Now I don’t want to make a claim like a certain beer, but these banana and chocolate chip muffins surely have to be up there in healthiness stakes – they are sweetened purely with fruit, have lots of great vitamins and minerals from the dates, beetroot and banana, not to mention the dark chocolate and oats, and are also gluten-free. Sure I could chuck in some extra things that might up the health factor but that would seem overkill and these are pretty great just as they are. Whether you’re looking for healthy or not, though, these are delicious.
I came up with these as a bit of a project for my toddler son and I a few weeks ago when we had torrential rain one morning and we sure as heck didn’t want to be leaving the house any time soon. Containing my toddler (as may be familiar) in the house can be a challenge at times, particularly in the morning, unless you want a cartoon-fest which I try to avoid, so a little cooking project was just the thing. He was very proud of the part he played and also really liked the muffins, as we all did.
These muffins are relatively dense but have a great flavor to them. Thanks to all the banana and date, they are naturally pretty sweet without having any refined sugar in there, and the little dots of dark chocolate chips make them feel like a true treat. Plus, if you eat them while they are still warm (or re-heat them slightly), the chocolate chips are lovely and slightly runny. Sooo good.
I do like putting beetroot in muffins (as you’ve seen before) partly I think because I find it fun that they are this amazing pink color before you cook them, but a more ‘normal’ color after. I think it’s also because they add a nice flavor to baked goods and keep them moist, as well as it’s nice to know you are getting all that beetroot goodness. Don’t worry, though, if you don’t generally like the taste of beetroot, you really wouldn’t know it is there and if you are particularly uncertain, grate it more finely as the only hint you get is some ribbons now and then in the final muffin.
The best bit about these banana and chocolate chip muffins is they have so many great things in there you don’t have to consider them a treat, they would be perfect for an easy on-the-go breakfast, adding some variety to a lunchbox, or as a healthy but sustaining after-school snack. All this means they fit in perfectly with this week’s Sunday Supper theme of ‘back to school’ – see all the other ideas below. You can freeze these muffins as well and defrost them as you need them, so they are ready when you are. These are really tasty and surprisingly sweet given the lack of sugar, and definitely a muffin we will be making again, not just on a rainy day. I hope you’ll give them a try as well.
- 2oz/60g dates soaked in ¼ cup water
- ½ cup/50g oats
- ½ cup/80g rice flour
- ¼ cup/30g almond flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
- 2 bananas
- 1 egg
- 1 cup/135g coarsely grated beetroot
- ¼ tsp vanilla essence
- ¼ cup/42g dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
- Soak the dates in the water while you prepare everything else (warm water will help soften them quicker).
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients - the oats, rice and almond flours, salt, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder and baking soda.
- Mash the bananas and grate the beetroot, if you haven't already done so.
- Blend the dates and water together then add the banana, egg, vanilla and mix well.
- Add this mixture, the grated beetroot and the chocolate chips to the dry ingredients and mix until combined but try not to overmix.
- Scoop the mixture into a prepared muffin/cupcake tray (either lined or lightly oiled) and bake for around 15mins until they are lightly browned on top and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
See all the Back to School ideas being shared:
Getting Started On School Days
- Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins by Caroline’s Cooking
- Caramel Apple Granola by What Smells So Good?
- Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars by Ruffles & Truffles
- Cinnamon Chocolate Overnight Oats by Whole Food | Real Families
- Funfetti French Toast by Brunch with Joy
- PB&J Muffins by Sew You Think You Can Cook
Ideas for the Lunchbox
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich by Cooking Chat
- Healthy Lunchbox Snack Mix by Noshing with the Nolands
- Mini Pepperoni Calzones by The Redhead Baker
- Turkey Bacon Ranch Wrap by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls by Curious Cuisiniere
After School Snacks
- Back to School Cookies by The Freshman Cook
- Fruit ‘n Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites by The Weekend Gourmet
- Quinoa, Oat and Pecan Blueberry-Peach Crumb Bars by Simply Healthy Family
- Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits by An Appealing Plan
- Mother’s Ruin Punch by Food Lust People Love
- “Nut Butter” Rice Crispy Balls by Books n’ Cooks
- Parmesan Crisps Recipe by Life Tastes Good
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Monkey Bread by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Apple Nachos by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Waffle Pizzas by Our Good Life
School Night Suppers
- Beef Peppers and Onions Burritos by Family Foodie
- One Pot Bacon-Cheeseburger Pasta by A Gouda Life
- Oven Fried Portabello Mushroom Fries by Food Done Light
- Peanut Chicken Cutlets by Magnolia Days
- Smoked Salmon Ravioli with Cream Sauce by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Turmeric Chicken and Couscous by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Sweets to End the Day
- Gluten-Free Almond Joy Cupcakes by NinjaBaker
- M&M Chocolate Chunk Cookies by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Oreo Rice Krispy Treats by The Crumby Cupcake
- Paleo Cherry Blondies by Pies and Plots
- Plum Crumble Bars by Feeding Big
- Stuffed Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
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