Thursday, January 22, 2009

Carob Banana Muffins (Gluten Free, Casein Free)


Snow days are perfect days for baking. This week eastern North Carolina has been covered with over 6 inches of snow. It's a very rare occurence considering the last time we had this much snow was back in 2004!

The past few weeks I've been experimenting with low carb baking using ingredients like coconut flour, almond meal, soya powder, erythritol, stevia, ground flax seeds, etc... While I have enjoyed experimenting... Michael has been ready for some baked goods with real sugar and carbohydrates! There were several bananas lying on the counter that were sure to be tossed out if not used soon, so I decided to make some banana nut muffins with a twist!

Carob powder
is wonderful for gluten free baking. It can act as an allergen free flour and has a light, smooth, chocolate-like flavor. Carob accentuates the natural sweetness of bananas and the two form a lovely combination in these muffins.

These are definitely kid-friendly muffins that pack a healthy punch of nutrition using whole grains, coconut oil, hemp milk (or other non-dairy milk), ground flax seeds, and of course, bananas!

These muffins are naturally moist and delicious and the aroma while baking is heavenly!

You can certainly use a good quality cocoa powder in place of the carob powder if you'd like, but if you have carob powder on hand, certainly give it a try. Carob contains high amounts of calcium, potassium, riboflavin,and lots of healthy fiber. Perfect for a quick morning breakfast or a super afternoon pick-me-up!


Carob Banana Muffins


Dry Ingredients
1/4 cup millet flour -or- brown rice flour
1/4 cup unsweetened carob powder
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 heaping tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Wet Ingredients
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup hemp milk -or- other non-dairy milk
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to a liquid
2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
2 teaspoons quality vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar -or- sugar substitute of your choice

Add In's
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup carob chips (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl add all dry ingredients. Whisk together thoroughly until evenly incorporated. In a medium mixing bowl add warmed coconut oil, whisked eggs, mashed bananas, vanilla extract, and sugar or sugar substitute. Mix thoroughly and fold into dry ingredients. Batter will be very wet. Let batter rest for about 5-10 minutes before baking. Batter will thicken slightly. Grease or place paper liners in a cupcake/muffin tin. Fill each paper liner 3/4 full of batter. Bake for 18-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs. Do not overbake. Cool muffins on a wire rack before serving.

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Carrie's Notes:
  • Using Milk: I used a non-dairy milk in this recipe, but you can certainly replace it with 1/4 cup of yogurt, regular milk, buttermilk, soymilk etc... Get creative and use what you have on hand!
  • Sugar Free Muffins: If I had been making these muffins for myself I would have used 2/3 cup erythritol with a pinch of Nu Naturals Stevia. You can also use 2/3 cup agave nectar, honey, brown sugar, rapadura, sucanat, etc... or no sugar at all! It's up to you!
  • Oils and Fats: I find that you DO need some type of "fat" in muffins. If you leave out the fat, you leave out flavor and texture. You can substitute 2 tablespoons of applesauce in place of half the coconut oil. You can also use butter, Spectrum shortening, canola oil, etc... I find coconut oil to be extremely healthy and adds great texture to gluten free baked goods. You can purchase coconut oil here.
  • If you don't have bananas use 1 cup of mashed sweet potatoes, pure pumpkin puree, or any type of mashed winter squash!
  • If you don't have ground flax seeds, you can certainly leave them out of the recipe. I love adding a dash of ground flax seeds to nearly all my baking because it it SO full of healthy B vitamins, omega 3 oils, and serious fiber. Ground flax seeds are perfect for low carb baking because they have an equal amount of carbohydrates and fiber, so they technically have 0 net carbs! ;-)
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13 comments:

  1. The Piedmont, however, got zilch snow. And that's a-okay with me! (Newspapers never close and I have to go to work no matter what - not fun in the snow!)

    Look great! Totally off-topic, but I was talking with co-workers the other day about carob and dog treats!

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  2. Wow, I love this recipe and I think it is healthy enough to boost our energy for the day! Yummy

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  3. Abby -- I'm sorry you didn't get any snow! Although you are right, the newspaper NEVER closes!! No matter what!! That's so funny that you were talking about carob dog treats! lol... these are definitely NOT for dogs! lol..

    Henry -- So glad you are enjoying this recipe! We love these muffins!!

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  4. What brand of carob powder do you have? Every one I've ever seen has malt added.

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  5. Delightfullyglutenfree -- I use Chatfield's carob powder, the only ingredient is roasted carob powder. You can purchase it from amazon.com or at your local health food store! There are no other ingredients! I love the stuff! ;-)

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  6. These are FANTASTIC! You rock! I have trouble finding many GF DF recipes that I don't have to totally remake. I am eating one right now and I don't even feel guilty: whole grains, fruit, coconut oil what's there to feel guilty about. I used cocoa powder in place of the carob, honey and teff flour instead of sorghum, and 2.5 bananas (that's what was on the counter). Thanks for the recipe!

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  7. Kim -- Thank you so much for your comments! I am trying to make all my recipes gluten free and dairy free as much as possible because I know it is SO common among gluten free folks!! I'm so glad you enjoyed the muffins! I agree with you! These are definitely GUILT FREE muffins!! ;-)

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  8. Carob... I've been thinking a lot about that stuff lately. 20 years ago Mom dabbled in it and I do love to get back to basics. Thanks!

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  9. These sound wonderful! I have yet to bake with carob... This recipe makes me want to give it a try :)

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  10. I could cry! These are wonderful...the best gluten, cane sugar, dairy free muffins I've made yet!!! Thanks a million!

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  11. loflinfalls - i'm SOO glad you liked these muffins!!! I love all the healthy benefits too! ;-)I think I need to make another batch... like right now! ;-)

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  12. I've made these twice now and they are delicious!

    The first time I followed the recipe but used almond meal in place of the sorghum and left out the sugar. This time I used the almond meal again, used shredded zucchini in place of the banana, and just used a bit of agave nectar. I liked them even more with the zucchini. I know you posted this a long time ago, but thanks for sharing all of your recipes!

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  13. C-Ray -- Oh what a fantastic idea!! I never would have thought to add zucchini instead of bananas!! Now I want to give that a try! I bet they are delicious! Thank you so much for sharing your adaptations of the recipe! I'm so glad you like them!!

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Thank you for commenting on Gingerlemongirl.com. I appreciate your comments, ideas, stories, and feedback!

To send me recipes to try or for gluten free baking help, feel free to email me at gingerlemongirl (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sincerely,
Carrie

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