm so happy you enjoyed it and could make it with your own favorite flours and substitutions! :-) That's just wonderful! I just love Elana's Pantry!

  16. I have been gluten-free since 2004 and during that time, have tried lots of muffin recipes but have to say, this is the BEST muffin recipe I have come across! The muffins are perfect and stay moist (altho they go fast at this house!) The only thing I changed was reducing the sugar amount to 1/2 cup (and use brown sugar) and adding about half a tsp of nutmeg. In today's batch, I left out the walnuts and added about 1/2 cup of Hershey's Special Dark choc chips. Yuh-uuuum! If you haven't tried this recipe, you must! You will not be disappointed!

    1. Bliss -- I think this comment made my entire week! What an honor! You've been GF since 2004 and these are your favorite? I am truly honored. Thank you!! I love how you changed the recipe, I've never added chocolate chips, although my husband would LOVE that! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with this recipe! ((((((hugs!)))))))) -- carrie

  17. I really love muffins and cakes..specially the fruit one..
    TYjis banana cake look so yummy. I can't wait to try!

  18. can i substitute eggs with EnerG egg replacer or flaxeggs?

  19. What do you use to line the muffin pan? Do you use actual liners, or should I use a silicone muffin pan vs. metal? I've sometimes greased the muffin pan lightly with oil but that doesn't always work out. I think I'm going to try muffins first before trying to modify this for a small loaf in my bread machine. Thank you!! Can't wait to try!

    1. Rachel, I recommend using paper liners spritzed with non-stick cooking spray, rather than oiling the pan or using silicone as in my experience gluten-free baked goods tend to stick to the actual pan, and I'm not sure how they will turn out using the silicone...