Banana and Strawberry Refined Sugar Free Muffins

Times have changed! Seriously. A year ago I would have laughed in your face if you'd suggested 7 months down the line I'd start mucking about with sugar free baked goods but then I had a kid and all that changed. I'm a cliche what can I say?! However, for the record, what didn't change was my unwillingness to compromise taste and texture - nothing worse than being duped into eating something disguised as a delicious slice of cake only to take a mouthful and be greeted by something tasteless and devoid of flavour.

Any ways,  my son used to love bananas, in fact at one point would eat nothing else but then, overnight, that all changed and the banana fell spectacularly from grace leaving me with a fruit bowl brimming with rejected fruit. So I had to figure a way to use them up and get them into him whilst cleverly disguised by another sweet and delicious fruit: the strawberry (which I also had an abundance of). And so the sugar free banana and strawberry muffin was born. It's a now a stable household snack for big and small alike and, I maybe slightly biased, but I don't think you miss the sugar in these, they're plenty sweet enough. Best bit? They're freezer friendly!

Ingredients:

250g Plain white flour (you can do 1/2 wholemeal 1/2 white)

3 Tsp Baking soda

1/2 Tsp Ground cinnamon

1/2 Vanilla pod scrapped out

1 Egg

125ml Total Greek yogurt

125ml Whole milk

80g Unsalted butter melted

100g Finely chopped strawberries

4 Large very ripe bananas (or you can pop them in the oven to ripen if they're just ripe)

My bananas needed ripening so I put them on a baking tray at 160C for 20 mins until they were black and squidgy and then let them cool.

Preheat oven to 180C and put 12 large paper cases into a muffin tray or you can use a silicon mould in which case you don't need cases.

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed pan and let cool slightly.

Split vanilla pod in half, scrape out all the contents and add to a large bowl. Add bananas and mash them up with a fork or a potato masher. Once well mashed add the cinnamon. 

In another bowl combine plain flour and baking powder.

In a jug lightly beat the egg, add the yogurt, milk and melted butter and mix to combine. Add to the banana mix and stir until just combined. 

Add the dry ingredient and mix until it just comes together. Sprinkle in the strawberries and again mix until just combined.

Use a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon to drop the mixture into the paper cases or moulds (if using a sililcone tray put it on a baking tray to avoid disasters trying to get it in and out of the oven). Bake for 20-25 mins or until risen and golden on top.

These freeze well or keep in an air tight container for 1-2 days depending on how warm it is - the moisture from the fruit means they won't keep well in warm conditions like usual baked stuff. I freeze them then pull one out the night before or if rushed pop them in the microwave for 30-40 seconds depending on how powerful it is. Be careful they can come out very hot! 

BABY TIP : These are great for breakfast for small people or, for a slightly different pudding, mash 1/4-1/2 of a muffin up with more strawberries and some Total yogurt and serve. This is my go-to when Archie is refusing any other food and I don't have the energy to fight - he'll always eat yogurt and it's my ploy to load up him up with some carbs before bedtime in the hope he'll not wake in the middle of the night hungry!