I used to eat Luna Bars for breakfast every day. The chocolate-raspberry and caramel nut brownie were my two favorites, with the cookies n’ cream and the peppermint bars taking a very close 3rd and 4th, respectively. I used to buy 20 bars at a time, stocking up every 4 weeks and driving the checkout clerks at Whole Foods bonkers, at least the ones who rang up each flavor separately. I preferred the ones who cheated, gave me the “10% off case discount”, and rang them up all at once.
After the 1-2 year Luna phase (not to be confused with a ‘lunar phase’, which is related to the illuminated portion of the moon and is much less than 2 years…), I went into oatmeal phase and stayed there, switching between Quaker and Kashi brands, for almost a year. I grew tired of washing my oatmeal bowl at work every morning, and those days when I didn’t wash it, I felt icky and it was harder to wash the next time, further enhancing the annoyance. And plus, homemade oatmeal for dinner, laden with brown sugar, dried cranberries, and walnuts, is much better, and I like to do that once a week to keep the oatmeal vibe alive ;).
Then those granola bars, those lovely granola bars, came into my life. I make different versions of them regularly, recently using barley in place of oats (more protein & fiber) and dried blueberries for the fruit (which ain’t cheap, so that won’t happen often, that’s for sure). They are perfectly chewy but still crunchy, healthy but still somewhat sweet and tasty, and most importantly they are filling.
I’m still in granola bar phase, but every so often it’s nice to rotate something into the weekly mix, and generally that rotation includes muffins. I was inspired by a plethora of posts using bananas and chocolate chips over the past few weeks, including David’s banana cake and Kristin’s banana chocolate walnut cake, and set out to make a healthy breakfast version to use some bananas I’d frozen (cryogenic-style, to preserve their ripeness) a couple of weeks ago.
[For those of you turning your nose up, stop it. Right this instant. Those ‘naners are perfectly edible and when baking, the darker they are, the better. I like to let them get really dark before freezing them, as they’re most tasty at that point.]
I’m also recently turned on by non-all-purpose flours, and after a little research I surmised that bananas and spelt flour would be soulmates, or something. Ironically, I’d just bought some for a focaccia recipe (stay tuned, friends), so out of the freezer the ‘naners came and after a little thawing, straight into the oven they went, along with some spelt flour, some walnuts, and chocolate (banana’s other soulmate; it has more than one..).
The end result? Like I said, a match made in heaven, for certain.
Have any of you used spelt flour? And if so, what for?
Spelt Banana-Chocolate-Walnut Muffins
Adapted from Wednesday Food Blogging
2 tablespoons organic flax seeds, ground
1/4 cup water
1 cup wholegrain spelt flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1/2 c chocolate chips, optional
1 T dark Jamaican rum
3 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup walnut oil (or vegetable oil)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray; set aside. Whisk ground flax seeds and water in a small bowl; set aside.
Combine spelt flour through chocolate chips in small bowl. Combine rum, bananas, sugar and walnut oil in a larger bowl, add flax mixture. Add dry ingredients, a half cup at a time, and stir until combined. Pour into prepared muffin tins and bake for ~30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean. If necessary, cover with a piece of aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.
*Of note, various sites claim that, although spelt flour is not gluten-free, it’s tolerated by people with wheat allergies. Anyone know why?