As we enter the third week of Stars recovery the very early morning stealth walks with Luna and sleepless nights with Star are starting to take their toll. As much as I’ve loved being home 24 hours a day with my girls its quite exhausting keeping a constant watchful eye on them and having them accompany me everywhere from the garden, to the kitchen, to the shower, to the toilet, well you get the picture.
So with the promise of Vegan Banana Nutella Muffins on the horizon I managed to bribe the kid down from his man cave to take over on pups watch duty whilst I lock myself away in the kitchen for an hour or three…. Aaaaah bliss.
One of the jobs I promised myself I’d make happen this week has been getting around to doing a bit of sorting and shuffling, the nooks and crannies of which don’t normally see the light of day. I decide to tackle my baking basket and I’m mortified to say between you, me and the weevils, I’m officially a mess.
Here I stand, the surfaces littered with supplies all needing some serious attention, best before. What to do? What to do? There’s only ONE person that can help me out at a time like this… Cue Minimalist Baker.
Despite the obvious wealth of possibilities the suspicious looking (smelling) bananas in the fruit bowl suggest there’s only one clear choice 1 Bowl Nutella Banana Bread it is.
First things first, back to that sorry looking baking basket to check I’ve got everything to hand.
- 3 cups of raw unsalted hazelnuts = 3 cups of broken mixed nuts leftover from Christmas (possibly salted.) CHECK
- Coconut sugar = Demerara scraped from the bottom of sugar canister. CHECK
- Gluten free flour blend = Long forgotten bag of Cotswold Crunch flour blend (Minus weevils) CHECK
Lets stop there. I’m sure we can pull this baby together.
To begin I need to get cracking on the homemade vegan nutella. With only 4 simple ingredients I’ve got this baby handled. I choose to omit the sea salt due to the suspicious nature of the nuts at hand. I opt for the version made with dairy free chocolate so I can finally get around to doing something special with the bar of Sweet Revolution raw chocolate orange I’ve been hoarding.
I deeply inhale the sweet scent of roasting nuts and after letting them cool off a little set to the highly therapeutic and mildly hypnotic task of peeling. This involves placing the roasted nuts onto one half of a clean tea-towel, folding the other half on top and rolling the nuts between the two layers to peel them in one easy batch. Mmmmmmmmm!
I don’t know about you but I always have a moment of panic when a recipe calls for a “high speed blender.” Who actually knows how fast their blender is, anyone? Anyone?
The trick here is to persevere. It takes about 10 minutes for the nuts to go through the full transformation. During which you’ll likely cycle through the four phases of doubt and “high speed” blender envy.
“My blender is too slow, the nuts are just grinding.”
“My blender is not sharp enough, the nuts are just pulping.”
“My blender is doing ok, I see a paste forming but I smell the motor burning.”
“My blender is THE BOSS, look I have butter.”
To this I swirl in the melted dairy free chocolate and a quick dip verifies the salt situation. The fact that I have more than enough nutella leftover for a week of toast and the likes makes me happy dance all the way to the task in hand.
So onto the 1 Bowl Vegan Nutella Banana Bread, by the way you had me at 1 bowl, anything. I substitute the flax seed egg for chia seeds. I’m never quite sure if these need to be ground first so I just gung-ho them in and it seems to work fine.
I follow the recipe closely but amp up the orange flavour from the chocolate in my nutella by adding half vanilla and half orange oil extract to make up the 1/2 tsp of flavouring. I also omit the maple syrup as I only ever eat or bake with very ripe bananas and the natural sweetness in those babies is through the roof.
The addition of oats into the mix as well as the texture of the Cotswold Crunch flour blend I use just yells out breakfast to me so I opt to make my version into individual muffins rather than a loaf. This also means I have no idea of how this fly by night last minute decision will affect the timing. I give them 35 mins at 180 degrees and the jobs a good one.
The results are a dense, moist, sweet banana muffin with a hint of chocolate orangey goodness swirled through. Despite my better judgement of freezing half the batch for future grab n go breakfasts the (non vegan) boys demolish half within the day and demand that they need to be eaten warm with ice cream and a drizzle of salted bourbon caramel sauce.
I’m just thankful to grab one for a sit down with a brew whilst I delegate the washing up and get back to pup watching duties.
I can totally maintain the peep whilst juggling a muffin in one hand and coffee in the other. It’s a mama thing.
All original recipes can be viewed over at Minimalist Baker
Let me know how it works out for you in the comments below.