Thursday, March 7, 2013

Coconut-banana muffins are dairy-free

These muffins are loaded with ripe, sweet bananas and a triple dose of coconut -- coconut oil, coconut milk, and sweetened flaked coconut. What they don't have is even a trace of dairy.

Coconut oil is trendy right now, touted for its health benefits and sold in most supermarkets. You'll see two types, extra-virgin and refined. I used extra-virgin, which has a slight coconut flavor and a lovely coconut fragrance. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature. I found that melting it in the microwave gives the muffins a better texture. Follow the instructions and watch carefully so the oil doesn't heat up. If you don't have coconut oil, you can substitute vegetable oil or melted butter, but the flavor and texture might be a bit different.

You also could substitute cow's milk for the coconut milk, but again, you'll lose a bit of coconut flavor. Regular and reduced-fat coconut milk is sold in cans in ethnic markets and many supermarkets, usually the section for Thai foods. You can refrigerate the leftover coconut milk -- you'll have about a cup left -- and use it in curries or even puddings.

Yield: About 12 muffins

1/2 cup coconut oil
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons light coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups or use paper liners.

Place coconut oil in a glass bowl. Microwave on medium-low power (30 percent or defrost setting) for about 4 minutes or until oil liquefies and warms slightly. If oil is hot, set it aside until it cools.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together bananas, eggs, coconut milk and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.

Using a wooden spoon, stir granulated and brown sugar into oil. Whisk in banana mixture. Add flour mixture and whisk just until combined. Don't overmix or the muffins will be tough. Gently stir in flaked coconut and chocolate chips

Scoop a scant 1/2 cup of batter into each muffin cup. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out with just a few clinging crumbs, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then remove muffins to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Copyright 2013 by Judith Evans. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. These sound great -- chocolate chips definitely NOT optional in my book :)