I have this tendency to overcomplicate things. Sometimes, I feel do so naturally, unknowingly. Sometimes, I'm almost driven to do so by this urge which I can't identify. It's very strange, really. Like, why would one want to de-simplify something? Why would one seek to add more intricate detail to a matter that doesn't need it?
Great question, my friends. That's a question to which I have no answer, but I do have a story.
Each week, I produce two recipes. Come Wednesday or Thursday, I have both of those planned out - what day I'll test and what day I'll prep each recipe, the ingredients required, the photos I want, etc. For the most part, that is. Balanced planning is still a skill in practice, for me. Anyway, come Saturday this week, I still didn't have a clear schedule set for recipe creation and I was stressin'. At this point, I wondered if I should just cross a recipe off each week from here on out and replace the time with homework instead. NO. I am determined to nail down and share two recipes each week. I will make it work.
During my tid bits of free time this week, I perused the Bon Appetit archives for some inspiration, hoping to find some creative (for fun) yet simple (for my fellow college students) recipes I can re-design with my own pinch of something special. Nothing lit me up. Nothing seemed feasible. Nothing seemed to fit both of those categories. Everything felt like jeans that were too tight on the legs, yet too loose around the waist (my forever-problem when it comes to jeans). SIGH.
Don't blame Bon Appetit - the people behind those recipes are admirable geniuses. However, a little teeny tiny critic inside me kept punching this one down because it was too simple and that one down because no college student would have that ingredient and so on. Finally, I asked myself, Why can't I just make a simple banana bread muffin? Because maybe an easy, minimal-ingredient recipe like so is exactly what you guys want/need/don't-know-you-want-or-need-but-really-do. SIGH.
Just do it, Haley. Let this be simple.
And the whole time - from mashing the banana to lining the muffin pan to writing down the finalized recipe - I'm thinking I finally achieved my goal of allowing myself to bask in simplicity. Yet, these call for tahini and oat flour and flax eggs and granola. *sinks deep into chair*. (I won't sign again, I promise). Believe me, people, I really do want to give you just a good ol' easy traditional recipe for banana bread or cookies or muffins or whatever...
... but I can't!!!! I must add just a little something. I must add a "but" to pretty much every situation in which it may fit. I love doing so and I hate it, at the same time. I love it because (hopefully) you'll feel confident in purchasing that tahini next time you're shopping. I hate it because I can't just let a situation roll out and live its life - I want to butt-in and add my opinion and stir things around a little... or a lot.
As with most things in my life, this is a work in progress. It is unfinished, as am I. I will continue to grow and learn and probably add in my "but's" here and there. But I will improve and I will relax. I will bask in the simplicity, but I will also eat every last crumb of these surprisingly amazing sweet and salty and cinnamon-y tahini muffins. And I'm happy with that :)
Makes 12 muffins
1.5 cups oat flour
1 extra ripe banana, mashed
1/2-2/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup almond milk + 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup tahini (can sub other nut or seed butter)
1 flax egg
1.5 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup granola, plus more for topping
- Preheat the oven to 375 F and line a muffin tin with baking cups.
- Begin by stirring together the banana, coconut sugar, almond milk + ACV, coconut oil, tahini, and flax egg in a medium size bowl. Set aside.
- In a larger bowl, combine the dry ingredients and then pour the wet into the dry. Stir in 1/2 cup granola.
- Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full and bake 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out almost clean. Cool slightly.
- Serve immediately and store leftovers in an airtight container for up to two weeks.