Dairy free, sugar free blueberry and banana muffins

I am currently really enjoying learning about a more wholesome, mindful approach to cooking. Using a wider range of vegetables, being more aware of seasonality, eating less processed foods, looking at ingredients labels, baking with whole flours, discovering alternatives to sugar, embracing pulses and so on. It really is making me a better cook and I know that my own and my family’s health will benefit from it. Not only that but it tastes so good too.

When you are more mindful about what you cook, you enjoy eating it even more. My attention has been drawn to interesting new ingredients, and new ways of combining different flavours. People who are inspiring me right now are Heidi Swanson, Yottam Ottolenghi, Amber Rose, and Gwyneth Paltrow. GP gets a lot of stick, which really annoys me. How dare she be a successful actress, a beautiful woman, married to a rock star, run a successful online business, and know how to cook? That seems to be the undercurrent of the bitchiness towards her.

Anyway, I think she’s great. I bought her first cookbook recently, Notes from My Kitchen Table, and it is fantastic. (I think she has a new one just out that I must get too). It really reflects where I am at with my cooking: she advocates a wholesome (not saintly), fresh, interesting approach to family food. Her recipes are easy and totally delicious, well the 3 I have tried so far are anyway.

These muffins don’t contain eggs or sugar. I eat both but I am always interested in food that is more inclusive, so if you don’t for whatever reason, these could be your new go-to recipe for muffins. It also uses ‘healthy’ flours. Even if you aren’t dairy intolerant or allergic or healthy or vegan – try them anyway! It feels good giving your kids something healthy and totally yummy. And eating good stuff yourself too. Did I mention that I ate two just now with a cup of tea. I might just reach for a third…

This is Gwyneth’s recipe in origin, but I used wholemeal flour instead of white spelt as my local vegan co-op, The Unicorn in Chorlton, didn’t have any in stock. If you can’t get spelt flour simply use wholemeal flour, which you can get everywhere. I also added a banana. You can get agave syrup from health food shops. Maple syrup and soya milk are available at most supermarkets.

Makes: 12 quite small muffins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients: 

125ml vegetable oil
125ml soya milk
125ml maple syrup
4 tablespoons of agave syrup
100g wholemeal flour
125g wholemeal spelt flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder (make sure it’s fresh and not out of date!)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
200g blueberries
1 banana

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 190C. Line your muffin tin with cases. 
  2. Mix wet ingredients and then stir in your dry ingredients to the wet.
  3. Mash the banana. 
  4. Fold fruit into your muffin batter gently. Don’t overmix!
  5. Fill each cake liner with just enough so it’s not over the top of the paper liner. 
  6. Bake for 25 minutes. Test with a skewer to see if they are done – it should come out clean after being poked into the centre. 
  7. Leave to cool a little before removing from tin. I suspect (not tested yet as I think we’ll eat them all!) they will freeze well. 
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