It was love at first bite. I can remember my first muffin in late 1980s while at RMC at this new coffee shop called Tim Hortons. I soon discovered I could skip dinner and fill up on 2 large muffins at our snack bar on campus (early signs of addiction?). After graduation, my cousin first introduced me to the idea of baking my own muffins and hoping to emulate her delectable variety of muffins, I bought “Muffin Mania” and made them weekly, snacking on them between meals.
Muffins were my go to – housewarming gifts, potluck items, my way of bringing the joy they gave me to other people. On that note, my family has barely forgiven me for the “methane muffins” I lovingly made for our Granny Bell’s funeral that were the source of embarrassing gas during the reception. In fact, when my husband Paul was a young F-18 pilot, I was considering converting to Air Navigator. He always said that if I chose instead to be a fighter pilot, my call sign would have been Muffin. So much for my Top Gun vision of Maverick or Venom. He got Rose, so who am I to judge?
Then the fall from grace…This baking obsession continued until 2009. I always tried to make them healthier – cutting the sugar, trying dried fruit over sugar, canola oil over butter, adding more whole grains (like wheat germ). Hindsight is 20-20 and I wish I could turn back the clock on a few of those decisions with the knowledge I have today.
Now teaching about gluten sensitivity, I can see the part that these gluten-rich muffins played to expose my poor gut lining to gluten, sometimes six times a day if my other meals/snacks were crackers, pasta, toast, sandwiches etc. We now know it causes a leaky gut (aka intestinal permeability) in everyone. Some; however, don’t heal from it quick enough before the next onslaught of gluten and this leads to inflammation including other food sensitivities and potentially autoimmune disease. I share this muffin saga with those in my Gluten Workshop to demonstrate how the most well-intentioned actions (and a bit of wheat/carb addiction in my case), can lead to gluten intolerance/sensitivity. Well, my love affair is officially over with “gluten-ous” muffins (it’s now 8 years since I have had one) and I certainly don’t miss the amount of baking time in the kitchen either (or the bloating).
However, my family still loves muffins, especially banana chocolate chip. I still enjoy the occasional quick baking session and make these easy grain-free muffins that taste “gluten-ous” for my family and friends. So far everyone that has tried them has fallen in love with them! Our boys’ friends ask me to send their Moms the recipe, so for greater ease, here it is…
Despite all the nutritional positives about these muffins (high protein, magnesium-rich, potassium-rich, healthy fats, macronutrient-balanced etc.), I would like to caution, especially to my clients, that they do not belong on a healing protocol. They are so not alkaline-forming or AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) as they contain eggs and seed/nuts (and some sugar if you add the chocolate chips). So, if you are currently recovering from a health issue, please refrain consuming them until you are at optimum health and only as an occasional treat. Simply make them for others to enjoy and hopefully prefer over commercial/GMO/sugar/chemical-laden muffins!
A final note. After experimenting with a Vegan-ish diet for a few years for health reasons, I grew more aware of how animals are treated and the concept of how “you are what you eat – ate”. I hope you will join me in this new year of consciousness in avoiding supporting the CAFO industry (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) when choosing animal-based food, if you care about our animals on this planet. As these muffins contain eggs, I urge you to watch this 20 minute fast paced, enlightening and entertaining video by Erin Janus on the source of eggs (hens of course!) to understand why it is so important to be conscious about selecting “responsible” eggs: https://youtu.be/utPkDP3T7R4
It’s the best one I have seen on this subject and thankfully leaves some of the graphic stuff I have seen in other videos to the imagination. You will hear a vegan’s perspective here and I don’t expect everyone to give up eggs or go Vegan (as I firmly believe that this needs nutritional guidance) – just know that they seem to know more about the animal care/cruelty that the rest of us and are improving animal treatment by spreading this awareness. The question of the health of eating eggs she addresses is another whole topic. I will add though, that I recently learned that the rapidly rising egg sensitivities are usually to commercial eggs and not pastured hens’ eggs. Hmmm, what are our bodies telling us?
Now you are ready for the recipe Unbelievably Grain-Free Muffins! – do try it out and please let me know what you think of both the video and the recipe.
Laura Kissmann, CD, BSc, R.H.N.
Registered Holistic Nutritionist
“Nothing tastes as good as healthy does”
- • 4 bananas*
- • 1/2 cup pumpkin seed butter (or almond**)
- • 4 chicken or 2 duck eggs***
- • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- • 1 tsp vanilla****
- • 3/4 cup coconut flour
- • 2 tsp cinnamon**
- • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- • 2 tsp baking soda
- • 1/4 tsp unbleached sea salt*****
- • crumbled pecans**/brazil nuts** on top
- • chocolate chips** (Enjoy Life brand are dairy-free, most brands are not)
- Preheat oven to 375F, then drop to 350F when inserting the muffins (helps form the dome). Line a muffin tin with parchment paper cups. In a large bowl (or easier, a food processor), add bananas (mashed first with a fork if using a hand mixer), eggs, pumpkin seed butter, coconut oil, and vanilla. Blend to combine with a hand mixer/food processor.
- Add in the coconut flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Blend into the wet mixture, scraping down the sides with a spatula. Distribute the batter evenly into the lined muffin tins, filling each about two-thirds of the way full.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm. Store in the refrigerator, otherwise freeze in a re-sealable bag and take them out as you need them. Ensure they are at least room temperature for serving or warmed (amazing if you using the chocolate chips).
- I usually double the recipe for 36 as I am all about efficiency to allow more time to play…
- * Bananas
- 1. Less ripe = more alkaline, less histamine, less sweet muffins
- 2. More ripe = sweeter muffins
- ** Note that these options increase the oxalate level
- *** It is my understanding that even with organic free-range eggs the hens are usually soy-fed and still in cages majority of time with little roaming
- **** Careful – if vanilla lists glycerin, it could be corn-based. My son Keith loved them just the same without the vanilla when I forgot it last time ( ;
- ***** Real SaltTM, Himalayan or Celtic etc.