Wednesday, January 26, 2011


"We elves like to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup." My favorite quote from one of my favorite movies, "Elf."

I love the flavor of maple. Since I was a kid, one of my all-time favorite foods has been pancakes. Mostly because I can put maple syrup on them! I've been experimenting more with maple syrup and flavorings lately. I discovered a few years ago how wonderful maple is with cinnamon. I love to make pumpkin muffins or cookies and frost with a maple icing. I also love to add cinnamon to my pancakes because I just love the maple-cinnamon combo (pictured to the left are Whole Wheat, Oatmeal and Banana Pancakes, with cinnamon added).

Last week I modified one of my favorite banana muffin recipes to include maple flavor. Banana Crumb Muffins is the highest rated recipe on allrecipes right now. I decided to make it healthier and add a little different flavor. First up was replacing half the flour with whole wheat flour and using canola oil instead of butter. Next, I added more cinnamon. Finally, I added some maple flavoring. I love the results! Here is the recipe I came up with.

Dianne's Maple Wheat Banana Crumb Muffins
(This is not a low-FODMAP recipe)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon maple flavoring

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 12 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flours, 2 tsp. cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg, canola oil and maple flavoring. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Next up was a new granola recipe. My favorite granola recipe is sweetened with honey, so I figured maple syrup would be a good substitute, it being a similar format. Pecans and cinnamon seemed natural accompaniments, so those went into the granola too. The granola doesn't clump together as nicely as the honey granola, but it tastes wonderful. I like to pour on some milk and heat it in the microwave for a warm and comforting breakfast. Here is the final recipe:

Dianne's Maple Pecan Granola

(This is not a low-FODMAP recipe)

4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup pure maple syrup (I used organic grade A)
1 tsp. maple flavoring
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix the oats, pecans, walnuts, flax seeds and cinnamon. In a 2 cup measure, mix the canola oil, maple syrup, maple flavor and salt. Add to oat mixture and mix thoroughly. Spread evenly over the prepared baking sheet, pressing down lightly with the back of a spoon.
3. Bake 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before breaking the granola into chunks. Store in an air-tight container.


  1. Mmmm.....all of the maple looks good. I make a Maple Latte by using pure maple syrup in place of vanilla latte syrup. I feel like eating a blueberry wheat waffle with maple syrup on it now! I might have to try the homemade maple granola.

  2. I'll definitely be trying both of those recipes Dianne! I love taking granola with me for quick snack for me and the kiddos.

  3. Everything looks amazing! I love maple, I will have to try your Banana Muffins recipe, my boys favorite!