Paleo Banana Walnut Muffins [Recipe]
“Life’s too short, eat dessert first” is not just a saying, it’s one of my life’s maxims. Whenever I eat it out, I always flip to the back page of the menu first so I can decide what delicious treat I’m going to finish my meal with. It is such a pet peeve of mine when restaurants have separate dessert menus. I’m like “um excuse me but can y’all tell me what’s for afters ’cause I’m not gonna be able to make up my mind on my main course until I know what’s what with the sweet stuff!” If you have a sweet tooth like me though, you’ll know that waiting till dessert comes along is WAY too long a wait. I need my fix early in the day to keep my taste buds satisfied!
Fortunately for me and my sweet-tooth, these paleo banana walnut muffins are delicious without being devastatingly decadent! They’re everything I look for in a breakfast staple. Just the right amount of sweetness, with a moist & dense-like quality to easily trick the satisfaction centre of your brain, but without the repercussions of being sent spiralling into a food coma. Quite the opposite, these muffins will keep you feeling full, satisfied and energized all morning long!
I first made these muffins after a trip to New York with Jason last fall. We returned home somewhat motivated to clean up our diets – cheesecake, cannolis, donuts (highly recommend the donuts of epic proportions from Dough Donuts), ramen noodle burgers, pizza, dim sum & reubens are just some of the highlights of our 48 hours of gluttony. Most of which were consumed in the space of 2 hours at Smorgasburg Brooklyn Flea & Food Market! Fruits and vegetables, unsurprisingly, did not feature during my weekend – unless you count the beansprouts in my Lo Mein?!
For those of you who’ve been following us (hopefully not in a stalkerish peering through windows kind of way), you’ll no doubt be aware of our donut obsession! You’ll probably also have noticed that we successfully consume our “guilty pleasures” whilst staying lean and getting our abs flex on most Fridays! 😉
So what the hell is up with that?! Well if you’re not familiar with the concept it’s called Flexible Eating. Basically it allows you to eat the food you love and get in the best shape of your life! You can find out more about our experience and transformations with flexible eating in the Our Story section of our site. Or better yet, check out our success stories and what others are saying about Own Your Eating too.
Flexible Eating is a lifestyle I intend to continue for life because it makes me look and feel better naked! It also allows me to enjoy the foods I love without feeling guilty. That being said, my rather indulgent weekend in NYC left me feeling that some moderation needed to be reinstated and some additional fiber consumed! Adding a few leafy greens between my ramen noodle buns would not suffice. So I decided to cut out the candy & cake & commit to a whole week of clean eating. Yep, a whole week without donuts!
If you’re ever in NYC you can’t leave without a visit to Molly’s Cupcakes on Bleecker street. They’re basically a New York institution now and definitely worth the macros!
The results of my Paleo-ish week were pleasantly surprising. For starters, I got to eat SO much more. Trying to consume all my carbohydrates from whole foods, excluding grains and beans was a pretty big challenge but it meant I got to eat a TON of fruits and veggies. It actually made me realise how much I must have been under-eating in the past when I was eating clean and wasn’t weighing and measuring my food. No wonder I was hangry all the time before…
By day four of my week commitment though I was on the struggle bus. I was finding it so hard to hit my daily fat goals without going over my protein. I was also beginning to crave sweet and sugary treats – frozen banana and greek yogurt just didn’t hit the spot! So when I calculated the macronutrient breakdown of these muffins (check out our tutorial on the My Fitness Pal recipe feature) I was super excited to see that they had a good amount of fat and carbs in them from ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour, dates & walnuts. All deliciously natural & paleo compliant! Phew!
All in all, although the week did require more planning it was a success and I felt a lot better for it; I slept better, I felt lighter and less bloated, I was more regular and I felt satiated by the quantity of food I got to eat. It definitely helped me restore some balance to my diet – we strive to practice what we preach and live in that 80/20 world! These muffins were total life savers though & definitely helped avert a major meltdown. Changing up my routine was a little stressful but once I got into the groove of things it really wasn’t so bad. If you plan to take on a period of clean eating here are some tips to consider.
6 Tips to Clean Eating
- Do it when you have time & not when you’re embarking on any other major changes in your life, like starting a new job or moving to a different country for example;
- Remove any temptations from the house;
- Plan your day in advance, be smart with food prep and cooking meals in batches to avoid duplicating time in the kitchen;
- Use a pre-prepared meal service or at least make sure you have some good quality snack foods on hand like Steve’s Paleo Goods;
- Convince your partner or a friend to do it with you – having an accountability buddy is key; and lastly
- Make these muffins! Or something else paleo-friendly that you’ll look forward to eating so much that you’ll want to eat it first thing every day!
Yields 12 standard sized muffins
Time: 15 minutes prep & 20 minutes baking
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1 1/2 cup almond flour
- 4 tbsp unsweetened reduced fat shredded coconut
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp himalayan salt
- 3 bananas mashed
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 6-8 dates
- Preheat oven to 375°F and line a muffin pan with 12 muffin cases;
- In a large mixing bowl, mash your bananas with a fork and then whisk with an electric whisker until slightly frothy. Next add your eggs & coconut oil & mix until well combined;
- In another bowl, mix together your almond flour, coconut flour, shredded coconut, salt, cinnamon & baking soda until mixed thoroughly. Stir in the chopped dates and walnuts;
- Pour the mashed banana mixture in with the dry ingredients and gently blend together until well-combined;
- Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin cases;
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 20-22 minutes;
- Muffins are ready when appear golden brown or you can use the tooth pick test.
Let me know how you get on if you try out a week of clean eating. I’d love to hear about your experience & what you think of these muffins!