Monday, April 14, 2014

Healthier banana muffins

I can't tell you how many calories my recipe has because I have no way of measuring calories, but you can be fairly certain that these muffins have less than the up-to-740 calories (!!) in the offenders on this list of "Top 12 Dangerous Muffins".  
And it's not just muffins that are our present culture's sugar-bomb offenders.  WHAT IN THE SAM HOUSTON IS THE MATTER WITH PEOPLE SUCH THAT THEY'D ACTUALLY PUT CRAP LIKE THESE DRINKS INTO THEIR MOUTHS?!

Screengrabbed from this source.  
Physical depictions of sugar equivalents have become very popular since "The Weight of the Nation" was released by HBO (they were one of the first to make this kind of presentation to people).  Read on to see an analogous sugar-in-a-bag depiction for my muffins.

Screengrabbed from this site.  
Seriously, I don't know what the hell goes through peoples' minds when they consume crap that is so obscenely chock full of refined sugars.  It does not take an aggregate IQ over 85 to know by common sense that sugar-heavy drinks and sugar-heavy muffins are extremely unhealthy.  As in, poison yourself unhealthy.
There are no analogous sugar-bag depictions for muffins, just calorie summaries.  This is the standard ridiculous Google return for 'muffin sugar', although obviously muffins will vary tremendously in calories.  
Big Mac, just for comparison.  Both screengrabbed from Google.  
Anyway, here's my ingredient list and I will follow with step-by-step pics of the preparation process.  All dry measures are heaping measures except for the sugar.  

  • 3.5 large bananas, aged
  • About 0.5 cup brown sugar (or less)
  • Dollop of molasses (1 tablespoon)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 0.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 0.5 cup Teff flour (if available, else substitute white or wheat)
  • About 3 tablespoons of ground flax meal
  • 0.3 cup light olive oil
  • 0.5 to 0.75 cups ground almonds (depending on taste)

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  As it is warming up, combine ingredients thusly:  
Bananas should be mushy but not rotten.  
Combine dry ingredients EXCEPT for brown sugar in a sifter.  That's the heaping cup of whole wheat flour in the background and my favorite other flour, teff, in the foreground.  Teff is no longer available locally - Whole Foods used to carry it but now it must be ordered over the internet.  It ain't cheap, but neither are cancer and diabetes.    
Sift to the extent possible.  Obviously the flax meal won't go through the sifter, but get as much of the material through as possible and then just dump the remainder on top.  

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, olive oil, molasses, and brown sugar.  Mix coarsely - do not homogenize.  
By the way, this is what my brown sugar looked like in the obligatory plastic sack.  This is not for one muffin - this is for TWELVE large muffins. And I used less than depicted here.  Obviously the muffins also get some natural sugars from the bananas, but my point is, this recipe is not overflowing with refined sugars.   
Ah yes, the bananas.  Peel them and mash them on a plate.  They should be nice and soft.  
Mix the bananas in with the other wet ingredients.  I do not like homogeneous banana bread or banana muffins, so I leave mine lumpy.  Not as extremely lumpy as pictured here, but visibly lumpy.  
Fold together the wet and dry ingredients, again, not making the mix too homogeneous.  You MIGHT have to add a couple of tablespoons of water, depending on how dry your mix turns out to be.  If it looks like this above, you should be OK.  
Once you've got it mostly mixed, throw the almonds in and continue to stir.

This is what my almonds looked like.  You'll notice that the volume of my almonds exceeds that of my brown sugar.  Almonds are good for you.  Refined sugar is not.  
Spoon into a muffin tin.  I like to use muffin papers.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.  

You'll notice that my muffins are a little muffin-toppy-saggy.  I don't have much gluten in this combination of two flours (whole wheat and teff), so they don't rise all puffy like higher-glycemic muffins.  No matter - they are light enough so that you won't notice anything wrong with the texture, and they taste great.  Try 'em.  And for God's sake, stay the hell away from sugary drinks.  

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