Okay, I’m gonna admit two things here. Number one – I. LOVE. CHRISTMAS. It is, hands down, my FAVOURITE time of year. I just think it’s totally magical, and I feel like I’m a little kid again for the entire Christmas holidays. So BRING IT ON! I do have some exams to get past first for my Masters, but come midday December 19th, I will be in full-on Christmas-tastic mode until 2019 arrives. Number two thing I have to admit – I don’t like mince pies. There, I said it. They’re a bit like Marmite I guess – I’m also a bit ashamed to say that until probably 3 years ago I did genuinely think that they contained mince – as in beef mince…
Don’t judge! It was before my baking days. So this year, I’ve been on a BIG fig and date vibe – in snacks, oats, savoury dishes, you name it! I decided to try my hand at a mince muffin instead of the pie vibe, and spice it up with lots of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. The result? A winner. Let’s get baking!
Recipe (Makes 12 Muffins)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp honey (or sub maple syrup or agave)
- 2 medium sized ripe bananas
- 2 whole eggs
- 50ml of milk of choice (I use Alpro)
- 180g of oats, ground into flour
- 2 palmfuls of chopped mixed nuts (I love using hazelnuts, almonds and pecans)
- 1 handful of dried berries or raisins
- 8-10 dates (soak in boiled water for 5 minutes first and then chop up into quarters)
- 8 dried figs (diced into quarters)
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C (fan oven). Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray or grease it with a little olive oil.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl – oat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, mixed spice and ginger.
- Using a food processor or power blender (I use my Nutribullet), blend the bananas, eggs, milk, olive oil, vanilla extract and honey.
- Pour two thirds of the wet mixture into your dry ingredients, and stir until you have a batter consistency. Add a little bit extra of the wet mixture at a time, stirring again after each, until it’s all in there.
- Next, add your mixed nuts, dates, and berries/raisins, and save 3 figs aside, adding the rest in. Mix the dried fruit and nuts into the batter.
- Spoon out the batter into your muffin tray sections, and fill each about two thirds full.
- Place a little quarter of a fig on top of your muffins, and then pop them in the oven, and bake for 25 minutes. At 25 minutes, insert a toothpick into the centre of one of the muffins – if it comes out clean, you’re good to go!
Enjoy guys! What a fun and festive recipe to try out this month – tag if you do! I’m @theirishbalance on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook!
Ciara 🙂 x