This was the first thing I made on that fateful day back in September when I decided to try veganism. I’d never been a good baker. I once made muffins where the eggs scrambled, but everyone forced them down to be polite. It turns out, if you take out the eggs, there’s nothing that can possibly go wrong! As it was my first experiment with egg and dairy free baking, the ingredients I used were very simple. I’ve since explored other egg replacements (post to follow soon!) and I’ve learnt a lot about different recipes requiring different replacements. This one, though, simply needs a mashed banana to hold it together. No weird ingredients, no vinegar, nothing horrible that some might expect of vegan baking. Just a banana. The muffins work as a great dessert, breakfast, or snack at any time of the day.
The banana nicecream is a particular favourite of mine. It blew my mind at the time, and continues to do so. I was fascinated with the idea that I could trick myself into thinking I was eating something usually considered fatty and unhealthy, but simply with the nutrients of a banana. You can flavour it however you want (cocoa powder and peanut butter is a favourite of mine) but cinnamon, maple syrup, cherry, blueberry, literally anything also works well.
Enough of the intro, though, straight on to the recipe (I hate how some food blogs ramble ramble ramble before giving you what you want. I mean no one reads that do they?)
Blueberry and Oat Muffins (makes 12 smaller, or 9-10 larger muffins)
1 1/2 cups flour (any kind you like, gluten free if you wish, white, or plain)
1/2 cup rolled oats (again gluten free if you wish)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (and any spice combination you fancy)
3/4 cup blueberries
1 mashed banana
2tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond milk (or any dairy alternative)
1 tbsp maple syrup (or a little more if you like your muffins sweeter)
Preheat oven to 205c/400F. Grease a muffin pan and lay out cases.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (minus the blueberries). Stir together until the spices are evenly distributed.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients until mixed.
Slowly add and fold the wet ingredients to the dry. If the wet ingredients had not combined previously, use hand mixed to ensure a cake batter forms with no lumps.
Fold in the blueberries.
Half fill the muffin cases and place into the centre of the preheated oven. Bake for 18- 22 minutes in total until an inserted toothpick comes out clear. The amount of time your muffins will take to bake will depend on your oven and pan – mine took 21 minutes. After 4 minutes of baking reduce the heat to 350F/175C. (Baking the muffins at a high temperature at first helps them to rise!). Your muffins are ready when the top is golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clear. Leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Sprinkle with additional sugar and oats (optional). Enjoy!
And now for the Banana Nicecream:
2-3 Frozen bananas (sliced before freezing)
Almond milk (or any dairy alternative)
Any flavouring of your choice to taste
Insert sliced frozen bananas into a blender or food processor.
Add a dash of almond milk.
Blend for several minutes until it has the consistency of soft serve.
At this point you can add in any other flavours and blend for 30 more seconds before serving. A favourite of mine is peanut butter and cocoa powder, but frozen cherries would also work (add those in at the start with the bananas), or maple syrup and cinnamon: the world is your oyster! Enjoy for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, etc. because it’s literally just fruit!!