Confession # 143: I have a banana-baking impulse…Healthy Banana Coconut Chocolate Chunk Muffins

by alexandra

Healthy Banana Coconut Chocolate Chunk Muffins {GF, Dairy-Free Option, No Added Sugar} - tender and chocolate-filled muffins that are naturally sweetened with roasted bananas and coconut flakes. | www.brighteyedbaker.com

There’s something about an uber-ripe batch of bananas that makes me become a banana hoarder. And if I go to the store and see a bunch covered in those tell-tale brown speckles, all plans are out the window because I’m making banana bread… or muffins, or coffeecake, or SOMETHING. What I’m not doing is passing them by, because around here bananas are usually consumed before they ever get to that overwhelmingly sweet state when they become perfect for baking. Life is rough when you can’t get any extra-ripe bananas to work with. ;)

Lately I’ve found myself baking at random times in the day when it wasn’t on the agenda at all (because sadly I have tons of work to get done ATM), and I’ve realized that when there are bananas around to bake with, the temptation increases even more. In fact, when I posted that Instagram picture I was making these very muffins and blissfully shirking all responsibilities for a few hours. I should just accept the fact that when I have zero plans to bake for the day, that’s somehow what I’ll end up doing, especially if the bananas on the counter are ripe. 

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chunk Muffins {GF, Dairy-Free Option, No Added Sugar} - tender and chocolate-filled muffins that are naturally sweetened with roasted bananas and coconut flakes. | www.brighteyedbaker.com

These muffins in particular were created out of a need to make something healthy for breakfast that would also feed those nonstop cravings I get for something baked, bready, and chocolate-y. I used to do more sugar-free baking with bananas back in the earlier days of the blog, the best result of that being those Cranberry Lemon Poppyseed Muffins, and I figured it was time to try something like that again. I also used to bake with oat flour which I haven’t done in for-ever, so this was kinda like getting back to some of the roots of this blog, before I got completely distracted by more extravagant things like Chocolate Chai Cake.

Healthy Banana Coconut Chocolate Chunk Muffins {GF, Dairy-Free Option, No Added Sugar} - tender and chocolate-filled muffins that are naturally sweetened with roasted bananas and coconut flakes. | www.brighteyedbaker.com

Anyway, these muffins are made with all oat flour, which means they’re gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free oats, and no added sugar, because they’re just lightly and naturally sweetened by roasted banana purée and chopped up coconut flakes. You can also make them dairy-free by using coconut milk instead of yogurt and dairy-free chocolate. They bake up SO tender and even though they aren’t nearly as sweet as normal banana bread, the banana and coconut flavors mixed with big chunks of dark chocolate make it so that you don’t really miss the sweetness. If anything, the banana flavor shines through even more, but in a good way (I’ve never been able to get on board with things like 100% banana “frozen yogurt”, so if that’s not your thing either, don’t be scared of these). There’s a little bit of texture from all the coconut flakes, and the best part is that every bite comes with a nice dose of chocolate-y goodness. They make the perfect breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up snack, and they’re healthy! They were actually a bigger hit than I expected around here, even with a few people who aren’t keen on coconut, so for a batch of no-flour, no-sugar, gluten-free, dairy-free muffins, I’d say they did pretty well by getting that stamp of approval!

Note: Pretty please read the recipe notes before making these. There are lots of little important things mentioned there!

Healthy Banana Coconut Chocolate Chunk Muffins {GF, no added sugar, dairy-free option}

Cook Time: 20 minutes

12 muffins

Healthy Banana Coconut Chocolate Chunk Muffins {GF, no added sugar, dairy-free option}

These moist and tender muffins are naturally sweetened with nothing but roasted banana purée and coconut flakes, and a hefty helping of dark chocolate chunks adds something luscious to every bite. If you're looking for something to beat those chocolate cravings that's also healthy, gluten-free, added-sugar-free, and dairy-free, these muffins are calling your name!

Ingredients

  • 6 3/8 ounces (2 cups) oat flour*
  • 6 ounces (2 cups) small unsweetened coconut flakes**
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 egg white
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) coconut oil, melted
  • 2 cups (17 ounces) roasted banana purée***
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) greek yogurt (plain, vanilla, or coconut) (or sub regular canned coconut milk for a dairy-free version)****
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate, plus extra for sprinkling on muffin tops*****

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oat flour, coconut flakes, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl beat the eggs until foamy. Slowly stream in melted coconut oil, while whisking, until smoothly combined. Add banana purée, yogurt, and vanilla and mix in until smooth.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold together until partially combined. Add the chopped chocolate and continue to fold batter just until everything is evenly incorporated.
  5. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups, dividing evenly between each. Press a few pieces of extra chopped chocolate into the top of each muffin.
  6. Bake muffins at 375ºF for 5 minutes, and then reduce heat to 350ºF and bake for an additional 13-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out free of batter. Cool for about 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Muffins should be kept in an airtight container and are best stored at room temperature. For longer shelf life (more than about 4-5 days), they should be refrigerated and brought back to room temperature before eating.

Notes

*You can use store-bought oat flour, or make your own (instructions here). If using a food-processor to grind your oats, I recommend sifting the oat flour to remove any coarse bits before using.

