Monday, September 26, 2011

Time Waits for No Muffin

I'm stunned that September is almost over. I mean, it seems like only yesterday that we were packing up all my sister's worldly possessions to move her back to college, and now we're arranging all the Thanksgiving hubbub!  The Halloween stuff has been out in the stores since mid-August, and now the Christmas decorations are beginning to pop up on the shelves. Insanity!

But time waits for nobody, not least us procrastinators! With the "children's" back to school rush in full swing, sometimes the college and university kids get a bit lost in the shuffle. They don't want to be packing kiddy-sized Lunchables and pudding cups in with their laptops every morning (though, mind you, I know some who would...). From my experience in both university and 3 different colleges (yes, I know!), the post-secondary crowd is more the coffee-shop variety. I'll admit that I was one of the textbook cases of the "too busy / lazy to eat properly" student when I first moved out, before discovering the joys of Cheerios again! Breakfast easily morphs from a wholesome meal into just a latte, or worse - a sugary coffee "drink" and a pastry of some kind, which spikes the energy for about half an hour before crashing back down. And guess what happens then? Back into the cafe lineup.

I made these gigantic muffins on a whim, really, for one of my clients who was going back to school after a summer of essentially recuperating. Still being a "new" celiac patient, everything is suspect, and not every meal can be successful. I knew she did love the Iron - Rich "Gleegan" Muffins I made before, packed with bananas and all kinds of other goodies, so I turned back to the blog of one of the biggest gluten-free, dairy-free, mostly egg-free bakers out there - Karina's Gluten Free Goddess. I had been coveting her banana muffins for a while, so what better opportunity to play? I kept the same basic formula, but merged it with my previous recipe for a bit of a twist and a nutritional boost. They came out beautifully - huge, fluffy but substantial, filling and definitely something that will keep anyone (student or not) going right through the morning. They're not low-calorie, or low-fat - but they are supposed to stand in for a balanced meal when you can't get to the kitchen, not to fill a "nosh" need mid morning on your coffee break! After one of these for breakfast, chances are you won't even need that 10AM latte - they might even help you break your coffee addiction!

Big Brown Banana Muffins
Makes 6 jumbo muffins, or 12 regular (NI is for regular-sized)
3 tbsp quinoa
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup hot water
4 large, over-ripe bananas
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp rice vinegar
6 packets stevia sweetener (or 1/4 cup sugar)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup teff flour
1 tbsp mesquite flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour (AKA glutinous rice flour)
1/4 cup potato starch
1/2 tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp guar gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup toasted sesame seed
1/4 cup amaranth
2 tbsp whole flax seed
1/3 cup sunflower seed
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line a jumbo muffin pan and lightly grease the top.
  2. In a small microwave safe bowl, combine quinoa and water. Microwave on HI for 8 - 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set aside.
  3. In a small dish whisk together ground flaxseed and hot water, set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, mash bananas with the oil, honey, vinegar, stevia and brown sugar.
  5. Add the flaxseed mixture and beat in.
  6. Add the flours, starch, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, guar gum and spices. Beat smooth.
  7. Fold in quinoa, sesame seed, amaranth, whole flax seed and sunflower seed.
  8. Bake 25 minutes. Cool in the pan 5 minutes, then unmould onto a rack and cool completely.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 259.5
Total Fat: 9.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 5.7 mg
Total Carbs: 39.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.3 g
Protein: 5.0 g