I had a quick flick through my Annabel Karmel book today, to see if there are simple recipes I could adapt. She is the queen of tasty and attractive meals for children and I know there is plenty I still have to learn. I noted a recipe for banana muffins in Feeding your Baby and Toddler and this is my version of that.
60g (2oz) of bran flakes – but I didn’t have any gluten free ones, so used gluten free porridge oats instead.
300ml milk – I used Kara Dairy Free
125g (4oz) wholemeal flour – I only had Doves Farm gluten free self-raising flour, so I used it
½ tsp of salt
1 tbsp baking powder – I used a Doves Farm gluten free baking powder
60g (2oz) butter – I used Pure Dairy Free sunflower spread
60g (2oz) caster sugar
1 egg – we are ok with eggs, but if you are not, I believe there is an egg replacer you can get in health food shops
90g raisins – I used sultanas and a handful of chopped apricots
I also added a ‘squirt’ of agave syrup – just to be sure it was sweet enough. I also added half a teaspoon of xanthan gum, as it improves crumb quality.
I followed Annabel’s instructions. So rather than soak the bran flakes I soaked my porridge oats in the milk for 10 minutes. Then I sifted in the flour, salt and baking powder.
I creamed together the dairy free butter with the sugar and beat in the egg. Then you have to stir in alternate spoonfuls of soaked bran flakes/porridge oats and flour mixture. Next fold in the mashed bananas and raisins/sultanas or whatever dried fruit you choose.
Annabel says to line a muffin tray with paper cases and half fill each case with the mixture. I don’t have a muffin tray – never made them before! So I put my mixture in my daughter’s pink silicone muffin/cupcake cases that she got in a children’s baking set one Christmas. I placed them on a flat baking tray and hoped they wouldn’t collapse under the weight of the mixture. They were fine. But I did have to use some paper cases, as I seemed to have a lot more mixture than Annabel predicted! One of my paper cases did ‘give out’ and there was quite a mess in the baking tray. But it cleaned up easy enough – I guess you just need the right equipment.
So you bake them at 180c or 350f or gas mark 4 for about 30 minutes. Just keep an eye on them, as I have a tendency to think they are not ready, walk away, forget and then come back to find I have overcooked them. Definitely go by eye and instinct. Mine took a little longer.
Annabel says it makes 12 muffins. I got 20. So I guess I had the wrong size cases or didn’t put enough in them. The end result was a very delicious little mini muffin. They are suitable for freezing, so you could make a couple of batches and then they are there for when you fancy a change from cereal. Also a great ‘on the go’ breakfast or great mid morning snack. According to Annabel they are a source of fibre, iron and B vitamins – so ‘relatively’ healthy and nutritious too. Adding the oats in place of the bran flakes probably changes the fibre content somewhat but from what I hear oats are a superfood, so it can’t be too bad of a substitution. See what you think.