Making healthy and nutritious snacks is one of my favorite things to do. I love having food around the house that is made from scratch and good quality ingredients. Often muffins are filled with artificial, genetically modified and synthetic ingredients. Making them from scratch couldn’t be easier, and you can always be sure your ingredients are the best quality so you can get the most nutrients out of each bite.
I got this Organic Iraqi Durum Whole Wheat Flour from our local farmers market (from Full Belly Farms) which make the muffins delicious! I have been eating whole wheat for a long time and love the flavor this type of flour gives muffins, pastries, bread, and pancakes. Whole wheat flours are made from the whole wheat berry (consisting of the wheat bran, germ, and endosperm), while white flours are made from stripping down the berry to the endosperm and processing it into flour. The wheat bran and germ contain the most nutrients and fiber, making whole wheat flour have much less of an effect on raising blood glucose levels. The fiber in the bran helps to slow digestion so less insulin is secreted and blood sugar levels remain steady.
Whole wheat flour contains all its natural vitamins and minerals such as the B complex vitamins. The processing of white flour removes all these vitamins, which is why we often see “enriched wheat/white flour.” Companies add back in thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), and folic acid to balance out levels, but if it is there in the first place, why go through the process of removing it, only to add it back in?
In addition to the whole wheat flour used in these muffins, I love adding walnuts to get an extra crunch as well as healthy fats and antioxidants. Walnuts, in a study compared with nine different types of nuts, showed the highest amounts of polyphenols (antioxidants) whether roasted or un-roasted. The polyphenols found in walnuts help to bind to low-density-lipoproteins (LDL’s- the bad kind) and eliminate them from the body. I also used walnut oil for this batch, and they came out tasting SO good. Other vegetable oils can be used so be creative or use what you have on hand.
I use organic and local ingredients wherever possible. The eggs I used were from a local farm where the chickens can roam free and eat wild grasses. The cinnamon and brown sugar are both organic, and I always use pink Himalayan sea salt in all my recipes for the highest mineral contents available.
Finally, my favorite part about making these muffins (other than the smell they give off in the house and how healthy they are!) is that they were passed down to me from my grandma’s banana bread recipe. I love keeping family traditions with food alive, and my grandma was such a wonderful cook, always trying to find the best ingredients given limited sources to feed her family the highest quality food she could. Thanks, Grandma! ♥
- 3 medium bananas
- 1¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour (or any finely ground whole wheat flour will work)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup walnut oil (or another vegetable oil)
- 1 large egg
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt (I like Himalayan pink salt)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease or line a muffin pan that holds 12 muffins (I like to make mine a little bigger so I only make 9-10 muffins).
- Process the bananas in a kitchen aid or mixer until well blended (or you can mash with a fork in a bowl).
- Add in wet ingredients and mix well. Stir together dry ingredients in a bowl and add to wet ingredients, mixing well.
- Fold in walnuts, or any other type of nut, chocolate chips, or dried fruit.
- Put roughly ¼ cup in each muffin slot and bake for 20 minutes. Test with a toothpick and if it comes out clear, you're good to go! Cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.