As part of our Grinding Grains Challenge, readers sent along a few recipes, including this one for Whole Grain Banana Spelt Muffins. My 3-year-old loved making them with me as we practiced some of his preschool skills in the kitchen.
Muffins are always great for school snacks, easy breakfasts, and packed lunch sides. I tend to make big batches and freeze some, which really pays myself back when I forget to plan breakfast.
These ancient grain muffins are moist enough that even after freezing, you can just eat them without having to heat them up, unlike some muffins.
Why Bake with Ancient Grains?
I also tried the muffins with einkorn flour, another ancient grain.
Both spelt and einkorn are ancestors of modern wheat. They do contain gluten, but some people who have trouble digesting gluten can handle spelt and einkorn. Learn more about einkorn in this great interview with an einkorn farmer, including how to translate whole wheat recipes to einkorn!
If you are interested in trying these ancient grains, a quick bread or muffin recipe is a great place to start. You’ll notice both have a richer flavor than whole wheat, a bit nutty and robust.
We’ll be sharing a lot of einkorn recipes made with freshly milled grain in this series, along with whole wheat and gluten-free versions of the same recipes.
Recipes We’ve Worked on in the Series:
- Spelt Banana Muffins
- Einkorn Applesauce Muffins (with peanut butter variation)
- 100% Whole Grain Gluten-free Tortillas
- Whole Wheat Pizza
- Crispy Crust Gluten-Free Pizza (amazing!)
- Einkorn Pizza Dough
- 100% Whole Grain Gluten-Free Pizza Crusts (no gum!)
- How to Make a Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter
Don’t worry, if you don’t have a grain mill or couldn’t imagine yourself grinding grain yourself, I’ll be sure to address when any of these CAN’T be done with commercial flour. Usually recipes are very compatible!
- Melt the butter over low heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas. A KitchenAid mixer on high or a potato masher works great.
- Add eggs, honey and [peanut butter] and mix well.
- Mix in the melted butter – hopefully it’s had a little time to cool off.
- Add the dry ingredients on top, flour first, then sprinkle the salt and baking soda over the flour.
- Mix well.
- Preheat oven to 325F. Spoon the batter into 24 lined muffin cups (or 12 large and 24 mini). Bake for 25 minutes for muffins, 16 minutes for minis
The muffins freeze great for up to 3 months.
The reader who sent me the recipe says: “I think adding quite a bit of peanut butter, at least 1/4 to 1/2 cup, is what makes these so delicious! I just pour it in from the jar, so I’ve never actually measured. This recipe is very forgiving!”
If you don’t have honey, you can always use a granulated sweetener like sucanat or organic sugar. To keep the sweetness the same, add a few extra tablespoons. The muffins may also need 3-5 extra minutes of bake time.
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If you don’t have a grain mill (yet), this recipe is definitely not out of bounds. Commercial whole grain spelt flour should behave just the same as freshly milled in this case – muffins and quick breads are usually very forgiving!
The muffins taste mostly like banana muffins, not peanut butter. Like our favorite whole wheat pumpkin muffins and grain-free coconut flour muffins, they freeze great and make for an excellent snack on the go that’s not processed (or expensive!).
The Grinding Challenge Series is getting me to use my Mockmill grain mill! Here’s what we’re covering:
- Intro to the challenge and a video of setting up the Mockmill for the first time
- How to Translate Whole Wheat Recipe to Einkorn (and an interview with an einkorn farmer)
- Bio-Individuality – why it’s both the new face of health and the genesis of this whole project
- How to Translate Baking Recipes to Weights
- Why Baking with Weights is the Best for Kids
- Testing Pizza Dough with Freshly Milled Grain: Whole Wheat, Einkorn, Gluten-free (whole grain and not-whole-grain)
- Interview with a Master Gluten-free Baker
- Testing Tortillas with Freshly Milled Grain: Whole Wheat, Einkorn, Gluten-free
- Why Mill Your Own Gluten-free Grains?
- How to Make a Gluten-free Sourdough Starter
- Whole Grain, Gum-Free Gluten-free Flour Blend (& a bit on whether xanthan gum is bad for you)
- Interview with a Grain Milling Expert
- The Official Kitchen Stewardship Mockmill Review