This was the perfect morning for teeny tiny little cinnamon chocolate chip banana muffins! (Not that there’s ever a non-perfect day for a good chocolate chip banana muffin recipe!) Gooey chocolate chips, sweet, delicious and filling, nothing could have been better! The warm smells of cinnamon, banana, and melting chocolate filling the kitchen are absolute bliss. After some time online looking at gorgeous chocolate chip banana muffins on sites like Ambitious Kitchen, Bakerita, and The Simple Veganista, I couldn’t possibly have made anything else this morning!
Yesterday, the guy and I went on an absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous hike up Oat Hill Mine Trail in Calistoga, parts of which cross the Robert Louis Stevenson State Park. It has been raining recently, so the hills, vineyards, and even the moss on the rocks were vibrantly green. Much of the trail was muddy and there was pooled water to be avoided, but there were also tiny little streams and waterfalls with cold and fresh water leaping down the sides of the mountain, jumping over rocks and roots. It was pretty magical. The view as we walked up the mountain just got better and better as we went. First we looked over the town of Calistoga, then expansive vineyards, and then we were up over huge swaths of pine trees and green fields with an unbelievably clear view of other mountains in the distance. Watching the sky turn from grey to blue, and then later to pink while the mountains in the distance turned orange and blue against the changing sky made for a pretty amazing afternoon. I can’t wait to go back! Apparently, the wild flowers in the spring are just incredible.
I am by no means an experienced hiker, having avoided long walks for most of my life, but I am definitely getting better at it all the time! It’s a strange thing to decide after decades of avoidance that you do want to get out and hike! After a lifetime in Minnesota, climbing mountains is something that you aren’t accustomed to regardless. Then add the same number of years of avoiding hiking in general, and you have a pretty steep learning curve for your body to contend with! I love it, but I wind up stiff and sore every time! Everything hurts today, but I couldn’t be happier.
Naturally, the best remedy for being incredibly stiff and sore just happens to be mini muffins! (More specifically, mini muffins with gooey melted chocolate chips. Chocolate chip banana muffins, perhaps, with maybe just a little bit of lovely cinnamon in them…)
One of the best things about my guy (there is a seriously long list of best things) happens to be his tendency to buy just one or two too many bananas when he goes shopping. (He just grabs a decent looking bunch and then doesn’t always decide to eat one in the morning.) This means that every couple of weeks, another banana or two winds up in the freezer, so I consistently have an excuse for banana bread, muffins, pancakes, and smoothies! I’m always just one decision away from a good banana muffin recipe, which is a pretty sweet state in which to exist.
Most of you are probably already aware of this, but bananas freeze beautifully. The brown ones are the best! They just get sweeter and sweeter as they ripen, so if you freeze them when they’re brown, they are perfect for baking. Plus, the skin will turn brown when you freeze it, no matter what. You can just toss them in the freezer as-is, or, to make life easier, I like to peel and slice them and then put them in a ziplock bag with a label that says the quantity that’s in each bag. Most banana-related recipes just give you a number of bananas to add, so that’s usually the measurement I use. Usually, a recipe will want one, two-three, or four-five bananas, so those are usually the quantities in my bags.
One of the best (and healthiest!) parts of these little muffins was the delicious flavor of the cinnamon in the recipe. Cinnamon is actually one of those super-healthy ingredients that you don’t really realize is so good for you. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years and can benefit everything from diabetes to cholesterol to bone health, and is often even used as an appetite suppressant and weight-control aid! There’s an absolutely amazing and information-packed article that I ran across recently that does an incredible job of explaining what cinnamon is, what the different types of cinnamon are, and it lists dozens and dozens of fantastic health benefits associated with consuming cinnamon. You’ve really got to head over to Well-Being Secrets and check this article out!
These were perfect and quick mini muffins, but if you want to make regular muffins, or even a loaf of banana bread, you would really just have to increase the baking time. A good banana muffin recipe will adapt well to different shapes, but needs seriously different cooking times. Regular muffins would probably take between 20 and 30 minutes in the oven, banana bread would wind up taking 55-60 minutes. Mini muffins were on the menu today not only because they’re super cute, but because they’re fast and I was hungry!!! Normally, eggs or oatmeal are perfect for a fast breakfast, but today definitely called for muffins and the bananas were starting to pile up.
Do you guys have favorite quick breakfast muffins or ways to use leftover bananas?
And so, with no further ado, I give you
Gluten-Free Mini Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin Recipe!
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 4 medium bananas (or 3 large), very ripe (or frozen and thawed)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or spray a mini muffin tin.
- Mix together the flours, starches, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream with a mixer. Really cream the crap out of them. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat again until smooth.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients. Because this is a gf mix, it won't really matter if you beat the ingredients too much, so just relax and get everything all mixed together. Once everything is combined, you're done!
- Stir in the bananas and sour cream and beat until combined. Let the ingredients sit for a good 10 minutes to allow the wet ingredients to really combine well with the flours. If your mix looks like it's probably too wet, congratulations! You're doing everything right!
- Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for12-15 minutes, or until the tops are golden. Allow to cool before eating if you can. (Optional: sprinkle with powdered sugar!)
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