Getting old is not for sissy. Thankfully, I’m no sissy even when it means learning to avoid foods that cause inflammation, like refined carbohydrates and sugar. Sugar — sweet, sweet sugar — is apparently bad for my knees.

So began the adventure to transform my lovely, yummy way of eating into something that is kinder to my joints. I’d already given up artificial sweetener, and substituting Stevia seems to be  acceptable to my tongue. Giving up wheat and corn is less acceptable, but doable. Until you’ve had your 26th scrambled egg muffin for breakfast and you would do almost anything for a waffle.

So this morning, I decided to give coconut flour a try.  I bought it a while ago but just didn’t believe it would be good for baking. Turns out it works.

Ingredients

4 mashed ripe bananas
3 cage free brown eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup organic, no sugar added peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips

How I Made Them

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin (12) with paper liners. Use 2 if the liners are thin — these are oily muffins.

Combine the mashed bananas, eggs, vanilla, and melted (and cooled) butter. Then, mix in the peanut butter until it’s all thoroughly blended. Add the dry ingredients and stir until it’s all blended, then fold in the chocolate chips.

Spoon the muffin batter into the muffin tins, filling each about 3/4 full.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a cake tester comes away clean.

How They Turned Out

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These muffins are not homemade cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing, but they’re good enough with coffee on the way out the door. Just 9g of sugar (compared to the usual muffin’s 30+ grams of sugar), so they won’t anger my knees.

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The Stupendous Six Year (my favorite munchkin) is a fan of Minions. And bananas. And cake. Mostly he’s a fan of cake. So for Family Night Dinner, I made a banana bundt cake for dessert.

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
5 eggs
3 bananas, mashed
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbs maple cinnamon toast sprinkle
5 oz plain greek yogurt

How I Made It

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a bundt pan with baking spray or butter with a bit of flour.

In a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugars together.  While that goes, sift together — in a separate bowl — the flour, baking powder, salt, and toast sprinkle.

When the butter and sugars are combined, add the bananas and continue to mix on medium speed. After that’s combined, add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each.  Add the vanilla.

Slow the mixer to low and add 1/3 of the flour mixture. After that is mostly combined, spoon 1/3 of the yogurt in. Continue alternating the flour and yogurt until everything is in the bowl. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and finish mixing the batter. It will be thick.

Transfer the batter to the bundt pan, spreading evenly in the pan.  Bake in the center of the oven for 45-55 minutes or until a cake tester comes away clean but for a few crumbs.

Let the cake cool before turning it out of the pan.  Serve with whipped cream or a little vanilla icing.

How It Turned Out

A dense, moist cake with super banana flavor. The pile of homemade whipped cream was a lovely complement.

 

Banana Cake (2)

Banana Cake 2 (2)

Baking is love. Especially for introverts who want to show that they care, but don’t necessarily want to have a long conversation about it. These healthy treats are perfect for sharing: whole wheat muffins that get their moist texture from the bananas and their sweetness from the blueberries.

Ingredients

3 organic bananas, mashed
2 cups organic blueberries
2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar (I recommend Zulka Morena Sugar)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
10 ounces plain greek yogurt (2 containers)
3 1/2 cups organic whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-2 teaspoons ground ginger

How I Made Them

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare your muffin tin with paper liners, or use those groovy paper baking pans like I did.

Combine the bananas, sugars, eggs, and oil together in a bowl. Do not add the blueberries — those come at the end.

In a very large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sprinkle the ground ginger over the top, adding as much or as little as you like.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry.  Combine with a rubber spatula as best you can.  Then add the yogurt and continue to stir until thoroughly mixed.  You will have a dense, sticky batter. This is why you don’t stir the blueberries in — they would just mash up and turn everything purple.

Fill the muffin tins/baking pans 3/4 full, adding blueberries as you spoon the batter into the tin/pans.  Bake on the center rack of the oven for 18-20 minutes or until the cake tester comes away clean but for a few crumbs.

How They Turned Out

These are dense but not dry. Not super sweet, so the banana and blueberry flavors come through nicely. The ginger is very subtle, nicely complementing the berries. Best served warm, with cold milk.

IMG_1522 (3)

At some point this Fall, I decided I was going to eat granola and yogurt every morning for breakfast.  Nevermind that I never eat breakfast. Or that I’m not a big fan of granola. Thus, I have several packages of granola laying around and no desire to eat them.  Unless. . .

If you can make oatmeal cookies, can’t you make granola cookies?  That’s not a huge leap of logic, is it?  So, instead of toast and jam this morning I decided to make these breakfast cookies.

Ingredients

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3 overripe bananas
3 cups of granola (I used Nature Valley Oats and Dark Chocolate)
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

How I Made Them

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 4 cookie sheets with parchment or silpats.

In a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until it is light and fluffy. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the egg and vanilla.  Add the bananas in pieces (if you are not using a stand mixer, mash them up before adding them to the cookie dough).

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon together.  Add the flour mixture to the standing mixer and combine on low-medium speed.  Then add the granola, and then the chocolate chips.

Drop spoonsful of the cookie dough onto the cookie sheets, with about 2 inches in between each cookie.

Bake for 15 minutes, until the cookies are done but not too crispy.  Use a spatula to remove the cookies from the cookie sheet to a cooling rack.

How They Turned Out

Yummy!  I was worried that the hard granola would still be hard in the cookies but it softened right up.The banana taste comes right through, and the dark chocolate adds just enough sweetness.

Banana Granola Cookies

Makes 3 dozen plus cookies.

I made these banana-riffic cupcakes for my nephew’s fifth birthday. They were almost as a big a hit as the remote control motorcycle.

Cupcake 1

Banana Cupcakes

I am a lazy blogger on a sunny Sunday afternoon, so I’ll just provide the links to the splendid banana cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart and the perfect buttercream recipe from Alice at Savory Sweet Life that made these sweetnesses possible. Thanks ladies!

Elvis’s favorite sandwich was peanut butter and banana, sometimes with bacon and sometimes without. So I have no doubt the King would love these peanut butter banana chocolate chip muffins.

Ingredients:

4 overripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
1/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup Guittard chocolate chips
3/4 cup Reese’s peanut butter chips

How I Made Them:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin with fun paper liners. (This recipe makes 15 muffins, so prep your pans accordingly.)

Combine the mashed banana, butter, egg, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl.  In another large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  With a rubber spatula, mix the wet ingredients into the dry. When thoroughly combined, fold in the chocolate and peanut butter chips.

Fill the muffin cups three quarters of the way full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes away clean but for a few crumbs.

How They Turned Out:

Elvis Muffins

Yummy! Serve them warm if you can — they are soft and gooey and wonderful.  Also good at room temperature with coffee or cold milk.

Thanks to the fabulous Messy Baker, I have these deliciously decadent chocolate banana muffins to share with friends (and to snack on myself).

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

With a whole bunch of bananas going brown, I made a quadruple size of this recipe (2 dozen regular muffins, 2 dozen mini muffins, and 4 jumbo muffins).  Substitutions: unbleached flour, dark chocolate cocoa powder, Splenda brown sugar blend, and no cinnamon.

How They Turned Out:

Make sure you have a tall cold glass of milk at hand, because these are intensely chocolate indulgences.