By Lauren M. Koch, RDN
*This post contains affiliate links, meaning, I may be paid a commission if you purchase products using my link & discount code ‘FAMILYFOODNAG’. But rest assured that all statements and opinions are my own, and I will never unethically promote products that I would not feed my own family.
Hiyeeee! Sorry folks, I know that it’s been awhile. Thanks for sticking with me!
If you’re only here for the recipe (it’s ok, I understand. They are pretty amazing), feel free to scroll down! For everyone else, a quick update: Exciting things happening here! I look forward to sharing details with you in coming months. Since we last met, my youngest had her first birthday. It was super cute, but I’m still in denial. And yes, I did make her full-fledged sugar-filled cupcakes. Check it out!
Apparently, I’m really taking to this homemade birthday treat thing, because I’m also working on my first ice cream cake for hubby’s birthday this weekend. I’ll let you know how THAT goes. I’ve been told it’s “not too difficult”, but c’mon. That’s a pretty relative statement. Anyhow. I remain firm in my claim to not be a ‘Pinterest mom’, so don’t get all worked up. I’m still keeping it real for you.
You’ll also notice disclosures in my posts regarding promotion of certain products, as with Further Foods Collagen Peptides in this post. In an effort to continue my mission of bringing your family validated health information while remaining available to my own family, I receive small commissions for any sales originating from these links (and you get a discount! use code: FAMILYFOODNAG). I will aim to always explain my rationale for choosing to partner with certain brands, and will never endorse products that I do not feed my own family. Thank you in advance for always being supportive, and I’m happy to answer any questions that come up!
Now, About These Muffins
I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, BUT, I also never pass up an opportunity to make something fun & healthy for the kiddos. Seems like adding color to food is extraordinarily exciting for kids. I usually try to do this naturally by adding vibrantly colored plant foods to my recipes, but today I went the old-fashioned route and used Wilton Icing Color in Rose. This stuff is SO concentrated that I used the tiniest speck on the tip of a toothpick to yield this deep red color. Recycle this recipe and add green for upcoming Saint Patty’s day celebrations, or soft pastels for Easter. Go crazy.
As a point of clarification: I didn’t name these ‘Banana Love Muffins’ because they are red. Nope. It’s because everyone in my family is obsessed with bananas. I find myself making trips to the market JUST for bananas, God forbid we run out. But, there are worse things.
What’s So Healthy About Them?
I took this excellent recipe from Cookie + Kate and made some modifications to increase the fiber and protein content, lower the sugar, and modify them to be gluten-free (because no way was I not eating them).
To increase fiber, I substituted a quarter cup of the flour for ground flax. Not only does this add fiber, but also valuable Omega-3 fats (gotta keep growing those brains, kids!). I might try to increase this ratio next time, but too much flax can weight down a recipe and prevent rising. I’ll come back and update if I am successful!
To increase protein, I added four scoops of Further Food unflavored Collagen Peptides. Each scoop contains 7 grams of protein, and little else. It’s an excellent choice to seamlessly boost protein in recipes because it dissolves brilliantly, and doesn’t contribute any flavor, texture, or aftertaste. All pretty important when we’re talking about kids. Cause they could care less about lumpy textures, or ‘weird’ tastes, right? Riiiiight.
To lower the sugar, I cut the maple syrup in half. But with 2 ripe bananas and a 1/4 cup of syrup, they are still pretty sweet. If you aren’t sugar-averse, go ahead and use the 1/2 cup of syrup that the original recipe calls for, I won’t judge!
As far as eliminating gluten goes, I used my all-time favorite, King Arthur brand Baking Mix. Simply substitute this for traditional flour in a 1:1 ratio, easy peasy.
Instead of muffin trays, I used these fun silicone trays. They just make cool shapes, are a perfect size for little appetites, and are so much easier to bake in. Those who make baby food at home, they are also excellent for freezing purposes! The recipe made 18 of these, so it would probably make about 12 traditional muffins.
Healthy Banana LOVE Muffins
Adapted from Cookie+Kate’s Healthy Banana Bread Recipe.
Cook time: 30-40min for full-sized muffins, 20-30 for the smaller size I made.
- 1/3 c. melted coconut oil
- 1/4 c. pure maple syrup
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 c. mashed banana (about 2 large bananas)
- 1/4 c. milk of choice or water
- 1 tsp real vanilla extract
- 4 scoops Further Foods Collagen Peptides
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1.5 c. King Arthur Gluten-free Baking Mix
- 1/4 c. ground flaxseeds
- optional: food coloring
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk the oil and syrup together well. Add eggs, mashed banana, water, vanilla, collagen peptides, and combine well.
- In a separate bowl, combine baking soda, salt, cinnamon, flour, and flaxseed, mixing until evenly distributed.
- Using a large spoon, stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix! This is the time to add food coloring if desired.
- Pour batter into muffin trays and bake for about 30-40 min, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean.
- Allow to cool on a rack, set a few aside for the cook, and then watch in awe as the rest disappear.
Are collagen peptides brand new to you? Maybe you’re feeling hesitant to buy them without a little experimentation? You’re in luck! I’ll be running a contest on my Instagram account starting NEXT WEEK, where I’ll be partnering with Further Foods to give away free canisters! Make sure to follow me, and watch for details to enter. See you there!