Happy new year, everyone! I hope everyone is well-rested from the outings, parties, and holiday madness in general. I had myself a relaxing new year’s eve going out for frozen yogurt with my family, picking up some snazzy scrapbooking materials on mega sale, and stuffing myself with pesto pizza before settling in for some good old-fashioned new year’s eve tv watching. Low key, but delicious, just the way I like it! And here we are almost two days into 2012 with a whole year of fun things and opportunities ahead of us.
Even though I’m looking forward to so many things in the next little while (I have a scrapbooking supply shopping trip in the works and some upcoming winter markets I’m excited about!), I’m really sad that Christmas and the holidays are over. I know it’s because my holiday hoopla festivities got off to a late start this year and I feel like it passed by way too fast. My Christmas and holiday clock is still ticking and I have an abundance of energy that I need to channel to the point where I still want to fill Christmas cookie boxes and buy Christmas scrapbook paper! I was the one having fun Christmas shopping after Christmas! If anything, I can tuck away all the Christmas ideas and things I didn’t get around to enjoying in 2011 and save them for 2012.
A new year means a fresh and clean slate and that means noshing on leftovers and using up some ingredients that need to be eaten pronto. We had some super ripe bananas in the kitchen and because I accidentally bought one too many bags of ground almonds (which I told you all about here), it was the most opportune time to do some baking! Enter a fresh batch of baked goods for the first day of 2012: flourless, gluten-free banana almond nutmeg breakfast muffins with dried cranberries and pineapple! It’s the first time I’ve ever baked anything flourless and I was super excited to bake something entirely out of ground almonds. Not to mention I was giddy over mashing bananas – it’s very therapeutic and fun!
I had to convert almost all the measurements from the original recipe though because they were in grams as opposed to cups and spoon measurements and I improvised and changed things up a little when it came to the ingredients, but lucky for me, the muffins turned out AMAZING! The original recipe doesn’t have much sugar in it and for good reason: the dried fruit is deliciously juicy and sweet in these muffins and the texture of the ground almond cake is wonderfully soft and moist. It’s incredibly moist banana cake and they smell divine! These muffins are definitely the kind you want to enjoy every morning with some almond milk or yogurt. This was one yummy way to celebrate the first day of the new year!
Recipe for Flourless, Banana Almond Muffins With Dried Fruit and Nutmeg (yields 12 muffins)
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature (3/4 of a stick)
- 2 cups ground almonds
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit (I only had 1/4 cup, so I used chopped dried pineapple to fill in the rest)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- juice from 1 whole lemon
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (pure maple syrup does not have gluten in it, but check the label of your syrup just to be sure if you are making these for those who have celiac disease or who are gluten-intolerant)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (pure is best, but again, check the label to make sure there is no gluten)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- cinnamon sugar (optional; 1/8 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin/cupcake pan (or two 6-cup ones, whatever combination you have) with paper liners and set aside.
- Place the softened butter, maple syrup, and beaten eggs in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix the ingredients together until butter is creamy and eggs and maple syrup are thoroughly incorporated.
- Mix in the baking powder, then slowly add the ground almonds, occasionally scraping down the sides until everything is combined.
- Add the lemon juice, nutmeg, and mashed bananas, mixing after each addition.
- Using a large spoon, fold the cranberries, dried pineapple, or whatever dried fruit you are using, into the batter. Spoon the batter into the paper-lined muffin tin, filling each cup to the top. If you are using cinnamon sugar (like me!), sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on the tops.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling. Keep in a dry, airtight container.
Recipe adapted from Banana, Cranberry, and Nutmeg Ground Almond Muffins on Calorie Count.