Last week the weather took a sudden turn for cooler days and as I was out walking on our property I noticed the rhubarb – one of my absolute favourite spring treats – was ready for picking.
My children on the other hand loathe both the stringy texture and the sour/bitter taste of rhubarb that I love so dearly. I usually end up making an amazingly delicious rhubarb crumble – that even disguised with a ton of strawberries – they still won’t touch and my husband and I end up OD’ing on it.
On my meal plan this week I had banana muffins and it occurred to me that instead of throwing in fruits or nuts (such as blueberries or walnuts) like I usually do that maybe, just maybe I could add the rhubarb in their place.
Fingers crossed I served them and silently watch my girls devour them. Success!!! They’ll be chewing on the raw rhubarb stalks in no time I’m sure (ha!). Small steps = small wins.
So these muffins are fantastically versatile and you can absolutely sub the 1 cup of rhubarb for whatever is in season locally to you. In the summer I usually use fresh fruit but in the cooler months I pull frozen ones out of the freezer. Bonus: chopped rhubarb keeps beautifully for up to 4 months in the freezer.
***WARNING*** Rhubarb leaves can be extremely toxic as they are high in oxalic acid. The stalks on the other hand are LOADED with fabulous fibre which is needed for balanced digestion and the proper absorption of nutrients. Whoop!
Best Ever Banana Rhubarb Muffins
Makes 12 large muffins // Prep time 20 mins // Bake time 25-30 mins
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium)
3/4 cup almond milk or milk of your choice; coconut, cow’s milk etc. (preferably unsweetened)
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 cups flour (I used light spelt flour but wheat or gluten-free can also be used)
6 tablespoons coconut sugar (or Sucanat or natural cane sugar)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup freshly chopped rhubarb (or any other fresh or frozen fruit)
optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts or seeds (walnuts, pumpkin seeds etc.)
1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a muffin tin with coconut oil or butter.
2. In a medium bowl, mash bananas and measure out 3/4 cup. Extra banana can be frozen for a smoothie!
4. Melt the coconut oil in a small pot over low heat. Set aside.
3. To the mashed banana add the milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add melted coconut oil last and then mix wet ingredients together to combine.
5. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda).
6. Pour wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not over mix!
7. Gently fold in the rhubarb (or other fruit) and optional nuts and/or seeds being sure not to overmix as this can result in dense muffins.
8. Spoon about a heaping 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin tin, filling each tin about 3/4 full (they will seem very full, but this is normal!).
9. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
10. Cool in pan for 5-8 minutes and then transfer muffins to a cooling rack and cool for another 15 minutes.