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Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

My kitchen and I have been at odds lately. A place that has been a sanctuary my entire life suddenly started to fill me with dread. I let my brain fill itself with a healthy dose of imposter syndrome and I let the prospect of a pile of dishes convince me it wasn’t worth the effort.

But then Mammacakes had summer break and she started texting me pictures of all the things she was baking for my dad. Muffins. Pies. Cakes. More pies. Quick breads. All the things she taught me how to make. The things we used to bake together from the time I was old enough to stand on a chair and peer into a mixer.

The longing to be back to the whir of Old Faithful and the desire to fill my apartment with the scent of fresh-baked goodness crashed over me like a wave. (Having a nearly too-ripe bunch of bananas was also a bit of an incentive…)

I thought I’d end my baking hiatus with some muffins. Decadent, tasty muffins. Dessert for breakfast.

do you know the muffin man?

Muffins. Simple food. Easy to bake, no mixer required. Infinite possibilities.

the muffin man? - gif from Shrek

They really are a blank slate – ok, and an excuse to make a dessert-like breakfast. (From what I remember of regular, gluten-full muffins, even bran muffins were a sweet treat…although that was 10 years ago…).

gluten-free banana muffins in tray

Scrounging around my kitchen (as one does at 9pm when they decide to bake), I gathered up bananas, coconut flakes and chocolate chips. I was well on my way to some epic cupcakes gluten-free muffins. Except, I was out of sugar. And butter.

I needed muffins. I needed to bake. I had to figure it out and you know they say necessity is the mother of invention. Another perusal of my pantry led me to honey and canola oil. These muffins would not have been such a success had I used the butter and granulated sugar. Can we call it fate? I think so.

Experimenting with coconut banana chocolate chip muffins. Dairy & refined sugar free. #bakefaster

A photo posted by Mary Fran Wiley (@frannycakes) on Jun 14, 2015 at 5:19pm PDT

The unofficial muffin taster gave these muffins high praise (both in person and on the insta).

The recipe makes a dozen muffins and they freeze well, so you can wrap them individually and defrost them any time you need a perfectly decadent breakfast or a breakfast on the run.

a recipe for gluten-free coconut chocolate chip muffins | from Mary Fran Wiley

Gluten-Free Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Feel free to swap out the mix-ins or add to them, but you want to keep the volume about the same. too many more ingredients can cause the muffins to fall apart.
Ingredients
  • 280 grams (2 cups) gluten-free all-purpose flour*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) canola oil or melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup (120ml) honey
  • 2 eggs, preferably at room temperature**
  • 1 cup packed mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk***
  • 30 grams (⅓ cup) sweetened coconut flakes, plus some to sprinkle on top
  • 45-55 grams (¼-⅓ cup) chocolate chips****
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). Line on 12-muffin or 2 6-muffin tins with papers or grease the pans. (I always use papers – they make cleaning up easier)
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the oil, honey and eggs. Make sure you beat it well. Mix in the mashed bananas, milk and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix with a large spoon until just combined. Stir in your coconut, chocolate chips and any other mix-ins you are using.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between all the muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full (I like using a squeezable ice cream scoop to keep things even and clean). Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a little spare coconut. Bake muffins for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
  6. When the muffins are done baking, set the pan on a wire rack and let them cool for 15 minutes. Remove them from the pan and allow to finish cooling on the rack (or eat a few warm…) These will keep for several days in a sealed container or up to 6 weeks in the freezer.
Notes
*I use Cup4Cup gluten-free flour for nearly all my home baking. These muffins will work with the original flour or up to a 50/50 blend of their original flour and wholesome flour blend. If your blend does not include Xanthan gum, add half a teaspoon xanthan gum and half a teaspoon of ground flax.[br]**If you want to make this recipe vegan, a flax or chia egg should work. The result will be a denser muffin that would benefit from letting the batter rest an hour before baking.[br]***I only keep unsweetened almond milk on hand, but any unsweetened non-dairy milk or regular 2% or skim milk will work.[br]****Double check your chocolate chips as not all brands are gluten-free. I always use Enjoy Life chocolate chips to be certain what I am making is safe.
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