Sometimes the best things comes from happy accidents. Like these sugar free banana walnut muffins, which came to be after a serious case of banana neglect on my part.
I’ve found that certain foods (read: bananas) are more susceptible to neglect than others. You know, the items that you buy with the best intentions, possibly even grand plans, that get unpacked from the market and then forgotten. By the time you rediscover said ingredient it’s rotting in the crisper or cupboard.
When I bought the bananas they were green, as I planned to use them that way in my signature low sugar green smoothie bowl. Instead of peeling and freezing them straight away like normal, I carelessly tossed them in our fruit basket only to find them a week late yellow and spotted. Now I realize that there are far worse things to neglect in your pantry than bananas—admittedly there’s at least one if not more foul science experiments happening somewhere in our kitchen at any given time—but thankfully I was able to bring these guys back from the brink.
Fortunately bananas are one of if not the most forgiving foods to neglect. Some of you might even argue that they thrive in their neglected state and you may even prefer them to be as ripe as possible. Personally, I find super ripe bananas to be a bit too sweet. In my mind, I was going to make one of two things: sugar free banana muffins or banana bread.
Of course I could have frozen them for banana “nice” cream—a delicious frozen treat and alternative to dairy-based desserts—or made flourless protein pancakes. Two good options for sure. However, if you glanced inside our freezer you’d find quite the collection of frozen bananas most of which were frozen due to similar circumstances of neglect. Long story short, sugar free banana walnut muffins for the win!These banana walnut muffins are both refined sugar and grain free, which as you’ve probably realized by now is kind of my jam. I prefer to eat most of my dietary carbohydrates in the form of high fiber, low-sugar, nonstarchy vegetables; root vegetables like beets and carrots because I am obsessed with both; and low sugar fruit but I have been known to go on soaked oat porridge kicks. If you forced me to label this way of eating, I’d have to say it fits somewhere between a modified ketogenic diet and paleo.
The main reason I eat this way is because I’ve found that it’s the easiest way to manage my blood sugar, which really is so essential for optimal health—especially for women. When we eat a lot of refined carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, crackers, snack foods) and foods that are high in sugar (even natural sugars like fruit, honey, agave, etc.), we alter our body’s chemical state. It sends a flood of insulin into our blood and initiates a cascade of reactions that lead to a chronic inflammatory state and in the case of sugar, lights up our brain’s reward centers akin to cocaine. This in turn alters our hormones, neurotransmitters, and metabolism.
And while I realize this might surprise some of you, there is no essential carbohydrate requirement for humans. While we absolutely must obtain certain essential fatty acids from our diet, as well as amino acids (the building blocks of protein), carbs? Not so much. I know it’s often easier to live blissfully ignorant but if you’re here reading this blog, I assume you desire to be empowered about your health and nutrition, yes? Unfortunately sometimes the truth hurts. Womp. Womp.
All that said we do need plants—nuts, seeds, vegetables, beans, and fruits—and plants do have carbohydrates as well as super essential vitamins and minerals that we can’t get from protein and fat. When it comes to baking with grain-free flours, I choose to view it as an opportunity rather than a challenge. It provides a way to include more nutritent-rich ingredients and healthy fats in a baked good and decrease the potential inflammatory effects of sugar and grains.
Nuts and nut flours are also great for metabolism. Yes they are much more calorically dense compared to grain-based flours however they have been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, improve metabolism, and promote weight loss. Remember fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does. Of course if you go crazy and eat all 12 of these muffins in one sitting, I can’t say that it’ll do wonders for your waistline. So listen to your body and honor your hunger cues.
I recommend eating these banana walnut muffins with a dollop of coconut butter, which is my new obsession—seriously I am OBSESSED. Store them in the fridge separated by wax paper or freeze them the same way. They will last about a week and half in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. Truly such a perfect breakfast, snack, or healthy treat! And they are insanely simple to make. I swear our dog could do it, if he only had thumbs.
// RECIPE //
Sugar-Free Paleo Banana Walnut Muffins
2 cups blanched almond flour (I always bake with this brand)
3 ripe bananas
1 tbsp creamy almond butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp garam masala spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tray with paper or silicone liners.
- Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together with a wire whisk.
- Peel bananas and mash in another glass bowl using the back of two forks or a whisk. It should be really simple to do if your bananas are ripe enough.
- Add vanilla, eggs, and almond butter to mashed bananas and mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry and incorporate. The batter should be thick but not as thick as cookie dough. If it’s too thick, simply add a bit of almond milk or water until you get the right muffin mix consistency.
- Fold in chopped walnuts and spoon into muffin cups, filling two thirds of the way up.
- Add a sliced banana piece to the top of each unbaked muffin for decoration (optional obviously but I think it makes them prettier!).
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the muffin pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Get to it! And when you do, please oh please write me a little note below to tell me how they turned out for you. I know some of you have been commenting on my Instagram feed, too, which is awesome. It’s so great to hear that you are enjoying the recipes.
On that note, I want to ask, what types of recipes do you want to see more of? I realize I am already sharing my second muffin recipe (what can I say, I really like muffins!) so I’d love to hear from YOU lovely folks and know how I can help make living honestly nourished even easier. Tell me below!
And when you do make these bad boys, don’t forget to share a pic and use #honestlynourished so I can send you all the heart eye emojis.