Tropical banana muffins (Gluten-free, dairy-free, low-sugar)

Tropical banana muffinsI love banana muffins and banana bread but today I was feeling a bit bored of my regular nutty ones. It’s February and I was feeling like a taste of the tropics, so I decided to break with tradition and make banana muffins with coconut and mango. (Mango is high-FODMAP but I find I can stand a little bit. It can easily be replaced with papaya if you’re more sensitive to it.) I also wanted to make muffins with little or no added sugar. Loosely using my own sweet potato coconut muffins as a guide, I added a little bit of this and a little bit of that, fully expecting this initial attempt not to turn out very well. To see what disaster I’d come up with, I made a single small test muffin. Much to my surprise, it turned out perfect.*

*You may be wondering what the asterisk is about. I initially didn’t add any sugar at all. I thought my test muffin was great. Sure, the sweetness was subtle but it was quite sufficient for me, with the natural sweetness of the banana, the juicy mango bits and the subtle cinnamon taste. But then I second-guessed myself. My kids are picky and for them, a small amount of sugar sometimes makes the difference between something they’ll gobble up and something they won’t touch. So I added a quarter cup of coconut sugar, still a very small amount for 24 muffins. It imparted a subtle additional sweetness but in retrospect, I don’t know that it was really necessary. Next time I’ll probably leave it out.

In addition to being gluten-free, dairy-free and low-sugar (or added-sugar-free), these muffins contain no oats, corn or soy, so they’re extra tummy-friendly. If you’re sensitive to or otherwise avoiding sunflower oil you could probably replace it with grapeseed oil or another vegetable oil.

Incidentally, if you prefer commercial gluten-free flour mixes or if you’re not gluten-free at all, you could replace the rice flour, tapioca flour, potato flour and sorghum flour with 1 1/2 cups of the flour of your choice. However, I wouldn’t mess with the coconut flour, ground flaxseed, or dessicated coconut. The quinoa flakes could probably be replaced with oats.

Tropical banana muffin interiorTropical banana muffins

  • 4 large ripe bananas, mashed (2 cups)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup rice flour (I used Dove’s Farm rice flour, which is a mixture of brown and white rice flour but I’m sure just brown rice flour would work.)
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup potato flour
  • 1/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/4 cup dessicated coconut, plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar, optional
  • 1 cup papaya or mango*, cut in small cubes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F / 175 C and prepare 24 muffin tins with muffin liners or by greasing and flouring them.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the rice flour, tapioca flour, potato flour, sorghum flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients in the large bowl. Add the ground flaxseed, quinoa flakes, dessicated coconut, and coconut sugar if using. Mix well, then fold in the mango or papaya.
  4. Spoon into muffin tins and sprinkle with dessicated coconut.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Enjoy!

Tropical banana muffins in tins

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