Here’s a random “fun fact” about me — whenever I come down with a cold (especially if it involves a wicked sore throat), I feel an intense need to bake. Who knows why? A desire to return to simpler times? A little dose of self-love? Or, maybe, it’s because if I ever get mopey about the fireball of glass shards in my throat, I can counter-balance that with “but I’ve got some killer baked goods on hand!”.
Yesterday, the baking compulsion specifically involved banana bread. Not just any banana bread. Oh no. I wanted to make a delectable vegan, 100% whole wheat, hemp and chia seed banana bread. Yes, even when sick, I like a challenge.
As you can tell by this photograph (snapped minutes after the muffins were done), the challenge was met successfully. Here’s the recipe!
YIELDS: 15 muffins (kind of random, I know, but that’s how recipes come out when you improvise here and there)
3 Tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon water
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (see comments)
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder (preferably aluminum-free)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup hemp seeds
3 large very ripe bananas
1 Tablespoon coconut oil (or add an extra Tablespoon of applesauce)
5 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar (see comments)
Comment 1: The key to making 100% whole wheat muffins that don’t resemble bricks is to use whole wheat pastry flour. Since it has a lower gluten content than regular whole wheat flour, it yields a much softer texture.
Comment 2: You can use any sugar you want. Of course, if your intent is to make these completely vegan, you should use unrefined vegan sugars (the refining and filtering process that white sugar goes through involves bone char).
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin pan with a little coconut oil or some Earth Balance.
2. In a small bowl, combine the chia seeds and water. Set aside for 20 minutes. (This replaces the eggs!)
3. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and hemp seeds. Whisk briefly and set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, mash the 3 bananas. Then, add in the coconut oil, applesauce, vanilla, and sugar.
5. Add the chia seed mixture (which, as you will see, is a gel at this point) to the medium bowl. Mix well.
6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredient bowl. Mix by folding the wet ingredients into the dry ones; do not overmix!
7. Place mixture into muffin tin. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes (or until muffins have browned and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean).
NUTRITION FACTS (per muffin):
107 milligrams sodium
4.5 grams fiber
4.5 grams added sugar (equivalent to 1 teaspoon)
6 grams protein
Excellent Source of: thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, omega-3 ALA fatty acids, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium
Good source of: vitamin C