Strawberry-Banana Spelt Muffins

This is a guest post from a talented chef with a great recipe for a unique twist on banana muffins.

Banana Strawberry Spelt Muffins

From Chef Thomas:

“I love eating bananas raw, but I am very specific about my raw bananas. They have to be all yellow, or yellow and green; no spots! Once the brown spots start to form, I just don’t like the flavor. But I can’t throw spotty bananas away, so what should I do? I guess I could make some sort of baked good… *twist my arm!*

But baked goods typically have a ton of butter and sugar … what about my diet? I decided to take a basic banana bread recipe and try to put a healthy twist on it.

As I started to throw ingredients together, I became bored with the idea of just plain old banana bread. I started to think of things that are usually combined with bananas and it hit me. Strawberries!! My first go at it, I used almond flour, strawberries, bananas, maple syrup, honey, coconut oil, etc. I used the measurements from an online recipe I found. I had really high hopes. I put the mix in the oven for sixty minutes. I was so excited as I paced back and forth, waiting for the bread to be done. The buzzer went off and I strutted to the oven, confident I would find an amazing loaf of strawberry-banana bread! I swung the door open and was greeted by a goopy mess. Disheartened, I left the loaf in for several more minutes before giving up…for the day. I would make this work!

I told Maggie what had happened and we began to brainstorm about how to make this recipe work. She told me not to use only almond flour because it well make for a very wet bread. Maybe we could put some oatmeal in there to soak up some of that moisture. Maybe add a bit more flour. Sunday she came over and we began to put our recipe together. We added a bit of lemon zest and some oatmeal to the banana mixture. We  used two cups of spelt flour instead of a cup and a half of almond flour. We put some chopped cashews in there for some texture. The mixture looked great, we had high hopes. Then we started talking about how we would cook this mixture. While banana bread is great, it is not the most practical form of food for those of us on the go. We decided muffins would be perfect! We threw them in and enjoyed a beer while we waited. As we swung the oven door down we were met with an intoxicating smell and the sight of perfectly cooked muffins. We put the muffins on a cooling rack and they taunted us, daring us to take a bite …

The next thing I knew, our friend Ruth was taking a bite of one and her face said it all. Maggie and I joined Ruth in pure muffin bliss. We had done it! We came up with an amazing strawberry banana muffin recipe. I hope it brings you all the same amount of happiness that it brought us!”

Strawberry-Banana Spelt Muffins

Yield: 20 muffins 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 7 strawberries, diced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup raw cashews (or any other nut you prefer)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin tins.

In a small bowl, combine bananas, strawberries, lemon zest, and oatmeal. In a large bowl, combine coconut oil, honey, and pure maple syrup in a stand mixer and blend together for one minute, or until creamed. Mix in eggs, salt, vanilla, and then add oatmeal mixture. Slowly, add dry ingredients into the wet ingredient, mixing only until combined. Fold in cashews.

Pour batter into greased muffin tins, about 3/4 way full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 mins, but keep an eye on them. The muffins are done when the tops spring back when touched.

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Strawberry-Peach Jam

Jam 1

This past weekend I made jam. I love everything about jam: its simplicity, its seasonality, its versatility. Even just saying the word is fun. “Jam,” “jammy,” “jammin.”

Jam can be part of literally any meal – you can top toast or pancakes with it for breakfast, spread it on some fresh, crusty bread for a sandwich, include it as part of a bread and cheese platter, or give ice cream a jammy top hat for dessert. Seriously, is there anything you CAN’T do with jam?

We had some farm-fresh peaches that I wanted to do something special with. Something that would last. So I decided to make jam! Strawberry-Peach Jam, to be specific. I based my jam off of an Ina Garten’s recipe, but did not stick to the amount of fruit (I added more), or cooking time (I cooked longer). It was incredibly delicious dolloped atop a pretzel baguette with goat cheese. :::swoon:::

Strawberry-Peach Jam

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s, “Fresh Strawberry Jam”

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • Lemon, zest and juice
  • 5 fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
  • Quart of strawberries, tops removed and chopped

Preparation:

  • The first thing to do is to get the skin off your peaches. This might seem a daunting task to some, but I’ve learned a handy trick. Bring a pot of water to boil. While waiting for water to boil, fill a bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Drop peaches into boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into icy water immediately. When you remove them from the ice bath, the skin should practically remove itself!
  • Combine fruit, sugar, and lemon juice and zest into a medium-sized pot.
  • Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves and the fruit releases some of their delicious juices.
  • After cooking for awhile, I used a potato masher to carefully break the fruit down a bit more.
  • Continue to cook, until mixture is bubbling slightly. I let my jam cook for over an hour. It really depends how long it takes to set up.
  • To know when your jam is properly set, you should place a plate in the freezer. Once the jam looks, well, jammy, test its doneness by spooning a small amount onto the cold plate and if the juice gels, it’s done. If it’s still pretty runny, let it cook longer.
  • When done, pour into jars and consume as soon as possible without burning your mouth. Note: I did not follow my own advice.
  • I did not properly can my jars, because I knew the jam would be eaten within a couple of weeks, but if you would like to do so, the freezer canning method, or traditional canning method would both work (see link above).

Jam 3 Jam 6