This has been a weird winter. We’ve had a few cold snaps, but on the whole it’s been warmer than usual. When it reaches the mid 40’s for high temperatures in the middle of January – in the middle of Iowa – we know it’s an unusually warm winter! We’ve had one or two decent snows, but mostly our precipitation has fallen as ice (waaaaaay worse than snow) or as rain! It’s also been gloomy and foggy and just plain blah this month! Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not a fan of the snow per say – but I’m also not a fan of this gloominess! Honestly, though it pains me to say it, I’d rather have things slightly colder and snowier if we could get some sun as part of the deal!
Personally I think the ideal solution to my mid-winter doldrums would be to jet off to Hawaii or Florida!!! But since that doesn’t seem to be in the cards (can you say college tuition payments?), I’m making do with what I have here and baking up a sweet and tasty – yet still healthy – batch of Tropical Muffins! If I can’t actually BE in the tropics, at least I can treat myself to muffins baked with the flavor of the tropics in mind!
This recipe started with a couple of over-ripe bananas that I wanted to use in some sort of muffin. I like to use bananas not only because they taste fantastic, but aslo because they’re naturally sweet which makes baking sans refined sugar so much easier! Several months ago I made Flourless Banana Berry Muffins from oats instead of flour and I really like them, so I went back to that recipe for inspiration and used old fashioned oats ground in the blender in place of flour. The sweetness in these muffins comes not only from the bananas, but also from pineapple, dried cherries, coconut, and honey. They’re simple to put together because the batter is mixed in the blender, then stirred together with the fruits and nuts in a separate bowl. The crunchy topping is tossed together and sprinkled on top of the muffins before baking. Once the centers are baked, and the topping is brown and crispy, the muffins are removed and set aside to cool.
I like them either fresh and still warm from the oven, or about 2 or 3 days old…I know…weird like our winter! 😜 Let me explain…when they first come out of the oven they are warm and tender, the coconut topping is crispy, and they smell divine! Then about 2 days later the topping is no longer crispy, but the muffins have become dense and moist, and somehow the flavors have even deepened and developed. Gah…I just can’t decide whether I like fresh or 2 day old muffins the best! Luckily we can enjoy them both ways! Whip some up for weekend brunch, then save the rest for weekday breakfasts or a mid-afternoon snack with a cup of tea!
So if you’re suffering from the mid-winter blues like I am, make yourself some of these Flourless Tropical Muffins and dream of sandy beaches and warm ocean breezes! And chin up…only 53 more days until Spring!
- 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
- 2 very ripe bananas
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbsp unrefined coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 orange ~ zest and juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- 1 can crushed pineapple, undrained ~ 8 ozs.
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
- 1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp honey
- Dash cinnamon
- 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
- Combine muffin topping ingredients in a small bowl, stir to combine, and set aside.
- Place 15 muffin liners in muffin tins and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine 1/2 cup chopped pecans, cherries, 1/2 cup coconut, pineapple, and poppy seeds. Set aside.
- Grind oats in blender until fine and resembling flour.
- Add eggs, bananas, 3 tbsp coconut oil, orange zest and juice, 1/4 cup honey, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and poppy seeds. Blend until well combined.
- Pour batter over fruit and nuts in large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Evenly distribute muffin batter among 15 muffin liners.
- Place an even portion of topping mixture on each muffin.
- Place in oven and bake 22-25 minutes until the centers test done, and the coconut is crispy and golden brown.
- Remove from oven, cool in baking pans for about 5 minutes, then remove to cooking rack to cool completely.
- Store in air tight container for up to 5 days.