I decided that I needed to create a muffin recipe without chocolate and had an idea to soak some dates in coconut cream and see what happened. These muffins turned out brilliantly and have been approved by work colleagues, hubby and one child – my older two kids prefer their muffins to contain chocolate!
They are gluten free, grain free, dairy free (if you use coconut oil instead of ghee) and nut free and are sweetened only with fruit so are perfect for lunchboxes or snacks at work.
These were a bit too sweet for me and so I will add a slightly different option at the end for those of you that prefer a bit less sweetness. This second options works beautifully as a loaf.
I really love baking with dates as they are packed full of nutrition and are sweet enough not to need any sugar added. Dates contain a host of vitamins and minerals including copper, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, vitamin A, K and fibre. They are also a whole, unprocessed food source. If you have problems with fructose malabsorption or other reasons for needing to be 100% sugar free then sadly, these are not for you.
The addition of the coconut in 3 different forms brings in some fabulous healthy fats that will help to slow down the absorption of the sugar from the dates and make these yummy muffins even healthier. Coconut contains lauric acid, which is known for being antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal as well as boosting the immune system.
This recipe uses ghee, for some extra flavour and healthy fats, which is butter with the milk solids removed. Most people who can’t tolerate dairy can still have ghee but if it is a problem for you then use coconut oil or macadamia oil. You could also use grass-fed butter.
1 cup chopped medjool dates
1/4 cup coconut cream. I use Honest to Goodness as it is additive free and the tins are BPA free.
1 banana mashed
1/4 cup coconut flour (sifted to remove any lumps)
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
4 large eggs (room temperature)
1 tablespoon ghee (or butter/ coconut oil/ macadamia oil)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon bi carb soda
In a small saucepan add the dates, coconut cream and ghee and simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes
While this is simmering, in a mixing bowl mash the banana with a fork.
Add in the coconut flour, desiccated coconut, cinammon, bi-carb and salt and mix together.
Add in the eggs and mix well.
Pour in the coconut cream and date mixture and mix until combined.
Spoon into 8 muffin cups and bake at 180°C for 25 minutes or until cooked through.
You will know that they are ready if the top bounces back if you gently press on it.
Eat warm from the oven or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
These will freeze well too.
Slightly less sweet option:
Keep the ingredients the same but increase the coconut flour and coconut cream to 1/2 cup each, use one teaspoon of cinnamon and increase to 6 eggs.
Bake in a loaf tin at 180°C for 40 minutes or until cooked through or bake as muffins like the instructions above (it will make about 12 muffins).
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