One of the positive things about the Covid 19 lockdown is that more people are getting in the kitchen and cooking. It may be due to an increase in free time or a lack of access to shopping options. But I would like to think – and hope that – it’s down to a sudden awareness that food is really important to health and to wealth and that giving it the attention it deserves is a key way forward in staying well. Mind you, I’ve always been an optimist….!
Baking has been popular activity to keep children busy, which is awesome. When my kids were small, we did loads of baking together. Yes it was messy but it was also fun and a key part of their education about food and ingredients. Although we had to have two bowls to lick otherwise there was meltdown!
I’ve always enjoyed cake and so working out recipes to ensure I could still have my cake and eat it was a priority when I moved to eating a whole-food plant-based diet. Whole ingredients, minimal refined sugar and fat – but still taste awesome. Horray!
I made these lovely and moist chocolate and banana muffins on my live Facebook cooking session last Friday. They’re super simple and can be made gluten free and OMS compliant (see end of post for more info) – just avoid adding chocolate chips. Although cocoa powder is ok, chocolate itself has a high saturated fat content due to the cocoa butter. However, if you can have a little chocolate in your life, then add away!
These muffins have a marbled effect, created by creating a chocolate and a banana mix then adding separate spoonfuls to the muffin cases. If you don’t have time for that, then just mix it all together for a single coloured muffin – they’ll still taste the same!
Here’s the recording from Friday – with added drama as I had a power cut half way through! Fortunately it didn’t affect the muffins and they rose well despite having to wait 20 minutes before the power reappeared! What I’m learning from cooking live is to expect anything to happen! And below that is the full recipe so you can print it out if needed.
I hope you enjoy making these muffins – if you do have a go, don’t forget to let me know how you get on.
Chocolate and banana muffins
- 400 grams spelt, wholewheat or gluten free flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 medium very ripe bananas mashed
- 70 grams coconut sugar
- 75 mls olive oil
- 300 ml soya milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 50 grams dairy-free chocolate chips optional
- 5 tbsp soya milk extra to above
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC (fan) or 180ºC. Line a 12 piece muffin tray with wrapper.
- Make a butter milk by add the lemon juice to the soya milk and leaving for a few minutes to curdle
- Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl. Add the chocolate chips if using and stir again.
- In another bowl, add the mashed banana, coconut sugar, olive oil and curdled soya milk. Mix well to combine.
- In a separate bowl, mix the extra soya milk and cocoa powder together - you have to mix quite hard.
- Once your three bowls are ready, pour the banana mix into the flour mix and fold together, working quickly but lightly. Pour a third of the mix into the cocoa bowl and mix well, but lightly, to combine.
- Add a tablespoon of the banana mix to each muffin wrapper, top with a spoonful of chocolate mix and finish with another spoonful of banana mix. The muffin wrappers should be full. Carefully muddle with the stem of a teaspoon but not need to mix completely - this gives you a marbling effect when baked.
- Tap the tin gently on the worktop and transfer to the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes. The muffins should rise well. Check with a cocktail stick to see if they're baked - if it comes out clean they're done. If not, return to the oven and bake for another couple of minutes.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. These freeze well.
OMS – stands for Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis , a diet and lifestyle programme that helps people with MS live well. For more information check out their website https://overcomingms.org