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    Quick & Healthy Recipes: 100% Whole Wheat Hemp & Chia Seed Banana Bread Muffins

    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):

    197 calories
    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



    1. Cameo said on March 3rd, 2011

      YUM! Do you think I could sub a GF flour in place of the WWPF? I try and avoid gluten for gastrointestinal and puffiness reasons. Or do you think the WWPF is low enough in gluten that it would not be so bad for someone who is sensitive to it?

    2. Mrs. Q said on March 3rd, 2011


    3. Andy Bellatti said on April 13th, 2011

      I’m sure you could sub a GF flour blend. Although whole wheat pastry flour is lower in gluten than other wheat flours, it is not appropriate for someone with gluten issues.

    4. Paulette said on October 11th, 2011

      Andy, sounds tasty, sounds like I cook ( specific ingredients added for a specific purpose or nutrition contribution)
      Can I suggest that you not slave yourself to what flour – when specifically looking for a lower gluten content and its resultant desired texture. I suspect you will be amazed at the flavours you discover if you use GF flours like Teff, Buckwheat, Rice, Corn and GF oat flour to name only a few. Also unlike Wheat flour, these have usually not been so heavily processed and are more often than not whole grain (again unlike wheat pastry flour).
      Try them, I think you’ll like them. PS – without gluten, you have fewer issues with over mixing.

    5. Andy Bellatti said on October 11th, 2011


      I am not sure what you mean by wheat pastry flour not being whole grain. I specifically use 100% whole wheat pastry flour in this recipe.

      I am aware of the existence of gluten-free flours, but am not familiar enough with their properties to publish a recipe using them. I know that gluten-free baking requires a mixture and very specific ratio of different flours to achieve an end product with the right texture and flavor. I have had many delicious gluten-free baked goods (the world of gluten-free baking is not foreign to me), but I am not experienced at making them myself.

    6. Paulette said on October 11th, 2011

      Sorry for the duplication. I did not mean to post it twice. Good that you have a whole wheat pastry four. I haven’t seen that specifically. All I am suggesting is a little experimentation when specifically using a low gluten flour. Yes it does take trials, but when you substitute weight for weight (not volume)it is surprising how good the results can be. Its unfamiliar territory of course, but not necessarily all that different in the kind of baking you are doing. Breads are much much more specific in blend and flour characteristics. Quick breads and muffins are much easier to adapt to a GF base

    7. Paulette said on October 11th, 2011

      PS – I am going to try these. They look awesome – adapted to a GF flour base (as I selfishly only bake what I can also eat)

    8. Emily said on October 23rd, 2011

      I tried these last week and they were a hit with the kids. I substituted pumpkin for banana since it is fall now and pumpkins are plentiful!!! They were delicious. I am about to make them again.

    9. Andy Bellatti said on October 23rd, 2011


      Happy to hear. Oooh — subbing pumpkin for banana sounds like a delicious seasonal idea.

    10. Jen said on March 4th, 2012

      Just made these, they were SO YUMMY!!! Perfect texture, great toothsome crunch on outside and satisfyingly chewy/fluffy on the inside. I didn’t have any hemp seeds, replaced with crushed walnut, worked well I think 🙂

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