When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, March 18, 2016

March Muffin Madness: Nut Butter, Banana and Jam Muffins (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free)

Today I'm sharing a recipe as part of a March Muffin Madness event that kicked off earlier this week and is hosted by my friend Shirley of Gluten Free Easily. Every day through April 5th, Shirley will be highlighting a delicious new gluten-free muffin recipe created by one of the twenty-two participating bloggers. (That's a lot of new muffin recipes for those of you who love muffins or who have kids who love them as much as mine do!) In addition, she's rounded up an amazing collection of prizes to send out to some lucky winners, both through daily giveaways and in a grand prize giveaway at the end of the event.

Find out more about March Muffin Madness here.

This was a perfect week for me to work on a new muffin recipe, as my boys have been home every day for the March Break, looking for things to do and things to eat! Will put his creative energy to good use and came up with the concept for the nut butter, banana and jam muffins featured here -- he thought the combination of his favourite breakfast flavours would make a great anytime snack. I agreed with him, and all four of us were super happy with the scrumptious muffins that resulted when I turned his idea into a recipe. These nutritious gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free muffins are versatile, too: they can be made with any kind of jam or nut butter to suit different preferences.

Nut Butter, Banana and Jam Muffins

For the jam:

2 cups fresh or frozen berries (I used a combination of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and dark sweet cherries)
1 tsp coconut palm sugar
1 tbsp ground chia seeds

For the muffins:

2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 cup certified pure oats, ground
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup natural nut butter, melted (I used cashew butter)
2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp ground chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp water (stir and let stand for a minute or two to form a gel)
2 medium sized ripe bananas, mashed

For the crumble topping:

1/4 cup certified pure oats
1/3 cup chopped nuts (I used cashews)
1 tsp coconut palm sugar
a pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp natural nut butter, melted (I used cashew butter)

To make the jam, pulse the fresh or frozen berries in a food processor until they break down into small pieces. Spoon the berries into a saucepan and add the coconut palm sugar. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook the berries for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Gradually stir the ground chia seeds into the hot berry mixture. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for another 10 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally. Remove the thickened mixture from the heat and allow it to cool slightly, then spoon the jam into a lidded glass container and place it in the fridge to continue to cool and set.

If you're pressed for time and would rather not make your own jam, you can use a good store-bought version instead. The homemade jam makes these muffins especially delicious, though!

Preheat the oven to 350 F, and fill a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. To make the muffins, combine the almond flour, ground oats, baking powder, and sea salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the melted nut butter, almond milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a smaller bowl. Add this mixture, the chia seed gel, and the mashed bananas to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is well combined.

Spoon muffin batter into the prepared muffin tin so that each paper cup is just under half full. The batter will be thick, so press it down a little with the spoon so that it fully covers the bottom of each paper cup. Add a spoonful of the jam in the centre of each muffin.

Divide the remaining muffin batter between the twelve cups, using a spoon to spread out the batter so that the jam is covered.

To make the crumble topping, combine the oats, chopped nuts, coconut sugar, and sea salt in a bowl. Drizzle the melted nut butter over this mixture, and use a fork to mix the nut butter evenly into the other ingredients. Spoon the crumble topping over the tops of the muffins. Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool.

These nut butter, banana and jam muffins are sure to be enjoyed by anyone who wants to try a long-time favourite flavour combination in a new form.

Here's something else I think people will like: the grand prize giveway for March Muffin Madness has some exciting prizes for the lucky winners, including a half-gallon of Hidden Springs Vermont organic maple syrup, a 5-lb bag of Honeyville almond flour, a USA Bakeware 12-cup muffin pan, a Cuisinart ice cream maker, a Paderno World Cuisine vegetable slicer/spiralizer, a Crockpot casserole slow cooker, and an Instant Pot pressure cooker. The super grand prize is a Blendtec Designer 625 with Wildside+ and Twister jars! Take a look at all of the prizes and enter using the Rafflecopter box below for your chance to win -- you can enter daily. You can also earn additional entries for the grand prize giveaway by leaving a comment on any of the participating posts during the event. (There is a maximum of one comment entry per person per post.)

a Rafflecoptergiveaway

Lastly, head on over to Gluten Free Easily every day from now until April 5th to discover a yummy new muffin recipe and to enter the daily giveaways for cookbooks, resource books, subscriptions, and meal plans. March Muffin Madness indeed!


  1. These look amazing. I have enjoyed all the muffin recipes

    1. Thank you, Eileen. I'm really enjoying watching the March Muffin Madness event unfold, too -- there are so many good muffin ideas!

  2. What a delightful idea! Please tell your son he is a genius and I can't wait to make these beautiful and delectable muffins!

    1. Thanks, Angela! My son is very pleased that you think he's a genius. :) We both hope you really enjoy these muffins!

  3. Love Blendtec .. and these muffins look evil, I mean, delicious !

    1. Thanks, podraigh. I love, love my Blendtec, too. :)

    2. Hi podraigh. You've won a prize in the March Muffin Madness event! Please leave a comment on this gfe post so that Shirley can get in touch with you about your win: http://glutenfreeeasily.com/march-muffin-madness-winners-announced/ :)

  4. Banana and jam- that sounds so good. I want to try that recipe. It sounds amazing.

    1. Thanks, Ashleigh. I hope if you try them that you find them as delicious as we do! :)

  5. pinning these to try, it's nice to meet a new blogger via MMM!

    1. Hi Tessa, it's really nice to meet you, too! :)

  6. I wish I had this recipe yesterday morning for Easter. But now Ill just have to make them and eat them myself :D

    1. Eating them yourself sounds like a perfect plan! Enjoy. :)

  7. I just wanted to stop by to say thanks again for sharing this delightful muffin recipe for March Muffin Madness! I love that your son helped you create it and I can see it being a recipe that folks will make again and again. :-) I'm personally not much of a jam gal, but since I created my Flourless Magical Muffins, I can see subbing pumpkin butter, apple butter, etc. for the jam and having an equally wonderful new muffin. ;-) As I always say, one good recipe leads to another! :-)