Nut-free, Coconut-free Paleo Blueberry Muffins (Basic Muffin Recipe)

July 4, 2013 in Categories: , , , by

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Happy Fourth of July!  I’m actually headed up to Virginia today to spend my evening with Matt and Stacy from www.PaleoParents.com and attend their Beyond Bacon Book Release party tomorrow.  So, I thought I’d leave you with a fun recipe that you could bring to a barbecue or maybe whip up for a special breakfast treat this weekend.  This is actually the first muffin recipe that I’ve made that can really be treated as a basic muffin recipe.  You don’t need to add blueberries, but instead can turn these into whatever favorite muffin you have a hankering for.

The inspiration for this recipe came from comments on my Perfect Paleo Pancakes from people who had used that recipe as the base for muffins.   I’ve been meaning to try this for myself for quite a while.  So, when I found myself with a couple cups of blueberries that were getting a bit wrinkly from being in my fridge for a week (I had bought a whole flat at the Farmer’s Market and I guess we’d actually had our fill, which I wouldn’t have thought possible!) and a couple of extra green plantains (I try to always keep green plantains in my home), I felt like it was time to give it a try!

I am in love with plantains, both as a versatile starchy vegetable (mashed, roasted, deep fried) and as a baking ingredient (see here, here, here and here).   It’s more than the fact that cooking with plantains makes for some pretty great nut-free paleo baking (which we all know there is quite a demand for with all the nut allergies and sensitivities out there, including mine!), but that the texture of baking made with plantains is far better (in my humble opinion) than what I can often achieve with nut flours or coconut flour (and even sometimes without eggs like this recipe).

For these muffins, I found the secret to a great muffin texture was to increase the fat compared to the pancake recipe.  I used coconut oil, but you could just as easily use lard, palm shortening, butter or ghee (I’m not sure if a liquid oil like avocado oil would work).  I have used both date sugar and evaporated cane juice to sweeten these muffins (which isn’t necessary if you have very sweet fruit to add or if you’re using something like mini chocolate chips).  If you plan to bring these muffins to a potluck where non-paleo people might enjoy them, you might wish to increase the amount of granulated sugar to appeal to a less sweet sensitive palate.  This recipe is actually very forgiving both in terms of amount of sweetener and the type (as long as it’s granulated and not a liquid like honey).  You could just as easily use date sugar or muscovado sugar or evaporated cane juice or maple sugar (yum!).  I think whole pitted dates would work too.

Also, think of this as a basic muffin recipe.  You don’t need to add blueberries.  You could add cranberries and white chocolate chips (a brand to look for is VeganSweets or you can make your own).  You could add different berries, maybe raspberries with a little orange zest.  Our you could try chopped apple, walnuts and add a little extra cinnamon (if you were going with something like chopped apple, you probably only need about 1 1/2 cups).  Or you could skimp on the granulated sugar and add mini chocolate chips (I did try this and my kids loved them… I used 2 Tbsp date sugar and 1 cup of mini chocolate chips).  That to me is the most exciting thing about this recipe: it’s a nut-free, coconut-free (if you use lard or palm shortening, etc.), grain-free, dairy-free basic muffin that you can totally make into whatever your favorite muffin is. Yay!!!!

Just a few notes on plantains.  A very large plantain will equal about 1 cup pureed.  If your plantains are on the smaller size, use 2 1/2.  Many people found success using green bananas instead of plantains with my pancake recipe (you have to use 2-3 per plantain because bananas are smaller) and I see no reason why that wouldn’t work here.  Also, if you use ripe plantains, you will need to adjust the egg ratio since ripe plantains have much more liquid in them.  If your plantains are super ripe, this recipe probably won’t work without other adjustments since your batter will just be too liquidy.  Also, just like my Perfect Paleo Pancake recipe, expect the color of your muffin to vary depending on your plantains.  They might be very pale, dark brown like my photo below, slightly pinkish or even slightly green.  I’m not sure if this is actually different varieties of plantain that we’re getting in the store or why else this might happen, but I’ve seen so many different variations of those colors with my pancake recipe (which I make at least once a week) that nothing surprises me any more.

So, without further ado, here is my Paleo Blueberry (or whatever you want) Muffin recipe.

Yield: 12 muffins

 Nut-Free Paleo Basic Muffin Recipe | The Paleo Mom

 Ingredients:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a muffin pan or line with silicone or paper liners (I actually used a silicone muffin pan which makes this super easy).
  2. Peel plantain and place in a food processor or blender with egg, coconut oil, vanilla, sweetener, and salt.
  3. Process for 3-5 minutes, until completely smooth (you might want to scrape the sides once or twice).  Add baking soda and cinnamon and process to fully incorporate.  Fold in blueberries or whatever other goodies you’re using.
  4. Spoon batter into muffin pan (muffin cups should be 70-80% full, depending on how many berries or other add-ons you use).  Bake for 27-30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Watch this video from my YouTube Channel to learn more about green plantains:

Comments

I have actually never tried plaintains, in a recipe or by themselves, but it’s always something I look at in the produce isle, wonedering about them. I think I’m going to pick one up next time and try it out.

