[Post #74 for 365 days of Vegan, Gluten-Free, Portable Power Pucks]
Happy Thursday, everyone! Before I launch into this recipe, a quick note: starting tomorrow, SAVORY posts galore. The return to a school schedule has inspired a number of muffin-like breakfast posts, but the savory posts to come will be more lunch and savory-snack inspired.
But for today, these, which are worth a leap of joy for their 3-ingredient ease (quinoa + banana + oats) and wholesomeness:
They have a backstory. Some of you may be too young to remember, but there was a time, not too long ago, when the dominant diet fad was fat-free everything. Fat-free cookies, Fat-free cheese. Fat-free chips. Fat-free candy. You get the drift: so long as it was free of fat, it was “healthy,” regardless of whether the remaining ingredients were wood pulp, high-fructose corn syrup, and plastic polymers.
It was during this craze that I began teaching fitness classes. “Cynthia” was one of my managers, and from what I observed, she subsisted on a diet of black licorice (it’s fat-free), diet Coke, and her homemade, fat-free, 3-ingredient banana muffins. I thought she was very cool, so I asked for the recipe. She obliged. The ingredients? Equal amounts of mashed banana and bleached, self-rising flour, plus 1/2 cup egg whites.
“You can eat as many of them as you like,” she instructed, “They’re fat-free.”
I made them. I ate as many as I liked, which, after one bite, was zero. Apparently, I am allergic to foods that can bounce.
I’m not, however, averse to minimalist muffin recipes. Welcome the 3-Ingredient Banana Muffin of 2016. Unlike its predecessor, it is both edible and delicious. Add to that vegan, gluten-free, and packed with wholesome goodness.
As you can see, the essential three ingredients can be amended to include toppings (nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc.); these extras could also be stirred right into the batter. Spices, vanilla or some extra sweetener are options, too, so flavor and accessorize as you like! I think these benefit from a smidge of sea salt, too, as it heightens the natural sweetness of all three ingredients.
These are delicious, dense, moist and filling, i.e., great fuel on the go, from school or work to backpacking to fitness class. And for the record, they are firm enough to withstand a rough & tumble ride in a backpack, lunchbag, fannypack or purse. Eat on!
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- ¾ cup mashed very ripe bananas
- ⅓ cup oat bran or ½ cup rolled oats (certified GF, as needed)
- Optional: ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Optional Stir-Ins or Toppings: Dried fruit, chopped fresh fruit, sliced bananas (to press on top) chocolate chips, seeds, chopped nuts, cacao nibs, vanilla, spices (e.g., ground cinnamon or ginger), additional sweetener
- Preheat oven to 375F. Grease, line or spray 5 cups of a standard muffin tin.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the quinoa, banana, oat bran and optional salt until blended. Add any stir-ins, if using. Divide batter between prepared cups (add toppings, if using).
- Bake in the prehetaed oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and set at the centers. Transfer to wire rack and cool for 15 minutes and then remove from tin. Serve warm or cool completely.
Variation: Replace the mashed banana with an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce. Since applesauce is not as sweet as ripe bananas, you will most likely want to add a little bit of sweetener to taste.
Additional Nutrition Highlights:
*Very low in sodium
*High in manganese
*Very high in magnesium
*Very high in phosphorus