Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins by Rebecca Swain

Isn't it wonderful when you meet a kindred spirit who is as into something as you are, and when you get together, you have so much to say to each other that you realise your mouth has completely dried out because you haven't stopped talking for the last half hour? That's how I felt when I last saw the friend who gave me the recipe I'm going to share with you today. We don't know each other really well, and are more friends of friends, or were anyway, but both of us were informed by those friends that we have a love of food and cooking in common, and when we were lucky enough to meet up a few weeks ago, we definitely had something to talk about! We have exchanged many food related messages since then, and she was kind enough, not only to share her recipe for these absolutely yummy breakfast muffins with me, but she also agreed to me writing it up to share with you all! Thanks Bec! So I take no credit for this recipe, but I really hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Of course, these muffins don't have to be eaten only for breakfast. Although that's what I had intended them for, I ended up eating mine as my afternoon snack. They lasted really nicely and were perfect with my mug of tea around 3pm. How easily one's day can start to revolve around when the next tea break is! A slight digression here, but tea drinking is so important in my day! At breakfast I have a mug of nettle tea, then mid-morning a mug of Earl Grey; after lunch a white tea, mid-afternoon I have my only cup of regular tea of the day, which has to be Yorkshire tea, then a green tea when the Tonjus have toddled off to bed. A creature of habit, you might say...

So, the other great thing about these muffins is that they are really nicely sized. They're not mammoth sized like you'd get in a coffee shop, more like half that size, so you don't feel utterly over-indulged when you've scoffed it all. Besides, the ingredients are so healthy your stomach doesn't feel like it's had someting sweet, even though your taste buds are utterly satisfied, so everyone's a winner!

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins 

Ingredients (for 6 - double for 12)

1 1/4 cups rolled oats, blitzed to oat flour in a food processor or blender (or just buy oat flour)
1/2 cup plain or Greek yoghurt
1 egg
1/4 cup of honey
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp ground flax seed (aka linseed. You can grind whole linseed in a mini mill if you don't have any ground)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 ripe banana

Optional extras: Handful of blueberries; handful of dried fruit; level tbsp raw cacao; handful cacao nibs; sprinkling of cinnamon on top (I wouldn't do all these at once though!)

Equipment needed

6 hole muffin tin (greased if metal, or lined with muffin cases)
Mini mill (if you need to grind linseed/flax seed)
Food processor or blender to blast the oats


Pre-heat oven to 180C. If you need to, prepare the linseed/flax seed by blasting to powder in a mini mill or high powered blender.

Place the oats in a food processor or blender and blast to a flour consistency.

If you are using a frozen banana and have only recently removed it from the freezer, like I had (!) peel it and chop into chunks. If you have a normal banana fresh from the fruit bowl, you can just break it up into the bowl when you put everything together. I always freeze old bananas as I hate wasting them and they are perfect to use in banana cakes of every description! However, I need to use Deliciously Ella's tip of peeling and chopping them before freezing...

Put everything in the food processor or blender and blend together. If you want to try adding a tbsp of raw cacao, add that at this point, but leave any other ingredients for now.

NB. If you don't have a food processor, but have been able to source oat flour and ground linseed, don't worry if at this point you think you need to use a processor. Just mash your banana well with a fork, then mix everything together well by hand, in a stand mixer or with a hand-held electric whisk.

Add any extra ingredients (maybe get a little helper...) and mix in by hand.

Divide the mixture between the six muffin holes, then put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

 Leave to cool in the tin for five minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool fully.

Enjoy with a lovely cup of tea!

 So there you have it! Thank you so much again to Rebecca Swain for letting me share this fab and easy recipe. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did, and I'd love to hear how your's turn out and if you add any other exciting ingredients. Share them on the Facebook page (link on the right).

I almost forgot to add that my boys absolutely loved these muffins, so they are also perfect for after school sweet but healthy snacks. I should have added these to my Healthy Snack Quest recipes, so consider that done, I guess! They are perfect to bake with children; as you saw, my little Tonju enjoyed adding the blueberries, and they always love pressing the buttons on the food processor!

xxx Sam

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