Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sunshine banana muffins

I recently saw a post on the FB page for PaleoLifestyleMagazine, asking whether or not people ate dandelion greens. I've eaten greens on several occasions, and have been harvesting them from my yard! Just this morning I sautéed them in coconut oil until they wilted, and ate them as a side with my breakfast. I've also chopped them up, adding them to breakfast sausage (could be added to any meat).

I recalled a post that Jim McDonald (my local herbalist) had shared on a forum once, about a recipe for cookies using the dandelion petals.

You might be thinking Dandelion petals... in cookies? Aren't dandelions weeds?

Per the view of many suburbanites, who spend money on chemicals to kill the pretty, little, yellow flowers, I presume the answer is, "Yes." To herbalists such as Jim McDonald and others who enjoy eating for health, however, dandelions are nutrient-packed, edible and medicinal plants.

Said cookie recipe doesn't fit in to our paleo lifestyle, but I wanted to bake the dandelion petals I'd recently harvested into something my son would enjoy eating. After a bit of toiling, I decided upon banana bread, baked as muffins. (My toddler loves muffins -- I even make muffins out of meatloaf for his eating pleasure!)

I really like this paleo banana bread recipe from the CivilizedCaveman blog. I've made it several times, and both my son and husband love the bread! It's dense and moist, and delicious (I have an egg allergy, and since the recipe includes four eggs I don't technically eat the bread; but I couldn't resist indulging in a tiny smidgen the first time I made it -- it was awesome!).

Given the texture and moistness of the bread, I figured the recipe could handle about one cup of dandelion petals, keeping the rest of the recipe in tact, without compromising the texture (or taste).

4 bananas, peeled
4 eggs
4 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 C almond butter
1/2 C coconut flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 C dandelion petals

It will take several dozen dandelions (depending on their size) to acquire 1 C of petals. I gathered them up and placed them in a vase of water until I could get to them. To remove the petals, squeeze the green base of the flower, and pull out as much of the yellow petals and white silky-looking stuff as you possibly can. Don't have quite one cup of them? Either go back outside to search some more, or just use what you have!

(Please note: if you use chemicals on your lawn, DO NOT eat your dandelions. You may want to forgo harvesting your dandelions if your immediate neighbor(s) use(s) lawn chemicals. Go visit your friend in the country and steal theirs. Or, better yet, MOVE to the country and grow your own!)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Grease muffin pan or 12 muffin liners
  3. Combine the first four ingredients (bananas, eggs, coconut oil, and almond butter) and mix well on medium speed*
  4. Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT for dandelion petals and mix well on medium
  5. Add dandelion petals, mix well
  6. Distribute mixture evenly between 12 muffin cups. They will be pretty full -- not to worry, as they won't raise significantly
  7. Bake for about 35 minutes (that's how long mine took in a silicon muffin pan)
Not the best photo, but there are two of the sunshine banana muffins. 
Again, I can't eat these since they contain eggs, but they are toddler-approved! My two-year-old son gobbled one up with no indication that he even noticed of the petals.

*If using a Blendtec or Vitamix, you can add all ingredients at once (in order: liquid then soft then dry) and mix it up quickly (batter).

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