You will NEVER know these caramel stuffed paleo banana bread muffins are only 210 calories and grain and gluten free! They’re a healthy, portable breakfast or snack with a surprise center!
Thick, rich, creamy, ooey-gooey caramel.
Living INSIDE the center of a tender, moist, spicy-sweet muffin.
I think we can agree that the above sentence needs to be living INSIDE your hungry, muffin-munchin’ mouth right.about.NOW.
There is so much I want to SCREAM from the rooftops about these gluten free muffins. So much goodness just oozing from the center in creamy-coconut-sugar-sweetened form that it makes me want to dance. SO MUCH YUM that I just don’t know how to put it into words.
Kinda freakin’ out a little bit here.
If you’re not A-L-S-O having a brain-explosion-of-yumminess-don’t-know-how-to-think-right-now moment then who are you and what have you done with the usual person who reads these posts that I THOUGHT was food-loving-soul-sister and internet BFF forever?
Before we talk more about the homemade caramel sauce-stuffed-shenanigans going on here, which may cause me to lose my mind even more than the above mind-loss-age, let’s talk about one of my favorite flavor combos: bananas and almond butter.
If you’re one of those people that avoids change (it’s okay, this is a safe place) you are probably still slathering a thick layer of PEANUT BUTTER on your bread, topping it with perfectly creamy, sweet rounds of fruity-fresh banana vibes and callin’ it LUNCH.
BUT. I am going to just throw this out there, in a very non-judgmental (but kinda judgmental) way: you’re doing it WRONG.
As I learned in last year’s paleo banana bread with chocolate and almond butter, almond butter +bananas? OHMIGOSH, yes please. All the please (go with it.) All the almond butter creaminess with banana yumminess and other general good things that happen when this magical combo of food heaven mixes and mingles together inside my belly in the happiest of ways.
Change is DELICIOUS.
It’s like this: your taste buds are melting/freaking out/panicking because they don’t know how to handle so much GOODNESS when the burst of nutty almond butter + naturally sweet banana enter the scene. T-H-E-N, before they even get a GRIP, your teeth sink into that. center.
SURPRISE BLISS MOMENT HAPPENING, THAT YOU WRE NOT EXPECTING.
That same melty, sweet (paleo-friendly!) caramel that we used to make a homemade caramel vanilla iced coffee, oozes out onto your face, spreads it thick, rich self all over your tongue and that thing happens.
You know that “thing” I’m talking about: when you decide that you cannot happily live your life for the rest of your years on this globe, without crumbles of moist-tender, spicy-sweet gluten free banana bread muffin happening every.single.day.
You’re sensing your newest food obsession coming on. I know it.
In other news: these gluten free, paleo banana bread muffins were almost, liiike, really boring. As in the standard “banana and walnut” banana bread kinda HO-HUM-LAME-TOWN.
If you like banana walnut muffins, I still <3 you all the same. I’m just sayin’
But then Mr. FFF was all like “how about stuffing them with caramel?”
And my taste buds fell off my face.
Hypothetically speaking, of course. They are still, in fact, on my face. If you were concerned.
I did not think it would work.
And, my banana-bread loving friends of the internet-not-real-life variety, it did not. MANY TIMES. We’re talking exploding caramel, caramel sticking to the BOTTOM of the muffin tin….and staying there once the muffin was de-tinned (word?) and other general not-what-I-wanted-to-happen things.
UNTIL, I experimented with the most random thing ever: putting 3 whole almonds as a crunchy-nutty shield (if you will) to prevent falling-out-explody caramel BADNESS from stomping all over your caramel-centered DREAMS.
Spoiler alert!! It worked.
So, you may think I am making all kinds of weird things up when you read the directions but, it TRUF.
Follow the instructions and everything you ever wanted out of something you shove in your mouth will actually HAPPEN.
Caramel Centered Crusher. It’s what they will call you.
Caramel Stuffed Paleo Banana Bread Muffins
For the caramel: * (read notes!)
- 1/2 Cup Coconut sugar packed
- 1/4 Cup Full-fat coconut milk NOT LIGHT
- 2 1/2 Tbsp Grass-fed butter
For the muffins:
- 1/2 Cup Coconut flour sifted (44g) ** (read notes!)
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Sea salt
- 1/4 tsp Baking soda
- 1/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp Natural creamy almond butter
- 3 Large, very ripe bananas, mashed (heaping 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 Eggs
- 2 Tbsp Pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 36 cup Whole almonds just under 1/4
- 3 Tbsp Slivered almonds
- In a SMALL pot ***, combine the all of the caramel ingredients and whisk together on medium heat. Whisk frequently so the butter melts quickly.
- Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and boil until the caramel turns very thick, darkens in color, and reduced by about half, this takes about 8 minutes. Stir frequently so the caramel does not burn.
- Transfer the caramel into a small Tupperware dish, with a lid. and let stand for 30 minutes. Then, cover and transfer to the fridge until the caramel is almost fully hardened, but gives slightly when you poke it, about 1-2 hours.
- Once the caramel is hard, scoop it out of the container using a 1 tsp measure, roll into balls and place on a small parchment-paper lined plate. Repeat until you have 12 balls. Place into the freeze for at least 1 hour to firm them up. Note: you will have some caramel left over for drizzling on the finished muffins.
- Once firm, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and generously rub a muffin tin with coconut oil.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the almond butter. Make sure you don't burn it - this only takes 30-40 seconds!
- Add the mashed banana into the almond butter and whisk until combined. Add in the eggs, maple syrup and vanilla and whisk. Finally, add in the flour mixture and whisk until well combined. Let the batter stand for 10 minutes so the coconut flour can begin to absorb the mixture.
- Fill each muffin cavity about 1/2 of the way with the batter. Then, place 3 almonds in the center of each pile of batter, to form a sort of triangle-shape. Do not press the almonds down.
- Place one frozen caramel ball on the center of each almond triangle. Divide the remaining batter on top of each muffin. Do not press the caramel ball down, it should be JUST covered by the batter. ****
- Sprinkle the tops with the slivered almonds and bake until lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted just outside of the center (since the center is melty caramel goodness!) comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.
- Let cool completely in the pan.
- Once cool, microwave the remaining caramel for a FEW seconds, about 15-30 seconds, drizzle over the muffins and DEVOUR!
*I like to make, and freeze, the caramel balls the night before as I think this makes prep a whole lot easier.
**PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE weigh your flour. I've found different flours to measure differently. IE: 44g is 1/2 cup of one brand, but slightly less than 1/2 cup of another. If you want muffin success, weigh your flour (which goes for all baking, especially gluten free!)
***Definitely use a small pot. I've tried this with various size pots, which throws off the cooking time for the caramel. If you don't cook it enough, it won't become solid enough to roll into balls.
****I know the almond thing sounds weird, but do NOT skip it. It holds the caramel in place. I tried without...and the caramel just sinks through the whole muffin onto the muffin pan. Sad.
FOR THIS RECIPE, I RECOMMEND:
WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS PER SERVING: SMARTPOINTS: 7 POINTS+: 6. OLD POINTS: 5
IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE, PLEASE REMEMBER TO TAG @FOODFAITHFIT AND #FOODFAITHFITNESS ON INSTAGRAM! I LOVE SEEING YOUR RECIPE RECREATIONS!
Want more paleo muffins?
Paleo muffins from around the web:
Paleo Banana Bread Zucchini Muffins – Ambitious Kitchen
Simple Paleo Blueberry Muffins – Paleo Running Momma
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