In the past, I have never wrote about food but I’m breaking with tradition today to bring you healthy (and yummy kid approved) Banana Bread muffins. In the past year and a half, I’ve started down a new road with food. Like many people, I’ve tried a LOT of diets and if they work (and that’s a bit if), nothing ever seems to last, until recently. I’ve come to realize that I believe food is better for you the closer it is to nature. For example, fruits and veggies are good. If they are local to my area even better. Meat and dairy are good in moderation. Now we come to grains / carbs. I can’t live without bread and crackers and pasta and… But I realized that my body wasn’t really happy with all of them. Some of you may know that I homeschool my kids. On one of our field trips, we went to the Great Harvest Bread Company. We learned bunches about wheat and bread.
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins made with fresh milled whole wheat flour.
Did you know that the whole wheat you buy in the store doesn’t have much nutritional value. When wheat is harvested and processed, it is split and stored into its’ 3 different parts: the bran, the germ and the endosperm. When a company orders whole wheat flour, the manufacture mixes the 3 parts back together and quantities specified by the FDA. This means that the different parts of the wheat may not be from the same plant or even the same crop! Milled flour loses 40% of its vitamin content in the first 24 hours after milling and 85-90% after 2-3 more days. That doesn’t sound very close to nature to me.
Once I learned this, I resolved to start making my own bread. I had a bread maker and every month I would go to Great Harvest and buy some fresh milled flour. More of the nutrients are preserved when the flour is frozen so I would buy enough for 1 month (4 loaves of bread) and put the extra in the freezer. I did this for a year and honestly, it got old. I loved making bread but didn’t like the 30 min drive each way. Once I knew that this was something I was committed to, I started looking into a grain mill. After lots of research, I decided on the Wonder Mill so that was my Christmas present for 2014.
Shortly after I bought the mill, I also got 6 gallons (42 lbs) of hard red wheat and 1 gallon (7 lbs) or soft white. That is a lot of wheat!!! So now I had to get really serious about making more than just bread. I’ve played around with some fun stuff and you can see most of it on Instagram but this weeks experiment was Banana Bread Muffins. So why am I writing about food on a birth/ parenting blog? Well, most of us have kids and wouldn’t it be great to feed our families (and our selves) good-for-you food that they might actually eat! My kids gobbled these suckers up so here’s what I did.
I started with a basic muffin recipe
- 2 1⁄4 cups freshly ground flour (I used hard red wheat)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 cup oil
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 cup honey
- 2-3 mashed bananas
- cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla to taste
Mix all of the dry ingredients in 1 bowl and all of the wet ingredients in another bowl. Once each bowl is mixed well, pour the wet into the dry and mix just until combined.
I have made the basic muffin recipe before and it’s not very sweet so I was looking around to see what I could add and I found chocolate chips and Nutella. First I made 6 plain banana bread muffins. Then I divided the dough into 2 bowls. I added about 1 cup of chocolate chips to the first bowl and an big scoop (about 1/2 c) of Nutella to the second bowl.
Bake for 20-25 mins (or until done) at 400 degrees.
The favorite in our home was the chocolate chip banana bread muffins. The Nutella ones were amazing but a little soft and as predicted, the plain were just a little not-sweet-enough. In case you are wondering, I’ve started using silicone muffin liners and I will never go back to paper. I found these cute flower ones on a clearance rack somewhere so just keep you eyes peeled.
Last but not least, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Bread Beckers. Their only store is about an hour from me and they have been an amazing resource! They have lots of co-ops so you can get wheat berries without high shipping costs and they even have free video recorded classes online.