Food for thought + a recipe for ‘Hippie Banana Muffins’

The morning:
I had a lovely choc-chip muffin for breakfast today (brought from the coffee-shop at work along with a large capuccino + extra shot). I’m not sure if muffins are *supposed* to have a half-inch crunchy crust of sugar like this one did, but I found it rather satisfying coupled with the delicately soft (nicely over-sweet) vanilla middle and occassional studding of chocolate. Not as good as museli and yogurt for breakfast but not as bad as a ‘full-english’ – a good analogy for how I’m feeling today. Harumph.

The afternoon:
OK, I’m no scientist (I have the inconsequential school reports to prove it) however, I think I may be asking too much of my physiology to cope with the amount of unrefined sugar I’m consuming during these cold, dark days. Any excuse! Headaches. Lethargy. Carpal Tunnel flaring up. If only I could rid myself of this compelling need for baked goods. I’d give up all the other bad stuff (apart from coffee) if I could keep the bread, cakes, cookies, muffins and pastry. Sigh. Time to start googling for low GI recipes – I bet they are mealy and mean and bleurgh.

The evening:
Brainwave! I am sure my recipe for ‘Hippie Banana Muffins’ must count as being low GI – most of the sweetness comes from bananas – that’s FRUIT for chrissakes, the little sugar that’s used is brown – surely more virtuous than its naughty white cousin! I can’t remember where the recipe came from originally, but it has evolved with every baking to become my very own type of pseudo-muffin that I wheel out to replace proper treats in times of tightening waistbands. Let’s face it, Christmas is going to be a food-fest (I have a brand new book of Nigella Christmas recipes to try out), so I think I can manage a few weeks days of hippie food…

Hippie Banana Muffins | Makes 12

Dry ingredients

  • 130g Self-Raising flour (or plain – they always turn out the same)
  • 55g light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • 100g rolled oats (whizzed up in blender if too big and chunky)

Wet ingredients

  • 3 medium very-ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 125ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 100g trail mix (or raisins or similar)

What to do

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas Mark 6
  2. Prepare 12-hole muffin tin with papers (unless you like washing up)
  3. In a big bowl, sift the flour and mix toether all the dry ingredients
  4. In a smaller bowl mash up bananas and mix in all wet ingredients, then add the trail mix
  5. Ad your wet mixture to your dry mixture and combine lazily until not spots of flour show, divide between muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer come out clean
  6. Cool for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack.
  7. Ignore the intoxicating smell, they won’t be at their best until they are very well chilled in the fridge, preferably overnight.
  8. Now you can eat them – enjoy! (Oh, they freeze well too).

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  • Reply
    20 November 2008 at 17:25

    Compared to what goes into the food over here, you’re eating healthy. Reading this gave me such a craving for muffins tho… and I’ve already got a pre-holiday paunch beginning!

  • Reply
    27 November 2008 at 10:42

    I’ve made a few banana cakes mainly because I like to eat them almost green so once they get a few black spots I can’t face them raw!!
    Made these last night and they were the easiest, tastiest banana cakes I’ve ever made!!!
    By the way – do you know you can freeze bananas as they are until you are ready to use them in a cake?

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