June 20, 2013

Blueberry Coconut Banana Muffins with Coconut Sugar

This post is about a bit more than muffins, but the muffins are the most delicious part. I couldn't even fit all their awesomeness into the post title, as I felt awkward putting "coconut" in there three times. But aside from the shredded coconut and the coconut sugar, they also have coconut oil. COCONUT CRAZE.

First of all, as you probably remember, I'm on my whole foods cleanse, and so these muffins were a heartaching experiment that came out very well and were delivered, batch in full, to my very excited child. I did have a small taste, but I have been constantly impressing myself with my commitment to my 30 days. Today is day 20. I will admit, I'm starting to feel ready for it to end - but I'm going to save that topic (i.e., my cleanse and its challenges) for a separate post.

I think I mentioned in my last post that I've been getting more creative with the food in my kitchen, thanks to my 30-day challenge that demands such creativity. Mostly, i feel able to use everything i buy, in terms of food. if it's in my fridge, i'll figure out a way to cook it. Maybe so these muffins came to fruition because i had a batch of blueberries from the farmers market that were okay, but not great. many of them were soft, and i could tell they had been harvested past their peak. Farewell, beloved season of blueberries....

So I decided to make muffins. I also froze about half of the berries to use in smoothies, pancakes, etc. I found a recipe online and adapted it with my own ingredients, because i wanted to use both coconut sugar and coconut oil. these muffins are neither gluten free nor vegan, but they are, as i mentioned delicious.

 Homemade muffins are great because they make awesome car snacks. I should also probably write an entire post on car snacks - an essential and challenging aspect of every mother's reality. We cannot really leave the house without snacks. Snacks should, for the happiness of all, be on hand at all times. Muffins are also great for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and home snacks. (ha).

I am always slightly experimental with recipes, but I recorded this one the best I could. The muffins are very moist and squishy (read: texture perfection); and, if you haven't cooked with coconut sugar before, please note that it's very sweet. This is only the second time I've cooked with it. I'm not sure what the download is on coconut sugar right now in the nutritional world, and while I am often skeptical of "new" sweeteners, it's always worth a try.  I personally favor cane sugar and honey - tried and true classics. Does anyone know the "benefits" of coconut sugar? I'll look it up, but I want to hear what you have to say, also. 

One of my personal beliefs is that if you make it from scratch with love and care, it is, ultimately, nourishing for your children. Truly. I have so many things that I try to stick to (gluten-free, low sugar, etc., etc.), but I also believe that we must be flexible in our practices. And so that's my bottom line: is it homemade? Is it from scratch? Did you transform it in you kitchen, with your hands, to feed to your babies? If so, then you are doing a great job. 

  •  1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • dash of cinnamon
  • a few handfuls of fresh blueberries
  • 2 (or so) cups of mashed bananas
First, mix the sugar and the coconut oil in a large bowl until they are blended. Then add the eggs and the mashed bananas and mix it all together. (I had frozen overripe bananas in my freezer). In a separate bowl, combine the flour, coconut, baking soda, and salt - then add a bit of cinnamon to your liking. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly and mix. Melt the 1/4 cup of butter and pour into the batter; mix well. Finally, fold in the fresh blueberries - as many as you'd like. Pour into muffin cups (and then I like to sprinkle the top with cinnamon/sugar) and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes. You know the drill - a toothpick or butter knife will come out clean when they are ready. Enjoy! Feed them to your ravenous children and men!


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