Sunday afternoon I went to a raw food restaurant with some women who are also enrolled in Integrative Nutrition. The ladies were very cool. The food and conversation were awesome. I left feeling very energized and excited about my studies. I had a small epiphany on the way home in the car that I wanted to share with you.
I LOVE FOOD! all kinds of food too! raw food, vegan food, meat, baked goods, chocolate, fresh vegetables, coffee, kombucha, eggs, sea vegetables….. You get the point. It is all good, with the exception of okra that is just too slimy for my taste :) It all has an appropriate time and place. I like to cook food. I like to eat food. I like to read about food. I like to talk about food.
Why not celebrate this?! Sometimes I kind of get down on myself for not being a vegan or really liking ice cream or that I spent money on a meal at a restaurant when I could cook at home or…… But as of yesterday at approximately 3 pm, I am over that. Life is too short and food is too fun. So I am embracing all things food and letting go of weird feelings of guilt about it. Anyone care to join me?! :)
With that said, I am still eating gluten free to see if it affects some health issues. Plus it gives me a chance to embrace one more type of eating and an excuse to cook with different ingredients. Reading about Emily’s trip to Babycakes, a vegan and gluten free bakery in New York, inspired me to check their cookbook out from my library.
After browsing through all the yummy recipes, I decided to try their banana bread. My mom would make my Grandma’s banana bread recipe frequently when we were kids. Grandma’s recipe called for maraschino cherries and nuts. Nuts made my brother gag when he was a kid so she would sub in chocolate chips instead. I combined the two and came up with some tasty, vegan, gluten free, and refined sugar free muffins.
Banana Cherry Chocolate Chip Muffins
adapted from Babycakes cookbook and my mom
– 2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 2 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp xanthan gum
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 cup coconut oil
– 2/3 cup agave nectar
– 2/3 cup almond milk
– 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
– 5 medium bananas, mashed
– 1/3 cup dried cherries
– 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
– Preheat oven to 325 and grease 12 cup muffin tin.
– In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthum gum, salt and cinnamon. Add oil, milk, agave, and vanilla and stir until smooth. Fold in mashed bananas, chocolate chips and dried cherries.
– Place 1/4 cup batter in greased muffin tins. Bake for 20-22 min. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 min before removing from pan.
The muffins look a little brown but are perfectly baked. The texture is “muffiny” with the crumb and chewiness level you expect from a muffin. No weird crumbly gluten free baked good texture! I guess I rather coarsely mashed the banana as there are big chunks of banana in the muffin. I like this. I really wanted to use frozen cherries rather than dried. I couldn’t find any at two co-ops or Super Target so I gave up. Is there a run on cherries that I don’t know about?
I hope this recipe is indication of the rest in Babycakes. It is awesome and I am excited to try out some others! The photos don’t properly capture the yumminess of the muffins. Do you play with family recipes or keep them as is?
Have a good week friends and thanks for reading my verbal vomit :)