I got the dreaded letter in the mail but deferred for 6 months because Hal was in preschool. And, like clockwork, as promised, the dreaded parcel came again, 6 months later. Jury duty. Duty. My duty, despite needing to be available to get Hal on the bus in the morning and off in the afternoon. Despite being self-employed with previously scheduled deadlines. Despite, despite, despite. So, I made muffins outta jury duty—wholesome make ahead banana coco carrot muffins made entirely from pantry staples, including Happy Egg Organic Free-Range Eggs™ to stock the freezer for breakfast this week. Because jury duty starts today.
This recipe was created in partnership with Happy Egg Organic Free Range Eggs™ for better breakfast month. Happy Eggs are the Free-est of the Free Range(™), with their rich, bright yellow-orange yolks to show for it. Their hens roam free on over eight-acres of pastures, which is ten times the space of standard free-range farms.
We’re a muffins-on-the-weekend type of family. The kind you eat warm, straight out of the muffin tin on a lazy Saturday morning. But in the face of jury duty and work and school, we needed a hearty, wholesome make-ahead muffin. The kind of muffin you pull out of the freezer to thaw on the counter while the coffee drips and the showers run. The kind of muffin that’s full of all the good stuff—protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and just enough sweetness. The kind of muffin that will keep you full and energized until lunch, when served alongside a creamy, rich Happy Egg or two.
So that’s the kind of muffin I made, starting from my trusty base recipe, swapping this for that and that for this. A lot of tests later, my freezer is studded with muffins for the morning. Here’s to handling whatever lands in your mailbox, your inbox, or your messages this week by way of Make Ahead Banana Coco Carrot Muffins.
These muffins are made extra happy with Happy Egg Organic Free-Range Eggs laid by hens living in 8 acres of hormone, pesticide, and antibiotic-free pasture. Farmers market quality eggs I can find at my local grocery store, yes please. These USDA Certified Organic eggs are now available at Walmart in Minneapolis. Check their store finder to find them where ever you are.
Composition of the Make Ahead Banana Coco Carrot Muffin
Pantry Staples: Every ingredient in this recipe is a pantry staple, something we always keep around either in the pantry or the fridge, so it can easily be made at the drop of a hat or a jury duty. If your banana isn’t ripe right now, see recipe notes for a quick solution.
Protein: Gimme a P for Protein. I wanted to add extra protein in this recipe for long-winded energy in the morning, while Hal’s at school, while I’m sitting in a juror box. The spelt flour has a slightly higher protein content compared to wheat, so I tucked a 1/2 cup in this recipe, while adding pecans, and two high-quality Happy Eggs.
Whole Grains: I like to use a 2:1 ratio of unbleached all-purpose flour to a whole grain flour. It holds the muffin together while allowing for a dense nutty flour, like wheat flour, spelt flour, buckwheat, etc. You can get playful here using this ratio. See recipe notes. I also topped the muffin generously with oats, skipping a sweet crumble.
Fruits and Vegetables: You know you’re a mom when you start adding vegetables to your pastries. Though, the addition of carrots is nothing new to the baking world. Hello, carrot cake. So shred away. And add a spotty banana too.
Sweetness: I’m looking for just-sweet-enough in the morning. Anything too sweet before noon doesn’t settle well in my body. I opted for maple syrup and an extra ripe banana to carry the sweetness in this muffin. While the carrots and coconut also add some natural sweetness, the addition of the salt and spices really help to enhance the sweetness without needing to add more. The sprinkle of turbinado on top helps too. A little crunchy sweetness on every bite.
Fats: For a moist muffin, especially when using whole grains, you want to add fat; you need to add fat. The coconut milk and oil do their job in this recipe, though these fats are flexible to substitutions. See notes for variations.
A hearty, nutty, make ahead, banana, coconut, carrot muffin made exclusively from pantry staples. To make substitutions in this recipe, follow the asterisks and notes at the bottom of the recipe. Note: this muffin is best made in advance. Straight out of the oven, the flavor is flat, the texture is dry, and the molecules are crazy. After an overnight rest, the flavor is rich, the texture is moist, and the molecules are very well rested.
1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour 1/2 c. spelt flour* 1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut 1/4 c. chopped pecans 1 1/2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder 3/4 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. cardamom
1 ripe banana* 1/2 c. grated carrots 1/2 c. neutral tasting oil, like grapeseed oil* scant 1/2 c. maple syrup* 1/3 c. full fat coconut milk (from a can) 2 large Happy Egg Organic Free-Range Eggs 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 c. (or so) oats 2 tbsp. turbinado
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a muffin tin with 10 liners. Set aside. Note: these muffins are best made a day in advance. See headnotes.
Prep the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Set aside. Note: always whisk together your dry ingredients before wet so that you don’t have to wash your whisk halfway through.
Prep the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, mash the banana with the back of a fork until no chunks remain. Add in all the remaining wet ingredients, and whisk together until evenly combined. Note: grate the carrots using your cheese grater. This is my favorite deconstructed grater.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold together with a spatula until just barely combined. Over stirring will create a tough, dense muffin. Using a spring release scoop, evenly distribute the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Batter should reach the top of each liner. Lightly sprinkle the tops with turbinado and generously sprinkle with oats.
Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the tops spring back at the touch of a finger tip. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before setting a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature or in the freezer for a month.
To thaw: Place on the counter overnight in a covered container, but not airtight. We want to allow a little moisture to escape to keep the muffin from getting soggy while still preserving the moisture inside. Or reheat in microwave. (We don’t have one, so you’ll have to update me on a time.) Or, steam using a steam basket in a covered pan over water, then lightly toast in a warmed oven or toaster oven. Or take a frozen muffin with you on the go and eat once thawed.
*This recipe can be flexible within reason, as long as the ratios are consistent and the fat content swaps are similar. For the spelt flour: try wheat pastry flour or buckwheat flour. For the oil, try melted and cooled butter or coconut oil. For an underripe banana, roast on a baking sheet while the oven preheats until the skin turns black. This will deepen the flavors and caramelize the sugars. For the coconut milk, try whole milk. For the maple syrup, you can get away with 1/3 cup when using a very ripe banana, though my family preferred it best at 1/2 cup.
For my favorite fried egg technique, check out my book The Minimalist Kitchen. For the seedy honey and yogurt recipe, check out this post.