Grain-free Cinnamon Banana Bread Muffins

The inspiration for this recipe came from The Paleo Kitchen by Juli Bauer and George Bryant. This is a gorgeous cookbook filled with mouth-watering recipes for nutritious meals and snacks. If you are new to Paleo, this book would be a great place to start, with tons of tips for switching over to a Paleo diet.

Instead baking this banana bread in a loaf pan, I decided on muffins. They bake more quickly, are less likely to remain gooey on the inside while the crust gets too dark (my main complaint about banana bread), and the portion size makes it easier not to overindulge. Even though Paleo treats are grain-free, they are not low-calorie!

I wanted to try this recipe because it uses only bananas as a sweetener--no honey or maple syrup, and of course, no sugar! (Paleo recipes avoid refined sugars and grains, as well as many other ingredients.) These muffins are still a delicious treat, with plenty of natural sweetness, in addition to wholesome goodness provided by the eggs, olive oil, almonds, and coconut flour.

While the original recipe called for grassfed butter, I chose to use extra virgin olive oil instead. You could also substitute melted coconut oil or avocado oil. I didn't have almond butter or almond flour on hand, so I pulsed a half cup of whole raw almonds in the food processor instead. Close enough!

Here's my version:

1/2 cup raw almonds, finely ground (or almond butter)
4 medium bananas
4 large eggs
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or melted grassfed butter)
1/2 cup coconut flour (do NOT substitute any other type of flour!)
1 teas. baking soda
1 teas. baking powder
1 teas. vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
1 TB cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a muffin tin with olive oil spray, or grease well with butter or coconut oil.

Add ingredients into the bowl of a large food processor, one at a time, in the order given. Blend thoroughly after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. When everything is incorporated, fill muffin tins with batter about 2/3 full. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Let muffins cool before removing from the tin. Makes about 12 muffins.