Don’t tell mum and dad but I was a bit of an unconventional uni student. Apart from the few lecturers and tutors who I loved and sat there soaking up their every word like a sponge, I wasn’t all that good at attending classes. It’s not that I was a terrible wagger, blase and never learned anything, it was just that I like to learn in my own way and unless there’s a really complex concept that needs an in-depth explanation, I find I often learn a lot more if I teach myself.
My default learning method is to dive right in and learn as I go. It’s pretty much how I got started on Claire K Creations all those years ago – I’m a hands-on learner. I’m much better at getting stuck into things and researching as I go rather than learning everything there is to know about something first up.
That pretty much describes my adventures with coconut flour. Had I done some research before I started straying from tried and true recipes I would have learned that you need a lot more liquid and eggs with coconut flour than you do with regular flour. I wouldn’t have wasted a batch of coconut bars had I taken the time.
But, I think that lesson is much more deeply etched into my brain when I can still taste the first and only bite of those bars that soaked up every ounce of liquid from my mouth as if I were eating a paper towel. It was with that image in my mind that I set out to make a dairy-free, gluten-free banana muffins healthy enough to have as an every day afternoon tea treat.
It wasn’t until I was scooping the ANZAC topping onto my ANZAC banana muffins that I realised I’d made a totally gluten-free muffin and topped it with rolled oats. Blonde moment? If you want to make the topping gluten-free, I’ve read that quinoa flakes are a pretty close substitute for the oats (see learning as I go!).
As I was mixing up the wet ingredients I was thinking, there is no way that these are going to work, there’s waay too much liquid but let me tell you, coconut flour is seriously thirsty. It slurped up the eggy liquid before my eyes.
You can see they’re quite dense but they’re also nice and light. I wouldn’t liken them to a regular muffin in texture but flavour wise, you definitely wouldn’t notice that there’s no refined sugar in there. The sweetness of the bananas, boosted with a little honey and a hint of sweetness from the coconut milk is all you need. This recipe would also make a fabulous loaf, ready to slice up, give a golden dressing in the toaster and slather in butter. Ok so the butter sort of defeats the purpose of the dairy-free, healthy bit but how about a nut butter?
It actually doesn’t need anything to finish it off, I’d be happy to savour it all on its own. Enjoy!
What about you? How do you like to learn? Are you a gather-all-the-info person or do you dive right in?