Don’t be fooled by the photographs.
I made the unfortunate choice of bright yellow muffin papers, which cast a bit of a sickly glow in my photos, but the muffins themselves were delicious. The chai spices combined beautifully with the banana, and the shredded coconut, while it didn’t impact the flavor much, added a soft crunch without detracting from the fluffy, moist texture. In fact I think it added to it. The flavors all come together in this one to make it a sweet, spiced, satisfying and flavorful breakfast treat that’s actually good for you. Lovely way to start the day.
Things got off to a funny start. Upon arriving in the kitchen, I was greeted by this:
I moved the lizard to the kitchen table and got the dry ingredients together. Whole wheat pastry flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Then I added the quick oats.
And the coconut.
And on to the spices. I didn’t mess with the amounts, since I needed the cinnamon, ginger, and cloves to combine properly into chai.
I whisked, then set it aside.
In another bowl, I mashed up three bananas.
I added coconut palm sugar, 1% milk (opting for regular milk instead of almond milk, which offends Dave by its very existence and makes him protest that “you can’t milk an almond!”), almond butter, coconut oil (melted in the microwave for about 20 seconds), flax seed, molasses, and vanilla bean paste.
The directions said to “stir together…until homogenous.” Homogenous is not a word that comes up a lot in recipes, in my experience, but I got the gist. I whisked well. Did I achieve homogeneity?
I believe I did.
I poured the flour mixture into the liquid ingredients.
I mixed just until incorporated.
And then I scooped the batter into muffin cups. (Bright yellow muffin cups, unfortunately.)
I had some batter left over, so I poured what was left into a mini loaf pan.
The baking instructions were unique: I baked them at 475 for five minutes, then reduced to 350 and baked for another 10. I usually drop the temperature by 25 degrees when I put muffins in the oven, but 125 degrees? It seemed odd, but I did it anyway. They came out looking splendid. (I can say that because I’m binge viewing Downton Abbey. Again.)
I let them cool in the pan for five more minutes, then sent them to the rack. To the rack!
The original recipe included a topping AND a drizzle, but I let them stand as is. I made the right choice. There’s a lot going on in these muffins, all of it delicious, and I’m glad I didn’t overwhelm it with something else. I’m sure the topping and drizzle are delicious, but I was looking for breakfast instead of dessert. And what a breakfast! Banana, coconut, and chai….a very sophisticated breakfast in a weird yellow glowy sort of package.
CHAI SPICED BANANA BREAD MUFFINS WITH MAPLE TOASTED COCONUT (original recipe, and the topping looks amazing)
My version of Chai Spiced Banana Muffins (adapted from Whole Pure Recipes)
1 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large bananas, mashed
1/3 cup coconut palm (or brown) sugar
1/3 cup 1% milk
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Heat the oven to 475, and line or grease a 12-cup muffin tin and a mini loaf pan or a few more muffin cups. (This makes 14-16 muffins.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
In another bowl, mash the bananas. Add the sugar, milk, almond butter, coconut oil, flax seed, molasses, and vanilla, and whisk thoroughly.
Pour the dry ingredients into the liquid and stir just until incorporated.
Scoop the batter — it will be thick — into muffin cups and your mini loaf pan, if you’re using one.
Bake for 5 minutes at 475, then reduce temperature to 350 and bake for 10-12 more minutes.
Let cool in the pan for another 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack.
If you share these, and you should, let people know there’s coconut in there or the crunch might be a little disconcerting!