I guess you could call these muffins "Paleo." I call them amazingly delicious and low-guilt. I wasn't aiming to make them Paleo, I just wanted a treat that was gluten-free, grain-free and low sugar. I think the Paleo diet is great. It's based on real food. It focuses on eating healthy meat and protein, vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds. As a sufferer of fructose malabsorption, it's a lot of the foods I can eat. However, I don't follow a strict Paleo diet. I eat chocolate, and drink wine and coffee. I also eat dairy, such as butter and cheese. I could probably live without butter, but I don't want to live without cheese! It just so happens to be one of my favorite foods. Give me a chunk of extra-sharp cheddar or some blue cheese crumbled on my salad and I'm happy. Cheese is low-carb, a good source of calcium, plus it's one of the few foods my stomach has no problem tolerating.
I don't have anything against butter either (in moderation!) and I use it in this recipe. Coconut oil would be a tasty alternative. It would also make it more Paleo-friendly. Still, I grapple with calling these muffins "Paleo." While the sugar in these muffins is greatly reduced compared to standard muffins, there is still sugar, which the paleo diet eschews. Plus, can you imagine Paleolithic people baking muffins? Me neither. That's just silly. So I'm calling these muffins what they are: a much healthier alternative to the wheat- and sugar-laden muffins of the typical American diet. And yes, one of these muffins is delicious as it looks!
Double Chocolate Almond Banana Muffins
Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Not Low-FODMAP*
makes 12 muffins
2 large ripe bananas
1/4 cup unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners or lightly grease.
- Mash bananas in a large bowl. Stir in eggs, butter or coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla.
- In another bowl, sift together the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add flour mixture to banana mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake 25 to 30 minutes, until muffins spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick comes out clean.
*These muffins are made with almond flour/meal, which is high in oligosaccharides, and therefore may not be appropriate for the elimination phase of the low-FODMAP diet.