Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Buckwheat Chocolate Banana Muffins

Featured Ingredient: Buckwheat

Not at all related to wheat and in-turn blissfully gluten-free, buckwheat is a seed of a plant related to rhubarb native to northern Europe and Asia. Whole-grain buckwheat is a rare food source of the phytochemical rutin. Rutin may have a number of beneficial properties including halting the expansion of body fat cells and keeping cholesterol levels in check. A Canadian study found that buckwheat extract was effective at lowering blood glucose in diabetic animals.

I have been receiving an increasing number of requests to post gluten-free baking recipes, so I thought this was a good opportunity to shine the spotlight on this whole-grain nutrition powerhouse flour. I have to admit that my gluten-free baking expertise is a little unrefined and perhaps why these muffins are ok but not that great. Buckwheat flour has an earthy flavor and grainy texture which is very evident in these.

So I have this query: Does any one have suggestions to make these taste better? I’m thinking that replacing half the buckwheat flour with a different gluten-free option such as coconut flour would really help. They could also use a tad more sweetness, but I hesitate to add in more sugar.

For those who are gluten-free baking newbie’s, guar gum or xanthum gum are used to replace some of the functions gluten provides such as binding ingredients together.

Buckwheat Chocolate Banana Muffins

2 cups buckwheat flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp guar gum or xanthum gum

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp allspice (optional)

¼ tsp salt

2 eggs

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed

½ cup palm sugar or sugar of choice

½ cup neutral tasting vegetable oil

1/3 cup walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine buckwheat flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, gum, cinnamon, allspice and salt. In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs and mix with banana, sugar and oil. Stir dry ingredients into wet and then fold in walnuts. Divide mixture among 12 muffin cups and bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out mostly clean.



  1. Maybe I would use butter instead of oil. Interesting recipe, though. Buckwheat flour has such a special taste, and you have to buy it from a farmer, so you get the best quality and really gluten free.

  2. I made a gluten-free chocolate zucchini bread with some buckwheat flour and I found I didn't like the buckwheat in it. To me, it felt like buckwheat muddied the taste of the cocoa (although choc chips IN buckwheat cookies taste really good). I'd say go with another flour altogether, like almond meal. I have a recipe for almond meal mocha muffins on my blog that turned out really, really well.

  3. Hmmm...I don't think it was a butter versus oil problem.

    Carolyn, those muffins look amazing. I'm a big fan of almond meal.

  4. I am crazy about buckwheat (I'm not GF, just love it). I am going to definitely try this recipe!

  5. Maybe just use 1.33 cups buckwheat flour and .66 cups tapioca flour, to lighten the flavour and give it higher rise. Also, maybe equivalent coconut butter (home-made, if possible) instead of oil, 0.5 teaspoons of vanilla and a pinch of instant coffee, to bring out the cocoa (perhaps making it 0.5 cups of cocoa and .75 - 1 cups sweetener)? I'd leave out the gum entirely, and use egg whites instead (in addition to the 2 whole eggs). Yeah. I don't know if all that would make it more or less healthy.

    I added vanilla and coffee, and used coconut butter instead and they tasted pretty good. :-P

  6. Thank you so much for this recipe. I've adapted it to suit our specific diet needs for my own family recipe book. :) Thanks!!! http://realfailsafemeals.blogspot.com/2011/12/banana-and-carob-muffins-gluten-free.html

  7. for more sweetness, instead of sugar use agave nectar. Its all natural and low gi and still gives sweetness. you can get in the supermarket in the organic food aisle.

  8. Agave is a good choice. But keep in mind that it is very high in fructose which has some scientists worried.


I love hearing from fellow muffin tin fans, so let me know what is on your mind.