Paleo Banana Brownie Muffins
Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free
I am a sucker for anything chocolate. If there is one thing that I always have plenty of in my kitchen it is chocolate. Currently there are 6 different chocolate bars, 4 different types of baking chocolate and many more different types of chocolate candies in my pantry. So yes, I look for any excuse to use chocolate in baking.
I love, LOVE dark chocolate. One of my favorite sweet treats are dark chocolate covered frozen banana slices from Trader Joe’s. Why not translate that same flavor into a baked good?
Bananas are a great place to start for baking for two reasons. First, they add moisture so you don’t need as much far and you get a more tender crumb. Second, they add sweetness so you do not need to add as much sugar to the batter. Not to mention that bananas are a great source of fiber and potassium as well.
Bananas will provide a good amount of moisture, but they don’t have any fat and we need some fat in this recipe. I use avocado oil, but you can certainly use a nut or seed butter. Tahini would be a great swap for oil.
Let’s talk cocoa powder. I prefer to use dutch-processed cocoa powder, which will have a richer, darker color. Dutch-process means that the cocoa powder has been process with alkali, which makes it neutral and non-acidic. Personally, I think that dutch-process cocoa powder will give you a better, smoother chocolate flavor that is closer to dark chocolate. It really gives that brownie-like flavor to these muffins. That being said, if you can’t find dutch-process cocoa powder or don’t want to buy any, you can use regular unsweetened cocoa powder.
How about the flour? Almond flour is a great paleo flour, but in my opinion, needs a little help from other flours to give it the right texture. You can certainly use just almond flour, but I would recommend adding the tablespoon of tapioca flour. Tapioca is extremely starchy and that starchiness sort of mimics gluten; the protein in wheat flour which gives you that delicious, chewy texture. Tapioca flour is a great thing to have in your paleo pantry for baking and it lasts for a long time since you don’t ned that much.
This recipe will make about 1 dozen standard size muffins. You might end up with a little extra batter, but you do, just save it and bake it off after the first batch are done. If you don’t have a muffin tin, you can make this into a loaf cake or bread; just use a standard size loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.
Let’s get baking!
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 scoop collagen peptides
1/2 tsp salt
3 large (roughly 6in in length) overripe bananas, peeled and chunked
1/3 cup neutral oil (avocado or safflower)
1 large egg
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners or grease well (whatever your preference). Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, cocoa powder, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder, collagen peptides and salt. Make sure to get out any lumps in the almond flour with the whisk or your fingers.
In the bowl of a food processor or high powered blender, throw in banana chunks and oil. Pulse on high until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract and egg and pulse again to blend until smooth.
Add the almond flour mixture to the banana mixture and pulse to mix, I start slowly to get the dry ingredients mixed in a little and then blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes.
Using a cookie/ice cream scoop or two spoons, fill each muffin well about 3/4 of the way full. Top with a little extra chopped dark chocolate (totally optional, but any excuse for more chocolate right?).
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before diving right into these chocolatey treats.