Muffins are a breakfast and snack favorite, and with good reason: they're sweet, filling, and have endless flavor possibilities. Sometimes kids have the annoying habit of only eating the top of the muffin, which we feel compelled to finish for them or which gets unnecessarily tossed. Muffin tops are the answer, and these chocolate chip banana bread muffin tops are a delicious and healthy morning staple that are great for grabbing on the go. Unlike many other muffins, they aren't crumbly, so they also make for a yummy option in the car while en route to school (no guilt trips here-not every morning can be a "reading the news and chatting around the breakfast table" type of affair).
I took one of my favorite recipes for vegan and gluten-free chocolate chip banana bread and modified it into yummy, delicious muffin tops. When my kids saw them, they said, "Cookies for breakfast? Awesome!" And although these muffin tops do resemble cookies in their size and shape, they are more pillow-y and less crispy. And best of all, they are much healthier with buckwheat and brown rice flours as a base and a bunch of bananas adding potassium and balancing out the sweetness of the chocolate chunks. Read on for a tasty breakfast option that you'll find yourself noshing throughout the day.
1. Gather the ingredients.
- 3 bananas
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1-2 tsp ground flax seeds (optional, but recommended)
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (you can use chocolate chips, but I prefer the slightly larger chunks, which become so gooey when melted)
- coconut sugar or other type of sugar, for sprinkling on top
2. Mash the bananas.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mash the bananas until well mushed. The mixture doesn’t need to be completely smooth, but you also don’t want large chunks of banana.
3. Mix the dry ingredients.
In a medium bowl, mix the flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, xanthan gum, baking powder, and flax seeds.
4. Make the batter.
Add the melted coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup to the mashed banana and mix well. Add the dry ingredients and mix again until a batter forms. Add about 1/2 of the chocolate chunks, saving the rest to be added to the muffin tops just prior to baking.
5. Spoon and flatten down the muffin tops.
On two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or a Silpat, use a large spoon or ice cream scooper to scoop out a few tablespoons of batter. You can also use a muffin top pan, if you have one. You should get about eight muffin tops (I could fit six per sheet). Using the back of a spoon, smooth and flatten the batter as best as possible so that it makes a shape similar to that of a hockey puck. You don’t want little bits of batter sticking up or very thin areas because they will crisp up (and still be yummy, but more like cookies than muffin tops).
6. Top and bake the muffin tops.
Add the reserved chocolate chunks to the top of the muffin tops, pressing in slightly. This will make the tops full of gooey chocolate! If you like, sprinkle a little coconut sugar or another type of coarse sugar to give the muffin tops a little crunch on top. Bake for about 13-15 minutes, checking the muffin tops after 12 minutes. The bottoms and sides will begin to darken.
7. Serve and enjoy.
Let the muffin tops cool and serve, preferably with a glass of non-dairy milk. Store any unused muffin tops in an airtight container for two days. You can also place them in the fridge for an additional day or two, but let them warm up to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!