A small batch of healthy and vegan-friendly banana muffins made with chia seeds, almond butter and dates.
Full disclosure: I’m not vegan. But, oddly enough, I have been involved in plenty of discussions that begin with ‘I could never be vegan because…’ Usually, the next word is ‘cheese’.
Personally, I could probably live without cheese. But give up eggs and Greek yogurt? That would be a lot more difficult (which is a little strange, given I never used to like Greek yogurt). As well using Greek yogurt in virtually all my overnight oats recipes, it’s also my go-to replacement for butter or oil in baked goods.
Nevertheless, sometimes I like to mix things things up and bake some vegan-friendly food. I also love having some recipes on hand for when I run out of yogurt and/or eggs and can’t – or can’t be bothered to – go to the store.
And that brings me to these muffins.
This recipe makes seven healthier-than-usual banana muffins. And it only calls for one mixing bowl, which is ideal for people, like yours truly, who hate washing dishes (or quickly run out of space in the dishwasher). Almond butter, mashed banana, almond milk and a tiny bit of canola oil provide the moisture in the recipe, while chia seeds replace the eggs.
Since I (a) love the caramel flavor of dates, and (b) had some on hand, these muffins are speckled with chopped dates. If you don’t have any dates, raisins, blueberries, chopped nuts or chocolate chips would all be ideal substitutes.
Last of all, the sprinkling of sliced almonds on top adds a little bit of crunchiness. Once again, if you don’t have any almonds, try using another chopped nut or simply omit the topping.
Fun Fact: Over 100 billion bananas are consumed worldwide each year. Apparently, on average, Americans consume 26.2 pounds (11.9 kg) of bananas each year – more than the consumption of apples and oranges combined.
- 1 tablespoon (10g) chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons (45mL) water
- 3 tablespoons (45mL) maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons (35g) almond butter
- 1 tablespoon (15mL) canola oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (250g) mashed banana
- ⅓ cup (80mL) almond milk
- 1 ¼ cups (160g) all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (75g) chopped dates
- Sliced almonds, for topping (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 12-hole muffin pan with cooking oil spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the chia seeds and water with a fork. Let sit for 10 minutes to gel.
- Whisk in the maple syrup, almond butter, canola oil and vanilla extract. Mix in the mashed banana and almond milk.
- Add the all purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix until just combined. Gently fold in the chopped dates.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared muffin pan, filling the holes all of the way up. If desired, sprinkle over some sliced almonds.
- Bake for 19 – 24 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched and a skewer comes out clean (or with a few crumbs).
- Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooking rack. Store in an airtight container.
1 cup mashed banana is approximately equal to 2 large bananas.
Be very careful not to over-mix the batter!