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Molasses-Maple-Banana Muffins with Dates and Walnuts, Gluten-free, Vegan

Molasses-Maple-Banana Muffins

This most recent muffin is inspired by the molasses cookie, specifically the molasses cookie my grandma used to bake.  It was fragrant, lightly spicy, soft but chewy, and generally had dates and walnuts in it.

The muffins smelled so great when they came out of the oven, but for a few minutes I thought back to the sort of sugar-gritty and oily features of those delicious molasses cookies.  I am pretty sure my grandma used white sugar (and quite a lot of it, I would imagine) and some kind of oil.  These particular muffins are free of any poured oils, and instead of a sweet white or brown sugar I used a mix of molasses and maple syrup and banana to sweeten it.

Would this muffin be a flop?

Then I tasted it it... and

IT WAS / IS DELICIOUS.  It is uncannily like the molasses cookies of my grandma... or my memory of them... except puffier and muffin-y.  

I also use the oat flour and almond flour base of my last batch of muffins on here (the lemon-fruity muffins) so if you used certified gluten-free oats, these muffins are gluten-free.  

And there are no eggs or dairy in this recipe, so these muffins are also vegan.

But above everything else, they are delicious.... try the recipe and see!

So-- TO MAKE 12 LARGE (not Jumbo) MUFFINS:

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup  water
4 tablespoons ground flax seed
2 cups  almond flour
2 cups  oat flour (I ground my oat flakes up in my vitamix to make flour-- but can be purchased)
1 cup    rolled oats (certified gluten-free if needed)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup     maple syrup (not maple-flavoured pancake syrup)
2 riped   mashed bananas
4 tablespoons coconut water, or just plain water or non-dairy milk
1- 2 cups total of chopped dates and walnut pieces

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METHOD:
1. Combine flax seed and water in a medium-size bowl and set aside.
2. Combine and mix together: almond flour, oat flour, rolled oats, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large bowl.  
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/ 177 degrees Celsius
4. Mix maple syrup, mashed bananas, molasses, and coconut water (or plain water / non-dairy milk) in the medium-sized bowl with flax seed and water.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
6. Mix until well combined.  
7. Gently add in chopped dates and walnuts.
8. Spoon into the muffin cups.
9. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for 15 minutes on rack. Enjoy. These muffins freeze well.

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