Since the moment these beauties first came out of the oven, I’ve been dying to share this recipe with you! These muffins got an overwhelmingly positive response from all of my taste-testers, so I have full confidence you will fall in love with them as well. Especially because they’re sugar-free!
Since going on my anti-Candida/anti-food-intolerances diet, I’ve been really into experimenting with sugar-free baking. I think that most people consume too much sugar. So many people feel dependent on sugar, whether or not they have Candida, and I really want to show people that you don’t need to add sugar or sweeteners to everything. There’s nothing wrong with added sugar here and there, of course, but it definitely does not need to be an everyday ingredient.
Playing around with sugar-free baking has been extremely interesting for me because it has given me concrete evidence that people respond differently to food based on their initial assumptions about it. If they don’t know it’s sugar-free before they taste it, they’ll love it. They’ll appreciate the sweetness that’s naturally there much more than if you tell them ahead of time that it’s sugar-free. It’s all about expectations.
It’s a fun experiment to do, though, because I really do love proving to people that they can enjoy cake, cupcakes, muffins, or cookies that don’t have any added sweeteners at all. Most people can’t even imagine that that would be an option, but trust me – it is.
Because of the sugar-loving mindset that has been ingrained into our brains and bodies since birth, many people automatically feel extremely restricted when they are put on anti-inflammatory/healing diets for their health. They immediately panic and think of all of the things they can’t have anymore. The first thing that comes to mind is usually sweets.
But what if you could make your favorite food without the added sweetener and have it still taste delicious? Guess what – you can. These muffins are the perfect example.
My friend Alison is currently on a diet to help heal her gut. It’s a combination of low-FODMAP, SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet), and eliminating all of the foods that her food intolerance test showed sensitivities too. When people go on elimination diets, it’s pretty common for them to find a few meals that work best and to just stick with those. It makes it easier and more manageable. But it can also get boring.
I wanted to make Alison a baked good that she could enjoy – one that would make her forget about her low-FODMAP diet for a second. Immediately I knew I wanted to make her some kind of banana-bread inspired recipe. Bananas are low-FODMAP and SCD, so they’re an ideal base. A muffin also seemed perfect because a single serving would stay within low-FODMAP boundaries. If you’re unfamiliar with low-FODMAP diets, basically you can consume a limited quantity of each food each day. So since she’s only allowed to have a certain amount of coconut flour or almond butter in one day, one muffin would stay within the allowed range.
The main appeal of recipes that are banana-bread based are that they’re naturally sweet. Most people don’t realize just how sweet bananas, especially ripe ones, truly are. So while most people toss in cups of sugar into their banana breads and muffins, they could really go without that and still achieve a delicious bread in the end. I really think people need to give themselves a chance to enjoy things without added sugar, instead of assuming they need it. Give real food a chance to show off its natural flavors! Your taste buds will adjust, and you will eventually think that unsweetened things are actually really sweet.
It’s easy enough to come up with a recipe that aligns with the low-FODMAP/SCD diets – but avoiding the food intolerances is harder. One of the things Alison has to limit right now is coffee, and that also happens to be one of her favorite things to consume. When I think of Alison, I think of coffee. She’s the coffee queen, and I know that it’s been killing her to give it up for so long.
Because of that, I wanted to create something that was coffee-inspired without the coffee. This is perfect for anyone who wants to avoid caffeine in general or anyone who needs to avoid coffee specifically but loves that rich, earthy flavor. The secret is Dandy Blend! Dandy Blend is the best non-coffee, coffee alternative I have ever found. It’s a dandelion-based beverage, but it has a delicious, coffee-like flavor that really satisfies the coffee craving when it hits. It’s one of my favorite warm morning-time beverages. Besides tea, of course! 😉
Since Dandy Blend works so well as a coffee replacement when it comes to a warm beverage, why not use it to add coffee flavor to a baked good, too?! Pretty genius, if you ask me. It adds a rich, earthy, nutty flavor that pairs really nicely with the sweet banana. Honestly, the perfect breakfast muffin! In my humble opinion…
I also used Thrive Market‘s Almond Butter to add moisture and an almond flavor to the banana bread. I swear, adding nut butter to any type of baked good will instantly make it better. Always. Try it. Side note: I always shop for pantry staples, especially for baking, through Thrive Market. The membership is totally worth it and saves me so much money longterm. It’s way cheaper than buying those items at the store, and Thrive’s Almond Butter is one of the best I’ve ever tried. Super clean ingredients, and it’s so delicious. I always use it when baking.
In the end, I created the perfect muffins for Alison’s protocol, and I’m pretty sure anyone not on her protocol will love these too. If you love banana bread, almond butter, and coffee, you will adore these. The flavors compliment each other perfectly. They’re the perfect sweet treat or breakfast muffin for someone on the go!
I tested these out on a few of my friends who are sugar-fanatics. You know, the kind that live off of Sour Patch Kids and McDonald’s. They all loved them. My one friend asked me to make her some ASAP so she could have them for breakfast. I happily obliged!
So here they are – paleo, sugar-free, low-FODMAP, SCD-friendly, caffeine-free coffee almond banana bread muffins! Is that descriptive enough for you? Hopefully these prove to you that you don’t need sugar in your baked goods, and that you can always replace coffee. I have a few more sugar-free recipes coming your way, which I’m very excited about! You can also definitely make these as a bread. Instead of using muffin tins, pour it into a bread pan and bake it for longer (maybe 50 minutes?) – check with a knife or toothpick to see when it’s cooked all the way through!
Caffeine-Free Coffee Almond Banana Bread Muffins (Sugar-Free, Paleo, Low-FODMAP, SCD)
Total Time: About 35 minutes
Makes: 8-9 muffins
- 3 mashed bananas (the riper they are, the sweeter the bread will be)
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup organic creamy almond butter (make sure it’s sugar-free!)
- 1/8 tsp Celtic sea salt
- 3 tsp Dandy Blend
- Optional: Slivered almonds for topping
- Preheat your over to 350*F. Grease a muffin tin with coconut oil, or use muffin liners in the tray. (Or grease a bread pan if making a bread instead of muffins.)
- In a large bowl, add the coconut flour, Dandy Blend, salt, and baking soda. Mix together.
- Add in the mashed bananas, eggs, almond butter, and vanilla. Mix everything together until it’s all incorporated thoroughly.
- Pour the batter into the muffin tins evenly. If you want, top with slivered almonds.
- Bake for about 25 minutes. You can stick a toothpick or knife in the center of the muffins to see if they’re cooked through. If it comes out clean, then you’re good to go! (If making a bread, bake for about 50- 60 minutes.)
- Allow to cool for about 20 minutes.