Having recently returned from a short break away in Barcelona (more on this soon/one day!) & a short spell of sunny excursions here in Wales (who’d have thought?!) I find myself depleted. Obviously adventuring around the globe, eating many pastries & walking miles upon miles exploring all the way is worth the feeling of exhaustion in my opinion.
When you’re feeling tired though (and this could just be me), your body craves what is usually bad for it… caffeine, sugar, fast & easy food. I’m sure we’re all guilty of ordering a cheeky Chinese takeaway after a long, energetic weekend? When all you desire is something to fill you up that requires no effort on your part. Personally (guilty) I find nothing wrong with this but generally I do try to eat a little smarter as I have a genuine love for fruits & vegetables, especially in the summer.
One of my favourite go-to fruits & always on hand in my house are bananas. I love this happy coloured, oddly shaped, sweet fruit. Without fail I eat one a day, usually for breakfast to fill me up & get me through my weekday mornings without incident. As if it’s bright, sunshine hue wasn’t enough though, these delicious fruits not only give you that much-needed energy boost but can also improve your mood in the process (can you see why I like them?). Loaded with fiber, potassium & (my favourite friend) carbs they provide you with a little energy boost whist slowly releasing its natural sugars, avoiding ghastly crashes.
When it comes to baking with bananas, we all know that I favour (slightly obsessed with) banana bread, which again is a great healthy snack or breakfast if you need a little boost. However, in a bid to kick my ass into gear (I’m not 21 anymore) I need something more effective that is quicker to make (if only to give the Chinese takeaway a break).
Luckily, a few years ago I did some experimenting with peanut butter (because who doesn’t love peanut butter?) in the form of muffins. Another exemplar in the energy boosting territory down to its protein, fibre & healthy fats whilst again managing to keep your blood sugar stable. I think I’ve found a match made in heaven (or at least my kitchen).
Imagine the possibilities if I could somehow combine the two in some form of baked good (visions of a multi tasking wonder woman spring to mind), something that actually requires very little of my much valued & quickly depleting energy levels to make & something that I can simply grab on the go when in need of a little pick me up.
That’s exactly what I created. A winning combination of fruit & nuts, blended together in a sweet, earthy little muffin. With a light, moist texture & a crunchy, sweet top these muffins are a winner. Fabulous with a cup of coffee in the morning, preparing you for the day ahead. If you’re not a fan of peanut butter, then try switching up to your preferences. I’ve made these just as successfully with almond butter, which lends a much sweeter flavour. These little boosters also freeze really well, so make a batch & hide some way for a rainy day (i.e after a long, energetic weekend).
BANANA NUT MUFFINS
(makes 12 muffins)
- 225g self-raising flour
- 50g ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 75g soft light brown sugar
- 3 bananas, mashed
- 100g peanut (or almond) butter
- 2 eggs
- 60g flaked almonds
- 1 tbsp demerara sugar
- Line a 12 hole muffin pan with muffin cases or square pieces of baking parchment
- In a large bowl, soft together the flour, ground almonds & baking powder
- In a separate bowl mash the banana before mixing in the peanut butter, sugar & eggs
- Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients, along with half (30g) of the flaked almonds & gently fold together until just combined but no dry flour remains
- Divide the mixture equally between the muffin cases (tip:use an ice-cream scoop)
- Sprinkle over the remaining flaked almonds & the demerara sugar
- Bake at 180°c for 25-30 minutes, until a beautiful golden brown
- Carefully remove the muffins from the tin & place on a cooling rack to fully cool