Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I love banana bread. Guilty, as charged. So to have slowly rotting bananas, is a blessing – if I have the required energy to make something using them. Yesterday, I made a batch of delicious oatmeal banana chocolate chip muffins. Today, I am making up another batch to use up the last of our “too sweet to eat” bananas.

Ever since my diagnosis of potato allergy (say whaaa?), I have stopped keeping on hand all of the usual gluten free flour products that I once did. Once upon a time ago, I made my own gluten free all purpose flour. Now, I mainly use tapioca flour and quick oats. I don’t use anything else, or at least not often.

oat-banana-cc-muffinsThis is my latest favorite recipe. I don’t get the opportunity to try out new enjoyable recipes very often, between food allergies and chronic illness. So when I tried this out on my life-group and seen they liked it, I knew it was a definite keeper. I have had to make several adjustments, to make this recipe my own.

The basic idea for this recipe is found on Williams-Sonoma and their recipe is designed with your kids’ helping hands in mind.

My Ingredient List

  1. Quick oats – up to 1.75 cups
  2. Tapioca flour – 1/2 cup (other flours will likely work, too)
  3. Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon
  4. Baking powder – 2-3 teaspoons (if you choose to add in the extra oats at the end, you will definitely want to have the increased amount of baking powder)
  5. Cinnamon and salt – just a dash
  6. Sweeteners of your choice – Agave (1/4 cup) and Nevella (3 single packets) are what I chose to use.
  7. Eggs – 2
  8. Vegetable oil – 1/4 cup
  9. Ripe bananas (medium) – 3
  10. Vanilla extract – 1.5 teaspoons

Bakes at 350 for 10 minutes
Servings: 12-15 muffins
Freezes wonderfully!

Do you have the above ingredients all ready to be used up? If so, let’s get our baking on!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Dry Ingredients

You will need a large bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of flour into the bowl. Then, you will slowly want to add in the oats. I added in 1/2 cup of oats stirred, stirred, stirred some more. Then once I could see it was well stirred, I added in the second 1/2 cup of oats. We want these two ingredients to be very well stirred, because otherwise the muffins might not turn out. I don’t know about you, but it’s maddening whenever my baked goods don’t turn out.

Now is the perfect time to add in the little things that make our muffins taste yummy. Add in a dash of cinnamon, salt, and our three packets of sweetener.

Finally, the stuff that makes our muffins rise. Grab your 2-3 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Stir it again.

Liquid Ingredients

Now, for our liquid ingredients. To save ourselves the trouble of a big mess, we will be using a gallon zip-lock bag to do our mixing.

Remove the banana peels, and put the three bananas in your zip-lock bag. Lock it in without the extra air, and mash your bananas well.

Once you have yourself some mashed bananas, add in the following ingredients. Be sure to mix with each addition. As you close the bag to zip and shake, make sure you let out the air. This will make this part of the recipe go much smoother. Be careful as you add each ingredient, so the bag doesn’t accidentally tip over – creating a mess.

  • 2 Eggs
  • Agave (2-4 tablespoons)
  • Vanilla (1.5 teaspoons or more, depending on preferences)
  • Vegetable Oil (1/4 cup)

Merging the Two

Have you mixed up your zip-lock bag filled with your liquid ingredients? Once you have done so, you will want to carefully pour your liquid mixture into your large bowl. Take the time to make sure it is stirred together well. Now, you can add in your chocolate chips. Best part of the muffins is probably this ingredient right here.

After you have added in your chocolate chips, you may find that your batter is a little more liquid than preferred. This is where I added in some more oats (3/4 cup). Again, mix them in slowly and stir well.

Grab your muffin tin, and spray with cooking spray. The more you spray, the less it will stick to the pan. I don’t have cupcake liners, so this is a good thing for me. Fill your muffin tin up until just after the half way point (about 3/4’s is generally best). The number of muffins you get, depends on how full the muffin tin is. There is no right or wrong way, to go about it. It won’t spill over if you fill it to the top of your muffin tin.

Bake at 350 for about ten minutes. Warning: Make sure you keep an eye on your muffins. The cooking time may vary, depending on your oven.

Viola! You should have yourself some beautiful muffins, by this point. You can easily freeze your muffins to have ready-to-go breakfast or snack. Plus: It is easily allergy free for most people.

*Secret Glimpses

What the Doctor Said – Part 1

About a month ago, I saw a new cardiologist. He gave some tips, did some rearranging of meds, and all-in-all a visit worthy of being vulnerable to see – yet another – doctor. This doctor is a cardiologist, who is likely the most well educated physician on dysautonomia. At least, for our “neck of the woods”.

