It’s no secret that I have a pretty bad sweet tooth, it’s bananas.
Initially after surgery I didn’t have too much trouble keeping my cravings at bay, considering I was barely getting in any solid foods and was just trying to keep hydrated. Now, a few month’s post-op – I’m eating anywhere around 800-1000 calories a day and have managed to do well with most foods. Although this is GREAT, it means there’s also more room for stress eating and giving into those mid-afternoon cravings.
That being said, now that it feels like I’m in a different ball park after surgery, I’ve really focused all my energy on three areas:
1) Building strength and toning: I started incorporating weightlifting and not just endurance focused cardio.
2) Having more balanced meals: Instead of treating all carbs like the devil and protein like the end-all-be-all of my weight loss, I’ve worked hard to make each meal a good balance of carbs, fat, and protein. This also really helps to keep be satiated and makes it easier to say no to slider foods.
3) Finding easy and sustainable methods for this lifestyle: This includes not depriving myself and finding creative ways to satisfy my sweet tooth.
All this brings me to these health recipes. I’ve shared a few but I have to say, I think this is the BEST concoction I’ve put together so far. Not all have been great – I’m speaking to you protein pancakes – but when I get my hubby’s very picky stamp of approval, I know it is truly going to be a crowd pleaser. I worked this recipe till I found what I felt was the best output…and now we’re all anxiously waiting for the bananas I bought this weekend to ripen so I can make them again LOL.
So let’s break this down. What makes this recipe “healthy”?
This banana nut muffin recipe is made with whole wheat and almond flour, compared to traditional banana breads that are full of refined flours and processed sugar. Yes, almond and wheat flour are more expensive than the traditional all-purpose flour... but trust me on this, the flour you use makes a huge difference in the nutritional facts.
It’s naturally sweetened with agave nectar and stevia, which I can guarantee not only does the job effectively but also has traces of nutritional value that standard sugar does not.
The recipe also calls for overall-good-for-you oil, instead of whole sticks of butter that are not only NOT necessary but add serious fat and cholesterol content to the bread.
Will people be able to tell that it’s a healthier alternative? In short, no. This banana bread is moist, full of flavor, just the perfect amount of sweet, and very filling. I took this to a family gathering and had some people hesitate to eat it at first when they heard it was another one of my “healthy” desserts but wound up going in for one after seeing how much everyone else raved about them.
If you decide to whip these up, PLEASE share! Something that has been so reassuring to me is knowing that someone out there is along this journey with me, or that I helped someone make a better decision because I shared a recipe. So here we go!
Healthy Banana Nut Muffins
Ingredients 1/3 cup of canola or vegetable oil ½ cup organic agave nectar 2 eggs 2 ½ Bananas (mashed) ¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon cinnamon 2 packets of stevia sweetener Pinch of salt ¾ cup Almond Flour 1 cup whole wheat flour ½ cup mix-in of your choice such as chopped or sliced nuts, dark chocolate chips, raisins, etc. (I added sliced almonds)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line/grease your cupcake tins.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the oil and agave nectar together and then slowly add the eggs and beat well. Then whisk in the mashed bananas and cold almond milk.
3. Add the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, and stevia and whisk to blend. Slowly stir in the flours, just until combined. Be careful to not overmix the batter, some lumps are OK. If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, fold them in now.
4. Pour the batter into your lined/greased cupcake tins, filling each tin about halfway to leave room to rise.
5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is golden. Be careful not to over-bake them or your bread will come out dry instead of moist. Once complete, let the muffins cool in the tins for about 10 minutes and then serve warm.
Nutritional Facts (per serving = 1 muffin): Calories 105, Carbs 15g, Sugar 2g, Fiber 2g, Fat 4g, Protein 3g