Sunday 13 March 2016

Sugar and Grain-free Blueberry and Banana Muffin Recipe

Well hello there. This poor old blog has been languishing for quite some time (but thank you to the people that have continued to stop by). Partly this can be explained by the blog fatigue that seems to have affected me, like so many of my favourite bloggers, in recent times; but also by something of a lack of afternoon tea in my life. In September I gave up eating refined - and many natural - sugars. I was becoming increasingly concerned that eating sweet things was becoming the norm rather than a treat for me and I wanted to reverse that.

After becoming slightly obsessed with Robert Lustig's work on the connection between fructose and metabolic syndrome I bought Sarah Wilson's I Quit Sugar book and haven't looked back. There were 6 weeks when I ate very little sugar at all, apart from the naturally occurring stuff in dairy and vegetables. Now I limit myself to one or two portions of (mainly low-fructose) fruit a day, and only eat a pudding or cake on a special occasion - once a month or so. I still enjoy cooking but one thing has led to another and I now find myself eating mainly grain-free during the week; not through any great plan but just because I feel so much better without my blood-sugar spiking and dipping throughout the day. I do though treat myself to a really good loaf of sourdough at the weekend.

This way of eating may not be for everybody and I don't see myself becoming a hardcore paleo blogger just yet (especially as I'm a pescatarian!) but I thought I'd share my first sugar and grain-free recipe with you. I took my inspiration from another recipe but changed it up to eliminate all the added sugar. I was really pleased with how they turned out and they make a great breakfast or afternoon snack. Because each muffin contains about three-quarters of an egg I find them pretty sustaining (two makes a perfect breakfast for me). I was also thrilled that despite being eggy, which is a bit of a issue with a lot of paleo baking, the taste was reminiscent of french toast which feels appropriate in a sweet muffin. Of course these are not that sweet but nowadays it doesn't take much to feel like a sweet treat!

Even if you have no interest in giving up sugar or grains I can really recommend giving these a go: especially if you like the idea of a muffin but don't want to be hungry again two hours later. My friend was visiting on the day I made them (and the day after) - a real foodie who eliminates nothing from her diet except papaya (!) - and she loved them. In fact we both agreed they tasted better on the second day. I kept them in an airtight container on the counter which seemed to suit them just fine. Please note that I have started using cup measurements in my cooking far more in recent months. I tend to prefer the precision of weighing ingredients but so many of the recipes I read use cup measurements I sometimes find myself just going with the flow.

ETA: Although these kept fine on the counter for a day, they would probably be better stored in a fridge, and certainly if you want to keep them longer than that I would fridge them. They also freeze well.

Sugar & Grain-free Blueberry & Banana Muffins (makes 8)

1 ripe banana
6 eggs (I use Burford Browns which are the best eggs in the world IMHO. They are usually medium in size but sometimes a bit larger)
1/3 cup of melted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup of coconut flour
1/2 tsp malvern sea salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup of fresh blueberries

  • Preheat the oven to 170º fan/180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4
  • In a large bowl mash your ripe banana - really black bananas work well here
  • Add the eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract and mix until well combined
  • In a separate bowl blend the coconut flour, salt and bicarb
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir well (coconut flour is magic stuff that just drinks up moisture so you're left with quite a stiff dough despite the tiny amount of dry ingredients)
  • Add the blueberries and stir through
  • Spoon the mixture into a muffin tin lined with paper cases so they are about three-quarters full
  • Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. They are ready when they look golden
  • After a few minutes remove the muffins from the tray
  • Place them on a rack and let them cool thoroughly - they tend to stick to the paper cases while they're warm 


    1. Hm, interesting! I've been thinking I eat far too much sugar and that I should cut down. Will look at the book you recommend and try these.

      1. I can really recommend giving it a go Caroline. It's tough going for the first few days but then it becomes second nature. Cracking breakfast was key for me (hence this recipe!). Some people just follow the eight week programme as a sort of reset to the system. That was my intention too but I felt so much better I've just stuck with it.

    2. Interesting! I see that you use coconut flour instead of normal flower. I'll give it a try, until now I've only used buckwheat instead (which isn't a grain type btw).