I have a question about cooking with eggs. For those of us on the AIP you say egg yolks are most likely to be tolerated if seperated from the whites. Can yolks alone be used to substitute for whole eggs?

Yes you can use milled/ ground chia seeds just as you would flax for “eggs” The secret I read was to let the milled seeds and water sit for several minutes. I’m going to try them in this recipe and see what happens.

I made these yesterday and I REALLY like them! Not too sweet, not overly dense, not overly “eggy.” Nice recipe! For a sweetener I used 5 big (nice and plump) pitted medjool dates. I put the dates into the food processor with the plantains. Worked like a charm.

I tried making these today, and they came out a bit …interesting. I followed the recipe almost exactly, except that I forgot to add the baking soda until the blueberries were already mixed in, so I had to stir it in by hand. Both Kathryn and I found that the muffins tasted ok at first, but then seemed to finished with a salty/bitter taste that’s somewhat unpleasant. We’ve previously only had plantains fried in coconut oil before, so I’m not sure if it’s the plantains or something else. The plantains we got at Whole Foods were both greenish with some darker brown spots on them.

MY guess is that the plantains were a little too ripe. I really don’t like the taste of plantains in the in between stage (between green and really ripe). Not sure why they would be salty though…

Ahh, ok. I’ll have to keep an eye out for that, then. Thanks. :) I grabbed a couple of plantains at Whole Foods and assumed that green+brown splotches = still fairly green/unripe. What kind of coloration should I be looking for?
In all other respects the recipe was pretty perfect, it’s just that bitter aftertaste that’s hard to take. I tried another muffin this morning with some honey drizzled on it, and still had the same result.

I should also mention that I used pastured lard instead of coconut oil – but again, I wouldn’t think that would make things bitter.

I would think the lard would be fine. Look for completely green plantains or mostly green but just starting to be a touch yellow. When they are green but have black spots, that means they’ve been ripening under refrigeration.

Are you sure you used baking *soda*, not baking *powder*? Some people don’t seem to realize there’s a difference…. Anyway, I can usually taste baking powder in foods, and find it bitter myself. Just a thought!

Why would you cut out an egg if you used a yellowish plantain? I thought a yellowish plantain would prevent the muffin from holding together.

I am familiar with that bitter taste, in my pre paleo days I would make biscuits and every time I didn’t mix the baking soda in properly or put in too much my biscuits would have that bitter/salty flavor. Maybe the baking soda wasn’t incorporated in well enough.

Oh My GOSH! You are my hero. Just made these and they were so incredibly good. I have read your site for a while but never posted and this recipe snapped me out of my “lurking”. THANK YOU!!!
I bought yellowish plantains so I cut out an egg. Thank you for including info on what to do if they are yellow. :)

Oh my heck, you are my hero!!! I have been searching for on the go Paleo food that I can send out the door with the kids or in lunchboxes. This is the motherload!! We have made blueberry, apple, pumpkin, carrot cake, and even Italian meat muffins using this as the base. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! No nuts, grains, gums, just perfection!! I have 6 children so this is fanatic for meals and snacks alike!

I just made a modified version by adding cacao powder and chocolate chips. My boys gobbled them down! In fact, my older one just said that I make the best gluten free muffins ever! (Don’t worry, I gave you credit!) My guess is that I’m going to be making a lot of these over the coming school year.

I made these today and they were delicious. I used about 6 dates instead of sugar and the muffins were sweet enough. The texture was good – will definitely make again. Thanks for posting!

Thank you SO MUCH! My 8yo son loves your plantain pancakes & they have become a great school lunch option. He likes them with nut butter & jam like a sandwich (& I use a cookie cutter to make a fun shape). This recipe will be another fantastic option — I’m always struggling with what to put in his lunch!

We just made these. They are amazing! Thanks so much for another winning recipe! (we were out of vanilla and so used orange extract which was awesome with the blueberries)

This recipie is the bomb. Substituting cocoa for the mini chips & dates as the sweetener, made for a delicious and nutritious muffin without the guilt.

wowwww
i am loving these plantain recipes, give me more…..do you think we could make plantain bread???? I live in Brazil so plantains are really easy to get…..nut flours here are impossible to find….and if you find them they are extremely expensive. anyway thanks for the recipes, they are a lifesaver! and I am looking forward to more….:)

I made these using honey as my sweetener. The blueberries sank to the bottom, and while they were excellent and muffin-y yesterday, today they are pretty wet and eggy. Going to try again today with a non-liquid sweetener

I made these this morning and they got OK reviews. Like other reviewers, I and my daughter could taste the baking soda at the end. Plus, we both thought it could use a little more sweetener so I think I will use plantains that are a bit more ripe next time, as mine were very green. It is a nice base recipe and I will use it again. Thank you!