**To make small coconut flakes, pulse regular coconut flakes in a food processor until pieces are pea-size.

***To make roasted banana purée, place unpeeled bananas on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake in a 350ºF oven for about 20 minutes, until skins are very dark brown and bananas are fragrant. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, and then remove skins and purée bananas and juices using an immersion or regular blender. (Start with about 5-6 bananas, depending on size, but be sure to measure puree before adding to batter).

****If using canned coconut milk, whisk until smooth before measuring and adding to batter.

*****When you chop chocolate, you tend to wind up with a lot of fine flakes in addition to larger pieces. For these muffins, I highly recommend that you use only the large pieces and save the fine bits for the tops of the muffins or another use. This way, you'll end up with nice big chunks of chocolate in your muffins.

This recipe is gluten-free if made with certified gluten-free oats/oat flour and dairy-free if made with coconut milk and dairy-free chocolate.

http://www.brighteyedbaker.com/2014/02/17/confession-143-i-have-a-banana-baking-impulse-healthy-banana-coconut-chocolate-chunk-muffins/

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Consuelo @ Honey & Figs February 17, 2014

I want to become a banana hoarder too since I love banana bread and muffins, but someone in my household keeps eating all the bananas uuuugh where can I hide them??
I need to make these as soon as possible, so I’ll have to fight for my black bananas hehe. They sound lovely and so wholesome too. I’d love them for breakfast tomorrow ;–)
Have a wonderful week! <3
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alexandra February 19, 2014

Hide the bananas!!! Haha thank you so much Consuelo; I hope your week is lovely!

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Ashley February 17, 2014

It’s kinda like you read my mind …. I had an insane craving to make banana bread last night but alas no bananas haha And now I want to make some even more! These muffins look awesome!
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alexandra February 19, 2014

Ahhh, I hate it when that happens! I think all the grocery stores should keep a constant supply of ripe bananas just for those of us who want to make banana bread. :)

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Amy February 17, 2014

Bananas + chocolate = bliss. End of story. :) Those gorgeous chunks of oozing melted chocolate on top make me jump for joy! Although I have the same problem when it comes to bananas too… I always eat all of them plain before they have time to ripen enough to bake with them. Maybe if I hid one or two on top of the fridge where I’m too short to see, I might be able to solve that problem!
Amy recently posted..Clean Chocolate Chunk ScookiesMy Profile

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alexandra February 19, 2014

Pretty much any fruit and chocolate equals bliss, right?!
You should just buy double the bananas and keep one batch in a paper bag so they sorta stay hidden and ripen faster. ;)

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Amy February 19, 2014

You are one brilliant lady!! :)
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Danielle @ TheCharmItSpot February 21, 2014

Banana, coconut, AND chocolate. Oh my, these sound amazing!! I also love how healthy these can be made. They look incredible, thanks for sharing!
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alexandra February 23, 2014

Haha YES. All three in one. A healthy muffin needs some dark chocolate chunks, I think!

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sathya priya February 21, 2014

Banana ,coconut itself rich in flavor adding chocolate chunk makes me take a seat back but adding of oats give a little cut on the sweetness side i guess right ?.Very great combos ..Have a happy weekend alexandra
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Tieghan February 23, 2014

Banana, coconut and chocolate? Yeah, pretty much my all time favorite combo. LOVE these, girl!
Tieghan recently posted..Chaos ‘n’ Sprinkles.My Profile

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alexandra February 24, 2014

The triple threat. ;) Thanks Tieghan!

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Britt March 16, 2014

Think I can sub the coconut for coconut flour? That’s all I have…

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alexandra March 17, 2014

I think coconut flour might absorb more liquid than the coconut flakes, and I wouldn’t want your muffins to turn out dry. You can buy coconut flakes online (Amazon, for example), but you should also be able to find them at a local health food store.

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Megan March 23, 2014

These are delicious! But, I’m not sure about the healthy part . . . it seems like a lot of coconut (and therefore saturated fat) to be labeled healthy.

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alexandra March 25, 2014

Well I’m glad you agree that they’re good! “Healthy” is interpreted very differently by different people when it comes to food… whereas most muffins contain butter or refined oils, sugar, and all-purpose flour, these are gluten-free, contain no added sugar, and are made with just a small bit of coconut oil. The fats in coconut oil are also widely believed to be healthier saturated fats than those found in animal fats like butter. This is all my perspective on the issue, but of course I understand if your opinion is different. :)

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Marie May 21, 2014

These look amazing! My 3 favorite things: bananas ,coconut, and chocolate :)
Do you think it would work if I used regular oats instead of oat flour? I like the texture better…

Reply

alexandra May 22, 2014

I think you definitely need to use the oat flour for the muffins, because it needs that fine flour-like texture to support the whole thing. There’s still plenty of other texture from the coconut flakes and chocolate chunks, so I think you’d be happy with it anyway. Hope you try it!

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MARIANA June 13, 2014

They are amazing! I just baked a batch of these and they are to die for! thanks bright eyed baker!!

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alexandra June 17, 2014

Aww I’m so happy you enjoyed them! Thanks for letting me know. :)

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