A long time ago, in August 2012 to be exact, I posted a recipe for Secret Ingredient Brownies. They were thick, chocolatey, chewy, and fudgey, and I doubt anyone would have been able to guess what the secret ingredient was if I hadn’t told them (or, um, if they hadn’t just looked at the recipe). Two years later, for my birthday, I made a Silken Chocolate Fudge Pie that also included an unlikely ingredient, and my entire family basked in the glory of its deliciousness. When I finally spilled the beans to my taste-testers and revealed that their brownies contained black beans and their chocolate cream pie contained soybeans in the form of tofu (no puns intended, I promise), they were utterly shocked. It proved to me that just because an ingredient sounds strange, doesn’t mean it won’t taste fabulous in the final product!
If you think about it, almost all ingredients would sound strange if we weren’t accustomed to them. For instance, look at an egg: a slimy, shell-surrounded substance that is designed to incubate a growing chicken embryo. Flour is made from a grass-like plant that, by itself, looks about as appetizing as a pond weed, and butter comes from a liquid that squirts out of a cow, evolutionarily intended for its offspring. Yet, when we see eggs, flour, and butter listed in a recipe for chocolate-chip cookies, they don’t seem strange in the least. Socialization is a powerful thing indeed. And sorry if I made you nauseous.
The ingredients in these Flourless Banana Blender Muffins may seem a little strange (yes, I’m talking about you, garbanzo beans), but they all culminate into some of the tastiest little muffins around. These are NOT the fluffy, bread-like muffins that most of us are used to–again, their unusual texture requires some out-of-the-box thinking. They are moist, dense, and full of banana flavor, and their texture almost reminds me of cookie dough. I highly recommend eating these muffins chilled! They’re sweet but not too sweet, and work well as a breakfast, snack, or dessert.
Since these muffins are made in a blender (or food processor), they require minimal preparation work. Just measure out your ingredients, toss them all into the blender, and blend away! You’ll have a hard time keeping your fingers out of the batter, but don’t eat too much because this recipe only makes about 9 muffins. I only had one ripe banana on hand, or I definitely would have doubled it (hint: you should definitely double it).
For those of you who are worried about baking muffins with garbanzo beans, I, for one, could not taste a trace of beans in the muffins. It might even be fun to quiz people on what they think the secret ingredient is…I highly doubt that they’ll be able to guess! Have fun experimenting with these muffins–you can add nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, or anything else that sounds good. I promise I won’t judge your ingredient choices, since I just preached to you about being open-minded. Be as open-minded as the person who first decided it would be a good idea to drink the fluid intended for baby cows! Or be a little less open-minded than that, and just throw some walnuts into your banana muffins. It’s totally up to you. 😉
Flourless Banana Blender Muffins
Yield: about 9 standard-size muffins
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats (40g)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 very ripe banana (120g)
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (250g)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup agave nectar, maple syrup, or honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chopped nuts or chocolate chips for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line 8-9 muffin cups (I used a 12-cup tin and just left three empty).
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, and sprinkle with nuts or chocolate chips if desired.
Bake the muffins for 20 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch (they will look under-done, and that’s okay). Cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tin, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie