Muffins are the quintessential breakfast item, and these banana carrot muffins have both fruit and veggies, plus they’re loaded with fiber. Do you have a couple of spotted brown bananas laying around, well, then let’s make these easy, gluten free muffins!
Is it healthy to eat a muffin in the morning?
It depends on the ingredients and the overall nutrient composition of the muffin. Muffins can vary widely in terms of their nutritional value, these happen to be gluten free, and provide you with 4 grams of fiber and protein per muffin!
Ideally, a muffin should be made with whole grain flour, have a low amount of added sugar, and contain some source of protein or healthy fats to help you feel full and satisfied.
A muffin can be a part of a healthy breakfast or snack, but it should not be the only component. I recommend pairing it with an additional source of protein, like a smoothie, or eggs and more veggies.
- Overripe bananas: These should be good and brown, see below for more information on the stages bananas go through as they ripen. Allow to ripen at room temperature.
- Carrots: Shred carrots with a box grater, or food processor. I didn't try this recipe with store bought shredded carrots, which are thicker.
- Eggs: Purchase organic, pasture raised or from a trusted local farmer.
- Ghee: This is clarified butter, or butter with the milk solids removed, which means it’s typically safe from those who can't tolerate dairy.
- Almond flour: Choose finely ground almond flour. A fine almond flour is preferable to meal in this case because it works more like flour. See the FAQ for more details.
- Oats: Whole, rolled oats, gluten free certified as needed. One study found that 88% of oats were contaminated with gluten.
- Flax meal: Flax meal not only provides a fair amount of fiber, but that fiber helps to bind the ingredients together. Flax goes rancid quickly, so store in the fridge. I have a great article to learn more about flax.
- Turbinado sugar: This is sugar from sugarcane that is coarser and slightly drier than brown or white sugar (due to the large particle size). Nutritionally it’s similar, sugar is sugar, so light brown sugar is a fine substitute here.
- Salt: I use sea salt, so if you use table salt you may want to use a skosh less since there’s more sodium in table salt.
Steps to make the best muffins
Making muffins is similar to making cake, only with banana muffins there’s a key. Over ripe bananas come with a fair amount of liquid, and depending on the stage of ripeness can offer more or less flavor.
- Reduce the bananas: To mitigate watery muffins I start by adding the fat, carrots and bananas to a skillet. These are warmed for a few minutes which helps accentuate their flavors and reduce their liquid potential slightly.
- Whisk the dry ingredients: Next, allow the carrots and bananas to cool, so they don’t cook your eggs. Begin whisking the dry ingredients.
- Prepare the pan: Prepare the muffin tin. I really like parchment liners, you can also use silicone liners or just coat the tin with your choice of fat. I haven’t used traditional paper liners.
- Mix the wet ingredients: Then mix the bananas and carrots with the remaining wet ingredients.
- The muffin method: Finally, it’s as simple as pouring the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and just barely combining. This is referred to as the muffin method.
- Scoop: Scoop batter into the pan using a heavy ¼ cup scoop, or until muffin wells are about ¾ full.
- Bake: about 22 - 25 minutes on the middle rack, or until muffins are set. Don’t be deceived by the color, they get dark due to the flax and flours.
Ideally muffins are enjoyed within 2-3 days, in which case they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Before packing, allow them to completely cool for several hours. Then pack them into an airtight container and store. Packing them away too early will cause them to condensate and get a little tacky and moist…
If you can’t consume all of the muffins within a few days, after 3 days or so move to the fridge or freezer.
What are the best bananas to use for this recipe?
Bananas go through several stages of ripeness, and the nutritional content of the fruit can change as it ripens. Here are the stages of banana ripeness and their nutritional content:
- Green bananas: At this stage, the banana is unripe and has a firm texture. The starch content is high, and the sugar content is low. Green bananas are a good source of resistant starch, which is a type of fiber that can help regulate blood sugar levels and promote digestive health.
- Yellow bananas: As the banana ripens, it turns yellow and becomes sweeter. The starch content decreases, and the sugar content increases. Yellow bananas are a good source of vitamins B6 and C, as well as potassium and fiber.
- Spotted bananas: When the banana develops brown spots, it is at its peak ripeness. The sugar content is highest at this stage, and the starch content is low. Spotted bananas are a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect against cellular damage.
- Brown bananas: If the banana is left to ripen for too long, it will eventually turn brown and become overripe. At this stage, the banana may be mushy and have a strong flavor. Brown bananas are still safe to eat, but the nutritional content is lower than at the earlier stages of ripeness.
Overall, bananas are a nutritious fruit that can provide a range of health benefits at every stage of ripeness.
Frequently Asking Questions [FAQ's]
Almond flour and almond meal are both made from ground almonds, but there are some differences between them.
Almond flour is typically made from blanched almonds that have had their skins removed, which results in a finer, lighter texture. It is commonly used as a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour in baking and can also be used as a breading for meats.
Almond meal, on the other hand, is typically made from whole almonds, including the skins. Skins provide a coarser texture and a slightly nuttier flavor. They are similar, but almond meal may not be as suitable for fine-textured baking, like cakes and cookies.
Nutritionally, both almond flour and almond meal are high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber, as well as vitamin E and magnesium. However, almond meal may have slightly more fiber and minerals due to the inclusion of the skins.
Carrots have a slightly sweet and earthy taste, while bananas are much sweeter and have a distinct flavor. However, there are some recipes that use both carrots and bananas, such as these banana carrot muffins or smoothies that pair quite well.
In terms of nutritional value, both carrots and bananas are nutrient-dense foods, with carrots being a good source of fiber, beta carotene, and potassium; and bananas being a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.
Banana Carrot Muffins
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- Chefs Knife
- Food processor, or box grater
- Large mixing bowl
- Medium mixing bowl
- Rubber Spatula
- Muffin cups, parchment or silicone
- Cast iron skillet, or your skillet of choice
- 1 cup Bananas, mashed about 2 large overripe bananas
- 1 cup Carrots, finely shredded store bought?
- 2 tablespoon Ghee, or butter
- 2 Whole eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ½ cup Almond flour
- ½ cup Whole rolled oats
- ½ cup Flax meal
- ½ cup Turbinado sugar, or brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Salt, celtic sea salt or Redmond's real salt
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- ¼ cup Almonds, slivered to top
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12 muffin tin with a spritz of avocado oil, or melted fat of choice.
- In a cast iron skillet warm the ghee, once melted add the banana and carrot and warm until fragrant over medium heat. This will take 3-5 minutes. Once the fat is well mixed into the produce and fragrant, turn off the heat and set aside while you prepare your dry mix.
- In a separate, medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients; almond flour, oats, flax meal, sugar, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder. I like to whisk these together to ensure all of the ingredients are evenly dispersed.
- In a second bowl crack two eggs, add the vanilla, and the slightly cooled bananas and carrots. Don't add hot bananas or you will cook your eggs!
- Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredient bowl and mix well, until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Fill each muffin well ~ ¾ full. For regular sized muffins, I use a ¼ cup scoop. Sprinkle with a few slivered almonds, gently pressed into the dough as to not burn.
- Shimmy and shake the pan a bit to displace any air holes. Place in a 350 degree oven, on the middle rack. Bake for ~22 - 25 minutes or until they do not jiggle in the center.
- If you'd rather make mini muffins, cook them for slightly less time, 18-20 minutes, or until baked through.
- You can use your favorite skillet, I prefer cast iron to provide a bit more iron and avoid toxins of nonstick pans.
Let me know what you think...