Before starting the paleo diet I used to deprive myself of sweets as I had ongoing candida symptoms, such as fatigue, brain fog, sneezing and joint pain. Whenever I’ve eaten something sweet (which, of course, in most cases contained gluten) my symptoms intensified. I understand now that it was related to a strong gluten intolerance as my gut was leaking badly and particles of foods crossed intestinal lining and went directly to a bloodstream, creating havoc… In fact, I was on the edge of becoming diabetic, though I controlled myself very strictly in terms of sugar consumption. I’ve never been overweight just because my gluten sensitivity was so strong that eating anything unhealthy would make me feel lousy afterwards, so I used to eat mostly healthy foods, thought I continued to make myself ill by consuming gluten. Since going paleo, I have healthy sweets with nearly each meal with no adverse side reactions, which is a relief for me as I have a very long sweet tooth!
Nowadays, I experiment a lot with plantains and bananas in my kitchen and many of my dishes have either one or another and, sometimes, both of the ingredients. Plantains replace flour pretty well and both plantains and bananas add to a desired smoothness, making them great for grain-free and egg-free preparations. To add more flavor I opt for spices and fruits, in this particular recipe I incorporated orange zest along with ginger, vanilla and cinnamon. Please note that it is important to use organic oranges for zesting, as their porous peel welcomes in chemicals, such as pesticides or herbicides.
This is one of the recipes I created by using both plantains and bananas. I’ve also made use of fruits and vegetables to obtain moist and flavor with little flour added. I guess I should have called them cupcakes as they are more dense than usual muffins.
Muffins and cupcakes are great for breakfast and they make a very convenient on the go snack. This carob orange muffins recipe became one of my staples as it is as easy as it can get, just throw everything into a food processor and voila…12 little guys are ready to be consumed in a half an hour!
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 1 medium green plantain
- 2 ripe bananas
- ½ cup cassava flour
- 2 full tablespoons tapioca starch
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 6 tablespoons carob powder
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil*
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon orange zest**
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Generously grease a standard muffin pan with coconut oil.
- Peel and slice plantain into 1 inch pieces and place into a food processor.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and process until very smooth.
- Fill in the muffin pan with batter and bake muffins for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Once cooked remove muffins from the oven and let them cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Gently remove muffins from the muffin pan with the help of a spoon.
- Serve and enjoy!
**You can vary this recipe by omitting orange zest for plain carob muffins or by adding ½ cup of raisins.