I’ve decided there are a lot of things that have to go right in my day to make it a good one. Quality coffee, good hair, new wears, exceptional weather, and of course, delicious food. If any one of these factors are amiss, there’s a fair chance the day’s events will follow suit. However, one particular trip to Kansas City with John proved to be quite the opposite. It was, for a lack of a better adjective, awesome.
It started with a good 30 minutes of playtime with the nephew at my sister and brother-in-law’s place in KC. There were lots of plastic bats and softballs flying, and fits of toddler squeals every few seconds. It was sheer joy. Then, off to the ladies room I went and a few shots of dry shampoo and a swipe of makeup later, John and I were out the door. Our first stop was the Plaza where we had one thing on our minds: coffee.
After walking into Latte Land and having a quick scan of the menu, my eyes were immediately drawn to the most beautiful banana muffin I’d ever seen, studded with giant whole, shelled walnuts. My mind was made up: A medium house coffee and that giant banana muffin.
A few minutes went by after receiving my coffee and I realized they’d forgotten my muffin. Extremely apologetic, the barista snagged my prize from the pastry case and offered me some free milk as a remedy for his fault. I obliged. The setting was perfect: Coffee, a banana muffin the size of my fist, and free local milk and wifi – I was in sheer heaven.
One bite into that muffin and I already wanted another one. Instead, I settled for recreating the recipe at home. Just a few days later upon our return back to Wichita, that’s exactly what I did. And literally, this is one of the best muffins I’ve ever had.
Three things I love about this recipe are 1) it’s hearty and healthy, 2) takes less than an hour to prepare, and 3) yields two GIANT vegan muffins that are seriously worthy of being sold at that very coffee shop. I wonder if they have an opening for a part-time baker? If so, that would be awesome, because I’m convinced the world needs more of these muffins.
These muffins are insanely moist and perfectly sweet, and they scream with rich banana flavor. And those giant nuts up top? Everything I’d hoped for and more. Plus, thanks to wholesome ingredients like flaxseed, whole-wheat pastry flour, and whole, shelled almonds, they’re actually quite healthy. At about 370 calories a piece, one of these constitutes a full breakfast meal. Since that’s about what I eat in the morning anyway, I’d be happy to keep these as a special weekend treat or cycle them the into my weekday breakfast routine. Oh joy.
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- pinch salt
- 1 very ripe banana
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter, melted (heaping Tbsp is best)
- 1 small flax egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 Tbsp whole walnuts for topping
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly butter two small ramekins with non-dairy butter. Prepare flax egg and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mash the banana, leaving some texture.
- Add brown sugar, baking soda, salt and whisk for one minute.
- Stir in flax egg, vanilla, melted butter and stir.
- Add flour and stir with a spoon or spatula until just combined.
- Divide batter evenly into the two ramekins - about 1/2 to 3/4 full - and generously top with walnuts.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes, remove from ramekins and serve warm. Additional butter isn’t necessary - these are very moist and quite perfect as is.
Adapted from Tyler Florence