Well, I figured starting off with one of my favourite kinds of muffins would be a good start! Banana Choc Chip muffins definitely fit that criteria, and it is actually pretty easy to make a standard muffin recipe into a dairy free one. This particular batch is also going to be gluten free as well!
What you’ll need
- 3/4 cup of standard flour*
- 3/4 cup of wholemeal flour*
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g or 1/3 cup of your choice butter replacement. Today I’m using Sunrise Table Spread.
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup of lactose free milk. Today I am using Anchor’s Zero Lacto blue top milk
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 small bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup of your choice of dairy free chocolate replacement. Today I am using Homebrand’s Dark Cooking chocolate.
*Today my muffins are also gluten free (difficult friends!), so I am using 1 and a 1/2 cups of Healtheries’ Rice Flour instead of the half and half. Normally I would prefer to use Edmond’s Gluten Free flour as I find it has a much better texture and behaves just like normal, gluten-y flour but this wasn’t available at the supermarket when I bought my ingredients. Remember it pays to add a little extra baking power in your gluten free baking to make sure the muffins rise nicely and don’t end up flat!
The Baking Part
- Cream butter and sugar, then beat in the egg
- Add your sifted ingredients, chocolate chips and milk/baking soda to the creamed mixture, alternating between the dry ingredients and the milk.
- Add banana and mix to combine
- Spoon the mixture into muffin tray
- Bake at 200ºC for 12-15, normally add another 2-5 minutes for gluten free baking
I normally like to prepare all my other ingredients before I get to creaming the ‘butter replacement’ and sugar. So, first I grate my chocolate:
This is about 1/4 of a block of the Homebrand Dark Cooking Chocolate 375g block. This is my go to when I need chocolate for baking as it is one of the few cooking chocolates that is actually dairy free (like dark chocolate is meant to be!), and the block is a good size so you get a few batches out of it.
It is well over ‘1/2 a cup’ but they are thin flakes rather than chocolate chips and I have found this is a good amount to make sure your muffins have a chocolatey taste! You might prefer to chop it into chucks to be more like chocolate chips, but as I was feeling lazy, grating the chocolate was the quicker option.
Then I mash my banana in one bowl, and sift the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder) into another bowl. Add the chocolate to your sifted ingredients.
Next is the milk, which I put in a glass and mix in the baking soda. I prefer to use the Anchor Zero Lacto milk, especially in baking as it doesn’t effect the flavour, but you may prefer to use something else, such as Almond Milk or Coconut Milk.
Then add your ‘butter replacement’ and the brown sugar into a bowl ready to be creamed together. Now you’re all ready to go!
Today I am using Sunrise Table Spread as my choice for a ‘butter replacement’, but you might prefer using something else such as Coconut Oil or Olive Oil. Make sure you check the suggested ratio replacement if you use a liquid like Olive Oil. The reason I have chosen to use a margarine is for three main reasons. 1) It does not effect the taste of the baking because it there is no coconut or olive flavour 2) It works much better when you need to cream ingredients together 3) it’s a much easier direct replacement and the less I have to think about changing this for that the better!
Now everything is ready to go, cream the ‘butter replacement’ and brown sugar together, then beat in the egg. Now add about a third of the sifted ingredients/chocolate chips, then about a third of the milk/baking soda, mix a bit and repeat until all the ingredients have been added. Mix your banana in at the end.
Once everything is mixed, you can spoon the mixture into your muffin tray and pop them in the oven. They normally take about 15 minutes in my oven, however I had to leave them in for an extra 5 as gluten free baking normally seems to take a little longer and I am currently using an old gas oven that has all of two settings – on and off!- so I keep a close eye on them and keep jabbing them with a cake pin.
And the finished product! They’re not beautiful but they taste good. Best eaten warm 🙂
So there we have it! It’s a pretty basic recipe and all the dairy free replacements I’ve used today are pretty easy to find in New Zealand supermarkets. My only complaint is that normally I can only find the Homebrand Dark Cooking Chocolate at a larger Countdown supermarket so I have a personal shopper (read: poor work colleague that is my go to chocolate shopper) grab a couple blocks at a time for me.
I hope that you’ve been inspired to give dairy-free Banana Choc Chip Muffins a go!