The Result of Such a Encouraging Visit…

He is running a couple tests. One of which is to check my adrenal sufficiency (or insufficiency). I haven’t ever had a doctor do this specific test, for my adrenal sufficiency, so obviously very thankful for it. He gave one piece of advice that took me by surprise – “eliminate (or limit) caffeine”. Up until this point, I had already begun to limit my intake of soda (don’t give me too much credit – I had switched to tea). Now, would be the opportunity to breed something new in my life. With caffeine being limited/removed/no-longer-my-best-friend, new possibilities emerged.

The New Thing…

For the past several months, I have thought about giving Whole30 or another clean way of eating – a try. But with where my health was, I obviously wasn’t about to try. Then, God began tucking on my heart a few Sunday’s ago about something.

Whole 30, low-histamine style.

Why this particular eating plan?

God can easily instruct His followers to do things where they have absolutely no idea why they need to do something. Let me explain something: This was not that kind of experience.

One thing I prayed was – “God, let me know if this is honestly You. Because if this is not of You, I am not doing it…” And, then more evidence began to pile up as I researched this diet. The key indicator was the peace God gave to me. It lined up with what Scripture teaches, will happen as a result of God’s leading us. His peace. But, it required me to “lean not on my own understanding” (see Prov. 3:5-6).

This was a very direct – “This is what I am calling you to do my daughter, and you are going to have to just trust Me.”

The Low-Histamine, Thing…

For anyone who has spent any time with me more than once, you know I have food restrictions (they actually weren’t that bad, now that I think about it. Ha Ha). You eat this glorious smelling food, and I bring something “safe” to eat. Safe foods is just a part of my life. I have different food allergies that cause me to caution myself, and not run toward foods like others do. Because I have these food allergies, when I seen the words “histamine intolerance” – I had to check it out. For myself.

And, the pieces just immediately fit. By fitting, I mean, I had the majority of the symptoms.

To learn more on how the symptoms fit, what histamine intolerance is, my experience as I begin this brand new way of eating, and what God is doing in the midst of it all – you are gonna have to just stay tuned!

Until next time, my friends.



No-Bake Cookies (And, they are nut-free!)

No Bake Cookies

2 Tablespoons of Earth Balance Butter
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1/4 Cup of Whole Milk (see note)
1.5 Tablespoons of Unsweetened Cocoa
1.5 Cups of Quick Oats
1/4 Cup of Sunflower Seed Butter
Dash of salt
Splash of Vanilla Extract

In a medium sauce-pan, place the milk, cocoa, sugar, and butter in the pot

Before beginning to heat the ingredients, I chose to gather the remaining ingredients. If you cook it too long or don’t cook it as quickly, the cookies won’t turn out. So, I measured the sunflower seed butter and oats before beginning to start the cooking phase.

When ready, begin to heat the sauce-pan on the stove. Once the butter has melted and has boiled a little bit (stir while that is being done), stir in the other ingredients: sunflower seed butter, salt, vanilla extract, and oats. I gave the sunflower seed butter about 5-10 seconds, before adding in the oats. Once the cookies have been stirred and are covered in the mixture, drop by the spoonful on a piece of wax paper. Allow them to cool, in order to harden.

** In order for the cookies to turn out, you really need to use whole milk. I forgot to use whole milk, so my cookies didn’t harden. I just stuck them in freezer until I am ready to have one. For me, it wasn’t a big deal that I used the wrong kind of milk… since most of my desserts end up in the freezer anyway.**

See “No Bake Sunbutter Cookies”

*Secret Glimpses

Goodbye Beans…Hello New Diet.

Just got back from the allergists. He confirmed that the test showed egg and soy allergies. I am going on day 3 of being soy-free, so I do feel the difference. What I wasn’t expecting was for my immune system levels to be low. I wasn’t really expecting an lentil allergy diet either. With most of the food in the category already off limits, it makes sense to be on the safe side and eliminate beans from my diet. Still getting the hang of everything.

Any tips on being soy-free? I have been egg free for the most part. I don’t cook with eggs. I just still use my bread that uses egg whites in it. Looking forward to seeing if all this helps me to feel better. Been super weak today. Coordination is all messed up, but it’s OK. God is still in total control!

I am just feeling really thankful. I am thankful that the allergist is rechecking my immune system numbers, before going forward with treatment. I am thankful I haven’t been pushed off to someone else. I am thankful that I am at the beginning of getting answers!

Now, I will be:
Nut-free (all kinds)
And other lentil-free

Well, I think that’s everything anyway ;).