Very ripe soft bananas work best for these, but if your bananas are just ripe and not soft, then you may need to add another tablespoon of maple syrup. These are breakfast muffins, so are just a touch sweet.
Makes: 12 large muffins
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Photography: Lizzie Mayson
Season: Late Summer/Autumn/Year-Round
30g unsalted butter, plus extra (optional) for greasing
3 medium very ripe bananas (about 500g), peeled
1 large carrot, scrubbed and roughly grated (about 80g)
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
0.5 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp lemon or orange juice and a little grated zest
200g ground almonds
25g ground flaxseed
3 tbsp raisins or chopped dried fruit
3 tbsp seeds or chopped nuts
12 fresh berries (such as raspberries – optional)
Preheat the oven to fan 180°C/gas mark 6 and either grease a 12-hole muffin tray with butter or line with paper cases.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and, as soon as it has melted, take off the heat and allow to cool slightly so it doesn’t scramble the eggs. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas to a pulp with a fork. Push them to one side, then crack the eggs into the empty part of the bowl and whisk well with the fork.
Add the carrot, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and lemon/orange juice and zest. Mix together with the fork and then add the melted butter.
Add the ground almonds, ground flaxseed, raisins or dried fruit and most of the seeds or nuts, and mix well. Divide the batter between the greased or lined moulds of the muffin tray and scatter over the rest of the seeds or nuts. If using fresh berries, pop them on top now and press in slightly.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. If your muffins are getting very browned after 20 minutes, then lower the heat to fan 170°C/gas mark 5. If using fresh berries, these muffins may need 3–5 minutes extra.
Remove the muffins from the oven and leave to cool in the tray for 10–15 minutes before lifting out of the tray and transferring to a wire rack to cool down completely before enjoying.
If Mel’s food does one thing, it’ll make you feel good. Fortunately, it does so much more than that too. It’s delicious, simple and often just uses the kinds of ingredients you’ll have lying around in the cupboard – no faff, and exactly what you want from a cookbook. EXTRACTED FROM FEEL GOOD BY MELISSA HEMSLEY (EBURY PRESS, £22) Photography by Lizzie Mayson.