Paleo and Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Can I just tell you how bummed we were when we found out my son had an intolerance to eggs? We love eggs in our family. I get them from my friend's farm and they are amazing. Pasture-Raised, farm fresh, best ever eggs. The shells are super strong, and the yolks are bright yellowish-orange, a sure sign of eggs from healthy chickens.
Over the last few years, though, my son had been struggling with allergies, congestion and canker sores that were increasing over time. We had long since eliminated gluten due to a previous issue with reflux. We eliminated dairy, hoping this would solve the problem. Thankfully the canker sores stopped, and at first the congestion was significantly reduced.
But then, in the months to follow, the congestion seemed to increase enough to be bothersome again. Now, due to the knowledge I've gained in gut health, allergies and inflammation, I did not want to just give him allergy medication and move on. I am not opposed to allergy medications since they can provide good relief, but I knew we could be masking symptoms that could eventually cause even worse problems. So, we took him to my naturopath who suggested food and environmental allergy testing, which we did. When the results came back, on the list were some of his favorite foods: eggs, oats, and almonds. The environmental allergies identified for him were typical of most people, including pollen, molds and cat dander.
I felt terrible for him with regards to the foods, and could tell he was pretty sad about the whole thing. My son would have scrambled eggs and soft boiled eggs at lunch on a regular basis, not to mention pancakes, french toast and baked goods, all of which have eggs. We committed to removing all of these foods for 6 weeks, and sure enough, his congestion disappeared and he felt great. I hoped so much that it would all be a fluke, but when we tried adding the eggs back in, back came the miserable allergy symptoms.
It continues to be an ongoing struggle, balancing allowing him to have these foods sometimes vs. keeping his allergies in check. Breakfast has proved to be the hardest, though. Finding foods that are nutritious, egg-free but still satisfying, and that BOTH of my kids like is not an easy task. I have found several different recipes which have proven to be successful, but my son does not like the same things over and over, so I am constantly having to change it up. This is ultimately a good thing, because rotating foods is helpful in preventing additional food allergies in the future.
So, the other day I looked online to find another egg-free recipe, but wasn't finding anything that fit the bill. The kids had been asking for muffins, so I started tinkering. The end result was a completely new recipe, and it turned out to be a winner! I always say, if my kids and husband like it, it is a success, because they are my toughest customers.
I hope you enjoy this recipe, too!
Paleo Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes: 14 muffins
1/2 cup ripe mashed bananas
3/4 cup cashew butter
3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup maple syrup (use honey for SCD)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.
Grind the flax in a coffee grinder (or get them already ground), then pour into a small bowl and add the 1/2 cup of water. Mix together well until it thickens, then pour the flax seed and water mixture into larger stand mixer bowl. These will be your egg substitute (Note: if you prefer to use eggs instead of the flax seeds, you would use 3 eggs).
Put 1 1/2 ripe bananas in a stand mixer bowl and mix well. I measured the bananas afterward to make sure they equaled 1/2 cup.
Add in the cashew butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, and mix well. Mix in the melted coconut oil.
Add in the dry ingredients, including the coconut flour, sea salt, baking soda.
Mix in the apple cider vinegar. This step is almost to the end so that the apple cider vinegar will react with the baking soda.
Pour in the dark chocolate chips and mix together.
Using baking liners in a muffin tin, put 1/4 cup (or a bit less) of the batter into each muffin cup.
Bake about 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
These freeze very well, so don't hesitate to make a double batch!