I am the victim of attempted sabotage every day at my office. Our generous employer provides a different tray of lovely baked treats each morning. Now obviously I stopped taking advantage of these goodies after going Primal, but for two years this tray was a major contributor to weight gain, afternoon sugar crashes, and feelings of general crappiness. Every day I’m confronted by the tray when I go to pour my morning coffee. And every day I’m thankful for my newfound resistance to its siren song.
There are a couple of co-workers who love to tease me about the chocolate donut or cheese-covered everything bagel that I “can’t have.” The thing is (and I’m never successful in convincing anyone of this) I really don’t miss that stuff because the way I’m eating now is so satisfying. Usually.
Yesterday was muffin day. I should first note that I don’t even like the muffins from this particular bakery. I mean, that didn’t stop me from eating them for two years because…well, who turns down a free muffin? But my point is that I know what these muffins taste like – too sweet, a little dry, blueberries with no flavor, etc. – and I don’t miss them. Enter the mystery muffin.
Pouring my morning coffee yesterday, I happened to glance over at the tray and noticed a muffin I’d never seen before. It wasn’t the usual blueberry, chocolate chip, or sort-of-bran-looking one. This one was was different. Pale in color, sugary topping, no visible fruit… Had I known I’d end up writing about it, I would’ve taken a picture. I actually stood there studying it for a good two or three minutes. What follows is a transcript of my inner monologue… “Can’t be apple cinnamon, I don’t see any fruit…but it could be all buried inside… Banana…? But those usually have nuts…Maybe it’s lemon poppy seed. No, I’d be able to see the seeds. It’s gotta be some kind of vanilla flavored thing! (sirens begin singing) I could just taste it to see what it is… Gah, run!”
This muffin haunted me all day. Now, please understand, I’m not so fanatical about clean eating that I refuse to indulge in something I really want. I fully believe that it’s healthy to cheat sometimes. But I didn’t really want to eat that muffin. I wanted to know what the hell that muffin was. But not badly enough to risk eating the whole thing and wishing I hadn’t later. I’m embarrassed to admit that I even went to the bakery’s website to try to figure it out. But the muffin in question was nowhere to be found. I fear the mystery will never be solved…
Which leads me to today’s recipe! Since I spent most of yesterday afternoon contemplating possible muffin flavors, obviously I was destined to spend my evening baking. Having come up with the flavors that my fantasy muffin would contain, I consulted a banana cake recipe at Elana’s Pantry to make sure my ratios were right, and the following is what I ended up making. And what I can only hope the damn muffin would’ve tasted like.
Addendum: I have no idea why I made this into a cake instead of muffins, after obsessing over them all day. Maybe it was because the cake pan was within closer reach than the muffin tin. Or perhaps this was just the way my subconscious chose to say F’ you to that stupid muffin.
Cinnamon, Banana & Date Almond Flour Cake
3 cups blanched almond flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons melted butter
¼ cup raw honey
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, mashed
5 medium sized Medjool Dates, pitted & chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. In another smaller bowl, whisk the eggs, then blend in the melted butter, honey and vanilla. Next, stir the mashed banana and chopped dates into the wet ingredients, then mix the wet stuff into the dry.
Pour the batter into a parchment paper lined cake pan. (or muffin tin)
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
(My mama always told me when it comes to baking…When you can smell it, it’s usually done. I’ve never tried relying only on this method instead of setting a timer, but it’s often kept me from burning things – as in “Huh, those cookies in the oven smell really good, maybe I should go check on ‘em…Well, there’s still 8 minutes left on the timer, let’s see–whoa, these are done.”)
Allow the cake to cool and remove it from the pan. This can be served alone, or topped with homemade whipped cream. (use Stevia instead of the chemical sugar substitutes they suggest)
I like it in the morning with coffee – especially at work when everyone else is walking around munching on those processed grain and refined sugar-bombs.