Hearty Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Can you believe that I've been a mom for over nine months?!

You might say yes, because I haven't posted a new recipe since June. I've been shooting for once per month, but the summer clearly escaped me. We traveled for a month to Pennsylvania and enjoyed the company of family and friends. We took our first mini staycation as a family to Hilton Head Island at the beginning of October -- and that was lovely (and challenging) as well. We've been battling illnesses and teething and all of the wonderful things that infant-hood has to offer :-) Thank you for your patience.

Good news: I was asked by Veg News magazine to create an original macaron recipe for their May/June 2018 (!) issue. I will let you know how things unfold with that project. I love a challenge, but I love even more that they gave me quite a head start in planning. 

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While in Pennsylvania, I got the urge to buy a cook book, as I usually do. This one is a keeper; it's called Have Your Cake and Eat It. It's filled with "nutritious and delicious" recipes. Some are vegan, some are not. Some are gluten-free too. She really uses an array of ingredients and methods. Everything I've made from it has been delicious. How could you not love this cook book? I mean, look at the cover!

This recipe is very lightly adapted from the author's original recipe. I had some fancy parchment cups lying around, so these babies turned out to look like real bakery muffins. The secret to the bakery muffin look? You want to fill your tins about 3/4 of the way full. You never see small muffins at a bakery.

Hearty Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
Lightly adapted from Mich Turner's book

4 large bananas, mushed
1/2 c. sunflower oil
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1/2 c. crunchy peanut butter
3 T. warm water
1 T. ground flaxseed
2 2/3 c. organic flour
2/3 c. brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 2/3 c. dates, chopped
3 T. sunflower seeds or pepitas, plus more for sprinkling*

*I've made these muffins twice now and I prefer the pepitas inside the muffins, sunflower seeds on top. They stick to the top better. Also, don't buy pre-chopped dates. They are drier than the regular whole dates.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking tin with 12 parchment cups.

In a small glass, mix the flax and warm water. Let it set aside for five minutes.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, dates, and seeds. Set aside.

In a large bowl, smush the bananas -- what a great way to get rid of ripe bananas! Stir in the flax mixture, oil, vanilla paste, and peanut butter. Once it is well-mixed, add in the dry ingredients, about a third at a time. Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the muffins tins, making then 3/4 of the way full. It should make 12 muffins. Sprinkle seeds on top if you'd like.

Bake the muffins for 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes clean when inserted. They should be slightly golden on top.

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These muffins taste yummy, nostalgic, and like a healthy treat. They definitely give me a new appreciation for crunchy peanut butter!