Peanut butter and Chamomile I hear you ask?! Listen up for a great new flavour combination …
When I bake, it tends to be (1) spontaneous, (2) sporadic, and (3) chaotic. All of these elements combined in the creation of this recipe! Baking for me is really therapeutic and brings me much more into the present – you can be as precise as you like in the acts of pulling together the ingredients, adjusting quantities, stirring, mixing, but eventually, you have to leave it up to the Universe (or your oven!) to produce the final product. It’s the ultimate act of letting go of control, and encourages you to experiment and enjoy the process rather than the end result.
These breakfast muffins were a pure comfort food creation. I wanted banana, oats and peanut butter, and was about to make some herbal tea to drink while I was baking. Suddenly I realised that dried chamomile flowers would be a perfect comforting ingredient – and so in they went! And so, a great flavour combination was born.
Nutritional Alchemy: Chamomile
Chamomile has been used for centuries in Western herbal medicine as a soothing antidote for anxiety, stress and insomnia. Most commonly brewed as a herbal tea, chamomile can also be infused into herbal cough syrups and sweets, or used in flower tinctures and waters. You can often find chamomile sold loose in tea shops and health food stores. You can also find it growing on field margins and other areas of open ground, as a low growing, sprawling plant with small white flowers. When foraging for chamomile, scent is very important- Chamomile flowers have a distinctive scent reminiscent of apples when crushed between your fingers.
Chamomile is fantastic for soothing anxious feelings and tension. Eat these delicious muffins before exams or scary meetings to ease anxiety and nervousness. Toasted topped with jam, coconut oil, and/or nut butter they are really delicious.
Nutritional Alchemy: Nuts and Seeds
These delightful muffins contain chia seeds, which are packed with the plant-based omega 3 oil Alpha Linoleic Acid. This omega 3 oil is great for skin, nail and hair health. I try and include some source of plant based omega 3s into my diet every day – other sources include hemp seeds and oil, flax/linseed and oil, and walnuts. Sunflower seeds are another current obsession of mine that feature in this recipe. They are packed with vitamin E, magnesium and selenium, all vitamins and minerals that are sometimes harder to obtain on a fully vegan diet. I eat them all the time!
Ingredients (makes 12 muffins).
1/4 cup sugar/xylitol
3 cups oats
3 tbsp GF flour
3 mashed ripe bananas
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp dairy free milk or water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
6 tsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp dried chamomile flowers (often sold as loose leaf tea), crumbled/crushed
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Grease a 12 hole non-stick muffin tin.
Mash the bananas roughly with a fork, until almost no lumps remain. Add the sugar, vanilla extract and oil and mix together well. Stir in the dry ingredients to combine well.
With clean hands, roll roughly 2 tbsp of the batter into a ball, and press into each hole of the muffin tin. With the base of a wooden spoon, poke a small hole into the top of each muffin. Drizzle 1/2 tsp peanut butter into each hole.
Bake for 15 minutes, until just browned.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool before eating!