Hello, sigh – for me – who is allergic to plantains and bananas – would you have an alternate suggestion? Even almond flour, something? Looking for a good recipe and new to this way of eating (5days now). Thank you!

Amazing! My super-picky 12 year old loves them! I made them yesterday for today’s back-to-school breakfast along with some sausage. I can’t wait to try them with other flavors.

I just made thes, my first experience with plantain. Loved cooking with them but the muffins were too wet & stuck to the muffin tin :( We could also taste the salt or baking soda. Definitely needed to add extra sweetener even though I added choc chips

I made these today and they are very tasty…despite the fact that I left the coconut oil sitting in the microwave. I think it helped that my plantains were turning a bit yellow, though next time I’d like to use the really green ones. This is a very versatile recipe….I made mine eggless, using 2T milled chia seeds and 2T ground flaxmeal mixed with 6T water and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. To this batch I added chopped cranberries and black walnuts, instead of blueberries..my treat for myself :) Next batch will be white chocolate and raspberry…too yummy. Thank you for the link to the homemade white chocolate.

2 Teaspoons of Baking soda seems like really a lot. I made them with 1 1/4 teaspons. I would be afraid to add any more than that because baking soda adds that salty bitter taste others have mentioned. They turned out fine with less baking soda.

Hi Sarah,

I’m a huge fan of your blog. I’ve been looking forward to making these muffins for several months, and I finally did this morning. Unfortunately, I, like many other reviewers, got beautiful looking muffins that smell wonderful and at first bite taste good, but after chewing, leave an awful strong soapy, bitter baking soda aftertaste. It was very disappointing. I consider myself a very experienced cook (with some professional training) and a pretty experienced Paleo baker. I cook with plantains a lot, and have made my own version of plantain clafoutis that turned out wonderful.

I used a very green plantain. I pureed the plantain in my Vita-Mix with the eggs, ghee (instead of coconut oil), vanilla, maple syrup as the sweetener, salt, and cinnamon. I poured the batter into a mixing bowl, then whisked in 2 teaspoons of fresh (not expired) Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda until it was very well incorporated. I stirred the blueberries in last. I increased the oven temp to 375 because my batter had more liquid from the maple syrup, and baked for about 35 minutes.

I don’t know if there’s some variability in this recipe due to the use of the plantains, but I would suggest that anyone trying this recipe cut the baking soda back to 1 or 1 1/4 teaspoons at most. I hope you might revisit this recipe and make some adjustments because it’s such a great concept, and one I’d like to continue experimenting with myself.

Kindly,
Amie

I like to use bananas and coconut flour when making Paleo muffins. Maybe in the future I will try just using plantains for a change – interesting concept.

Is it possible to leave the cinnamon out of this recipe? My daughter is allergic and we try to stay away from cinnamon, as much as possible, for all of us.

This wonderfully versatile recipe is a new favorite thing! Yesterday, I whipped up version with green apple and carrot, a handful of dates as the sweetner, and lots of warm spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and clove. They had great taste and texture, and with plantains 5-for-$2, they are so much easier on the budget than a nut-flour alternative.

I can’t believe I can actually eat muffins! Plantains are my new favorite food! I ate my first one when I made chips a couple weeks ago but I just found this recipe. I’m on week 6 of AIP so I used date paste (I keep some in the fridge – 2c chopped dates, 1 c water, juice of 1 lemon pureed in the food processor) and have been only eating yolks in moderation but did use 2 whole eggs and 2 yolks for this recipe. My plantains were actually pretty ripe but I thought they turned out great. Thanks so much, Sarah! I left a review on Amazon for your new book when I was at week 4 and plan an update when (I’m counting on it) my diarrhea stops for good. (On day 31 I only had 2 BMs and NO diarrhea, but the improvements didn’t continue. It seems to be that way with me – 3 steps forward and 2 steps back! I’ve had Crohn’s Disease for over 20 years.)

The 3 phase P aleo book looks like the exact resource I am looking for… however…I would like it in book form rather than e-book form… does anyone know of a similar resource in book form?

I made these today with chocolate chips and they are awesome! i never knew you could use plantains in place of flour…huge deal for me as I live a gluten free life! Thank you so much for sharing this recipie!

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