Berry Banana Muffins

AM Berry Banana Muffins with Buckwheatie Seed Streusel

These amaranth, buckwheat, mixed berry and banana muffins are full of great things! With a spoonful of coconut yoghurt, they make a delicious breakfast (hence the AM!) with protein, fibre and a steady release of energy from these powerful pseudo-grains and seeds, as well as the banana and berries. If not for breakfast, make a batch on Sundays to pack in your lunches throughout the week, bake some for weekend brunch or tea. The oh-so-soft muffin is finished off with a crunchy buckwheat groat and seed topping, lightly spiced with cinnamon and mesquite. They’re full of flavour, texture and nourishing wholesome ingredients, what could go wrong?!

This recipe is gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free. For an egg-free vegan variation, try replacing the 2 eggs with 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp. ground flaxseeds mixed with 6 tbsp. water, stirred and left for 15 minutes), and adding 10g arrowroot to the dry ingredients. I have not tried it yet but do have a go and let me know how you get on, whichever recipe you try.

The night before, you will need three separate small bowls to soak the following

bowl 1
soak 75g whole amaranth grain
bowl 2
25 pumpkin seeds
25 sunflower seeds
10g flaxseeds/ linseeds
bowl 3
70g buckwheat groats
15g pumpkin seeds
15g sunflower seeds
15g flaxseeds/linseeds

Soak the seeds and grains in a generous amount of tepid water (enough to cover plus a bit more) and a pinch of Himalayan pink salt or sea salt.

The next day, using a fine sieve, drain all the grains and seeds, rinsing them under cold water and keeping the contents of each bowl separate.

Place the amaranth seeds in a saucepan and add 150g cold water. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a low heat until they have absorbed the water. When cooked, they should be soft with a slight bite (al dente). It will take about 10-15 minutes and in the meantime, the rest of the ingredients can be prepared. Stir the seeds occasionally, making sure that they don’t catch. Leave to cool.

Set the oven to 170oC and line a muffin tin with 12 cases.

75g whole grain buckwheat flour
1 tsp gluten-free bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt or fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mesquite (if you do not have mesquite powder, you could use half the quantity (1/2 tsp) mixed spice. I have not tried it but it should be OK)
240g banana
Finely grated zest one medium-sized orange
2 medium eggs (100g)
60g coconut nectar syrup
120g extra virgin cold-pressed rapeseed oil, I use local Hillfarm Oils, click the link to find out more about this much debated oil
60g dried cranberries, cut in half if large so their sweetness is evenly distributed
60g fresh or frozen raspberries
60g fresh or frozen blueberries

To the batch of soaked seeds with the buckwheat groats (bowl 3), add 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt or fine sea salt, 1/4 tsp mixed spice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp mesquite (or 1/2 tsp mixed spice). Mix and set aside.

Mix together all of the dry ingredients with a whisk. In a separate bowl, mash the banana well with a fork, leaving some small lumps for texture. Add the orange zest, eggs, coconut syrup, oil, dried cranberries and the soaked seeds. Mix well and then fold in the dry ingredients until completely combined. Sprinkle the raspberries and blueberries with a little water and 1/2 tbsp. buckwheat flour to coat the berries. This will stop them from falling to the bottom of the muffin cases. Fold in the berries and then spoon the mix into the cases, making sure that each muffin has a roughly even amount of berries. Top each muffin with a thin slice of banana (about 1cm, no thicker), pushing it down into the mix, and then sprinkle over the buckwheat seed streusel, dividing it between the muffins.

Bake for 10 minutes, turn and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the muffins to cool for about 10 minutes in their tin on a wire rack, then remove from the tin to finish cooling or serve them straight away, warm from the oven.