I have always love blueberry muffins, I mean who doesn’t? They were one of the first recipes I had the guts to make all on my own after my fast-food college days, and I remember how delicious they were!
I had bought Joy the Baker’s first cookbook, my first every cookbook I bought (thanks Joy!) and I made her blueberry muffins recipe so many times that the pages are glued together from so much butter, sugar and flour! Who would have thought that ruining a book means that you gave it the most love!
It was after a year or so that I started to understand the effects of eating all that butter, sugar and flour, especially sugar! I started baking blueberry muffins with more healthier sugar, if that is even a thing, like coconut palm sugar. But at end of the day it is still sugar! It is pretty hard to call anything that has sugar in it healthy, though we like to tell ourselves that sometimes it can be.
So then I started to experiment with dates! I had bought them recently to make these peanut butter snack bars and I was amazed at how sweet they were! They also add another layer of caramel-like flavor which makes them even more delicious. I was incredibly curious to see if I could ditch sugars all together and bake using dates instead.
I was so happy when I discovered how easy it was to replace sugar with dates in my baking recipes! I felt that the blueberry muffins even tasted better and they had much more flavor instead of just having a taste of processed sugar.
Another thing that was so great about using dates instead of sugar was that they were less sweet. I feel that blueberry muffins should be used for breakfast and shouldn’t be a dessert! That is definitely our issue in America, we always find a way to consume way too much sugar for breakfast and it has become totally acceptable in our diet.
I like the idea of eating muffins for breakfast that actually FEEL like you are eating breakfast! Breakfast should be the meal that starts you off in the day! And that means you should be eating something that has plenty of nutrients and protein, not sugar and processed and refined ingredients.
I am starting to learn more and more about my diet and my body every day and it is really been such an incredible journey and transformation. Learning to eat food, not to satisfy your cravings or feel good in short-term, but INSTEAD to eat food that your body needs, what your body actually craves has become a sort of revelation for me. Listening to your body instead of ignoring the signs your body is clearing giving you (or practically yelling at you!) has probably been the most important thing I have learned so far being an adult.
Now these muffins are still a far cry away from being nutritious, no doubt, but they are definitely a step in a better direction for me. Being able to go into the kitchen and bake something without grabbing a jar full of sparkling sugar crystals (however pretty they look!) makes me feel so much lighter as if the guilt from still using refined sugars has been lifted.
Do you guys feel that you are also starting to listen to your body more and what it really needs, rather than cravings? Let me know!
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- ⅓ cup tapioca flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 5 medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- Honey to drizzle
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a muffin pan with oil and set aside.
- Add walnuts to a food processor and blend into a coarse flour. Add to a mixing bowl along with brown rice flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Whisk together until combined and set aside.
- Add the dates and bananas to a food processor and blend until fully incorporated. Transfer mixture to a stand mixer with paddle attachment along with the almond milk, coconut oil and vanilla extract and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time making sure they have each been mixed in before adding the other.
- Add the flour mixture in two batches and beat on medium to low speed until there is no more flour visible. Do not mix too much, you don’t want to overwork the batter. Remove bowl from stand mixer and gently fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula using 5 turns. Divide batter among prepared muffin pan. For topping, add walnuts to a food processor and blend into a coarse flour and sprinkle evenly over muffins.
- Bake muffins for 18 to 20 minutes until golden and crisp and a skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let muffins cool for 15 minutes before removing. Drizzle honey on top and serve.
- Muffins are best the day they are made, but will last up to 3 days in an air-tight container. I like them cooled and kept in the fridge.