Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Grain-Free Banana-Maple Muffins

When we think of sweeteners for baking, plain old white sugar is usually the first to come to mind. But many of us want other ways of sweetening our food.

Grain-Free Banana-Maple Muffins

Grain Free Muffins Sweetened with Maple Syrup, Banana, & Coconut

One of my favorite alternative sweeteners is either maple sugar (which behaves a lot like white sugar in baking) and maple syrup, which is a liquid and therefore a little harder to bake with since most recipes are formulated for white or brown sugar. So, today’s blog contains a muffin recipe that relies on many sources for sweetness, including maple syrup.

The Skinny on Maple Syrup

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, maple syrup has about three times the sweetening power of cane sugar and has just 40 calories per tablespoon. Make sure to buy pure maple syrup, not the blended stuff. It will be a little more expensive, but worth it. Maple syrup is nutrient rich—it’s a great source of manganese and a good source of zinc.

In baking, start with a recipe that is formulated for liquid sweeteners (as I do here) or make adjustments to an existing recipe by decreasing the liquids to compensate for the liquid nature of maple syrup (easier said than done, so stick with maple syrup-formulated recipes for best results.)

Grain-Free Banana-Maple Muffins

By Carol Fenster

Author of Gluten-Free 101: The Essential Beginner’s Guide to Easy Gluten-Free Cooking (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014)

This grain-free muffin is a 6-muffin recipe, designed for small families or families where only a few of you adhere to a gluten-free diet. Plus, these muffins are appropriate for a Paleo or vegetarian diet. The sweetness comes from multiple sources—maple syrup plus the natural sugars in bananas, coconut, and raisins. Because it is heavily laden with these add-ins, it will be a dense muffin and won’t rise very high.

1 cup almond flour/meal

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon xanthan gum

¼ teaspoon salt

1 large egg

½ cup mashed ripe banana

¼ cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons canola oil or grapeseed oil or coconut oil (melted, slightly cooled)

½ teaspoon vinegar

½ cup raisins or chopped dried plums (or pitted and finely chopped dates)

¼ cup shredded coconut

[1] Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325⁰F. Generously grease a 6-cup standard muffin pan or line with paper liners. (Or, use a 12-cup muffin pan, but place 2 tablespoons of water in each unused cup.)

[2] In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour/meal, cinnamon, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt until well blended. In a small bowl, beat the banana, oil, maple syrup, and vinegar together with a fork or whisk until smooth. Stir the banana mixture into the almond flour mixture until well blended and then stir in the raisins and coconut. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, about a scant ¼ cup of batter per muffin cup.

[3] Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, Cool the muffins in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes and then remove from the pan and cool completely. Makes 6 muffins.

Per muffin: 245 calories, 11g protein; 11g total fat; 1g fiber; 31g carbohydrates; 30mg cholesterol; 208mgs sodium