Being a grown-up is tough, isn’t it? Between spring cleaning, checkbook balancing and apartment hunting, I am oscillating between feelings of overwhelm about how much I have and do not have. I remind myself that I am a self-sufficient adult, fully capable of dealing with these sentiments and situations, but sometimes I just want to stomp my foot and shout, “I don’t wanna grow up!” Alas, outbursts don’t get me anywhere these days. Action! Action is the answer.
Anyway, I hope you don’t mind if we get a little tropical around here while we wait for local fruit to arrive at the markets. Given the popularity of this banana almond smoothie, my best-ever banana bread and the recent banana oat pancakes, I don’t think you will. If you like bananas and shredded coconut, I’m confident you’ll fall in love with the sweet, bright flavor and contrasting textures in these comforting little treats.
I can’t remember where I found a link to Deb’s Double Coconut Muffins, but I was completely taken by her coconut-topped beauties. I immediately shared a link to the muffins on facebook with a status along the lines of “I’m fighting every urge to stop doing what I’m doing and bake these”. At the urging of Kelsey, Adrienne and Erin, I finally stopped working and baked muffins at an odd hour of the night.
I’m glad those three lovely ladies motivated me to make those muffins that night, because if not, I might not have made the substitution that made me fall for these muffins. In the original recipe, Deb gives a long list of suggested substitutions, including swapping mashed banana for the yogurt (did you catch that?! You can trade fruit purée for yogurt in baking. If you have experience making this swap, let’s trade notes). I was out of my staple Greek yogurt so I reached into my freezer for the bag of ripe, frozen banana chunks to defrost.
This turned out to be a serendipitous substitution because the banana adds the sweetness that unsweetened coconut flakes lack. In my second batch, I traded 1/4 cup honey for the 1/3 cup sugar, and found that the dry coconut soaks up the extra moisture of the honey. Lemon zest brightens up the flavor. It all works marvelously. Yogurt, on the other hand, produces muffins that are not sweet enough to delight. I’m three batches deep in this recipe and I can say with certainty that these muffins are best with banana, sweetened with honey and topped with a heavy sprinkle of coconut and some glittering raw sugar.
- ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- zest of ½ lemon, finely chopped
- ½ cup virgin coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup ripe banana, mashed
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 large egg, preferably at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
- 1 tablespoon turbinado (raw) sugar
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a muffin tin or line the tin with muffin liners (note that this recipe produces about 10 to 11 muffins).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Stir in ½ cup shredded coconut.
- In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, mashed banana, honey, egg and vanilla.*
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, then sprinkle the muffin tops with the remaining ¼ cup coconut (about 1 to 2 teaspoons each). Top with a very light sprinkle of raw sugar.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer muffins to a cooling rack and let them cool.
Yields 10 to 11 muffins.
*A note on the coconut oil: If your coconut oil goes back to its solid state when you're stirring the batter, just warm the mixture for short 30 second bursts in the microwave, stirring between each, just until it is melted again.
Freeze it: The muffins freeze well!
Serving suggestions: I like these muffins served warm for breakfast with a side of Greek yogurt, or with a little dollop of tart lemon curd for a sweet afternoon snack.