I’ve always been a creative baker and treat maker. When I was younger, I’d swap whole wheat flour for white and double down on the amount of chocolate chips a recipe called for, following my intuition to make things healthier AND tastier.
In more recent years, I’ve gotten even more inventive: whipping up gluten free (and veggie packed) muffins, coming up with a homemade chocolate that’s got zero refined sugars or butter, and perfecting a (dairy free) ice cream with a base of avocados. To say adapting yummy goodies to specific diets is one of my gifts would be correct.
Well the last few weeks have provided me with plenty an opportunity to once again get creative in the kitchen. As I write this, I’m in the middle of pretty intense SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) healing protocol. In addition to a handful of supplements, I’m following a very specific (very restrictive) diet for 30-40 days. Basically I can eat animal protein, eggs, and a small handful of fruits and veggies, all cooked. No grains, no dairy, no nuts or seeds (except chestnuts and sesame seeds), no sugar, no beans, no chocolate or cacao, no sweet potatoes.
Instead of focusing on all the things I can’t eat, I’m choosing to instead focus on everything I CAN enjoy, and using this as an opportunity to have fun with new recipes and ingredients.
My nutritionist sent me a recipe for a chestnut flour banana bread. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out (especially with NO nuts or other flour or sweetener) so I was pleasantly surprised when the bread was not just edible, but it was DELICIOUS!
Why chestnut flour? Compared to most other nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, etc), chestnuts have a low fat and oil content. Technically they’re considered both a nut and a fruit. They contain a good about of fiber, which can help keep things moving along your digestive tract.
I made a few tweaks to the recipe from my nutritionist and these muffins were born. I knew they were a hit when even my family approved! I’ll be making these muffins even after my SIBO diet is over… they’re really that good, especially when slathered with the Strawberry Banana Compote recipe that I’ve also included below.
Chestnut Flour Banana Muffins
1 cup ripe banana (about 3 medium bananas)
1/2 cup coconut milk (I used full fat)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups chestnut flour
1 tbsp baking powder
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line your muffin tin (12 muffins).
Add bananas, coconut milk, coconut oil, eggs cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt to your blender or food processor and blend until combined.
Add baking powder and chestnut, and again blend until combined.
Pour batter into greased muffin tin.
Bake for 15—17 minutes, or until the muffins just start to brown and toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Enjoy warm, slathered with more coconut oil, butter (if you can do dairy) or a spoonful of the Strawberry Banana Compote below.
Strawberry Banana Compote
1 small banana, sliced
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add cut fruit and stir to coat evenly with the oil.
Cook until strawberries have started to break down, about 10-12 minutes. Add vanilla and cinnamon. Serve warm atop muffins or store in an airtight container. Compote would be delicious stirred into yogurt bowls or spooned onto ice cream, slathered on toast or eaten on it’s own.
Have you ever baked with alternate flours like almond, coconut or chestnut?
Which has been your favorite? I'm happy to share mine is now chestnut!