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!
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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
- 2 large green plantains (should be 1 1/2-2 cups pureed)
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 3-5 Tbsp date sugar or evaporated cane juice (optional)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2-2 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen [or substitute your favorite fruits, chopped nuts, or chocolate chips (you only need about 1 cup of mini chocolate chips)]
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 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).
- Peel plantain and place in a food processor or blender with egg, coconut oil, vanilla, sweetener, and salt.
- 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.
- 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: