Thursday, March 1, 2012

Banana Flax Muffins

Let me just begin by saying, these were so good. The sweetness from the banana, the nuttiness from the flaxseed, the moistness from the coconut oil...mmmm! I wasn't sure if I would like flax meal, but I actually found the flavor quite nice- hearty, nutty, and overall, rather mild.

The perfect breakfast muffin. They were nice and hearty from the whole wheat and flax meal, and not too sweet. I made a dozen, and between the three of us we were down to two by the next day. Honey would be really good in these, but since I'm feeding them to my ten month old, I chose brown sugar to avoid the chance of infant botulism. 

 Baby approved!

So, what's heart healthy about them?

  • Flax seed meal- Flax seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid, which helps the body reduce hormone-like substances that can lead to blood clotting.  It's also a good source of insoluble fiber and soluble fibers. Soluble fiber specifically helps the body get rid of LDL cholesterol. Flax seed is also rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which are essential to the body and are thought to improve cardiovascular heart.  Note: unless flax seeds are ground, your body cannot digest them and gain the benefits.
  • Bananas- These lovelies are packed  with pectin, which is a soluble fiber that helps lower LDL cholesterol. It also has potassium, which may help lower blood pressure.
  • Whole wheat flour- The complex carbohydrates in whole grains contain indigestible oligosaccharide carbohydrates, which are linked to helping prevent cardiovascular disease. They also contain flavonoids, which are antioxidants also linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and help bolster blood vessels. Lignans and plant sterols may help lower cholesterol, and vitamin E is an antioxidant that may also help prevent heart disease.

Source: Fight Back with Food: Use Nutrition to Heal What Ails You,  The Reader's Digest Association

Banana Flax Muffins
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup coconut oil
  3/4 cup of brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed bananas (3 medium sized bananas)
4 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2  cup flax meal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1. Line or grease muffin tins.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter, coconut oil. and brown sugar together. Add eggs, mashed bananas, yogurt, and vanilla until the batter is well mixed.
3. Add in the flours, flax meal, baking powder, salt and soda. Mix until well combined. Divide batter into muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
4. Let muffins cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Devour, warm or cool- I dare you to stop!

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