Monday, July 7, 2014

flourless banana, cinnamon + dark chocolate muffin recipe {gluten + dairy-free} + 4 years of blogging!


I started this blog 4 years ago, yesterday. I didn't really know what I was doing (understatement!), I didn't really know what I wanted to share, or how. I didn't know if anyone would ever read, let alone cook my recipes. All I knew is I wanted to do this, however I could. I started out like most bloggers do, sharing adapted recipes, fearing that my own original recipes weren't somehow good enough. My photos were crap and I hadn't a clue what I was doing. The day I pushed publish on that very first post, my baby boy was two and my big girl was turning 4. I was a mum at home with two little ones, getting ready to make a start on something that I had no clue about or idea of where it may lead.

Just like motherhood, I can't even remember what life was like before all of this. I don't remember what it feels like to have nothing on my to-do list. I don't remember what it was like when the world still felt big, back before I was in contact with lovely people from all corners of the world! Some weeks it's an absolute joy sharing what I do with the world, but if I'm being really honest I have given some serious thought to having a good proper break from it all too. But I just don't think I ever could...


This space has given me a voice I never believed I had. Sure I still second guess myself each and everyday and sometimes allow that horrible green eyed monster to render me crippled for days. Yes, those nasty judgmental comments I've received recently have made me question why I share so much of myself, without expecting anything in return (many people don't know that us bloggers make very little or no money from all this work!). But still, something drives me to keep doing this. 

My goal is still the same as it was all those years ago when I didn't know anything about blogging: To share what I know in the hopes that it may help make someones life a little better, easier, in some small way. Four years ago I asked myself: 'If I, a trained chef, struggled when we changed out diets to be gluten-free (and mostly dairy-free), then how the heck does the average Jo get along?'. I'm no expert, I definitely don't have all the answers and I've never claimed that what I do is the right way for all. I'm not into preaching and accept that my choices are not for all also and I'm cool with that. I'll leave you with a little quote from my book that pretty much sums it all up 'This is, in my small way, an attempt to show people another way of eating, of living and of being'.

Thanks for coming along on this ride with me. Your constant support really does means the world. Much love always
Emm xx

P.s In case you wanna take a squiz...
My first post. 
The blog turns 2. 
The blog turns 3.


flourless banana, cinnamon + dark chocolate muffins
Make sure your banana's are way over-ripe and this contributes to the texture and sweetness of the muffins. I used Brookfarm macadamia oilWhittakers 72% Fairtrade Dark Ghana (which is dairy-free) and Billingtons light muscovado sugar, but their golden unrefined would also work well. This article explains one of the reasons why I prefer to use natural unrefined cane sugar over the super trendy coconut sugar.
Makes around 12.

4 medium over-ripe bananas, peeled
3 large free-range eggs
1/3 cup (80ml) macadamia or olive oil
1/4 cup (50g) light muscovado or unrefined raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups (200g) almond meal (ground almonds)
1/2 cup (45g) desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a good pinch pinch fine sea salt
1/2 cup (approx. 60g) finely chopped dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 170C/335F. Line 12x 1/2 cup capacity muffin tins with paper cases.
In a large bowl, mash the banana's with a fork. Add eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla and mix well to combine. Add almond meal and coconut. Sieve over baking powder and cinnamon, add salt and half of the chopped chocolate, then stir until fully incorporated. Divide mixture evenly between paper cases, sprinkle remaining chopped chocolate over the tops of the muffins. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool further. Best eaten on the day of baking, however they store well for 2-3 days in an airtight container and can also be frozen in zip-lock bags.

Inspired by this recipe.  





78 comments:

  1. Happy 4th blogiversary, Emma! This space of yours is a truly a special one. I love your honest writing, your gorgeous photography, and your tasty, innovative recipes. You're a constant source of inspiration. Thank you!

    Sending you good vibes all the way from Finland,
    Sini

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    1. Thanks SO much Sini! It's knowing lovely people like you online who push me to keep doing what I'm doing, so thank you! xx

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  2. Happy, happy blogiversary, Emma!!! Your blog is such a treat in so many wonderful ways from your delicious food, honest writing and photography through which you always continue to inspire and amaze me. Here's looking to many more wonderful posts from you :)

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    1. Thanks so much Nik! Your love and support never goes un-noticed, thank you! xx

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  3. Happy 4th lovely Emm. Congratulations on your achievements love.

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  4. Crikey Emma, 4 year blog birthday. Congratulations. Its takes effort, guts and a generous spirit to make a blog successful and you have those in spades. I love your blog and your book. Keep up the great work, I for one really appreciate it :o)

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  5. Happy blogiversary Emma! Your site is a true inspiration - love your recipes, gorgeous photography and wonderful stories - I certainly hope you keep on sharing your recipes here for years to come! Also, those muffins look delectable and just the thing I could make with the almond pulp leftover from making almond milk this weekend.

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    1. As much as I have many days where I think about having a break, I don't think I could ever leave this space. Thanks so much for your kind words xx

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  6. Happy blogiversary from over here in Germany and thank you for such a wonderful collection of recipes! :)

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    1. Thank you! I love hearing from all you lovely people in Germany! There's quite a few of you stopping by lately :-) xx

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  7. Hi Emma I've been reading along for ages but never stopped by to say thank you because your blog has been my intro to baking gluten free. Your banana & date bread is a favourite in our house although I make muffins with the mixture because there are just the two of us and I can halve the recipe.
    Ignore the neer sayers they are probably jealous. I can't wait to get my hands on your book:)

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    1. Thanks Nancy, so glad you enjoy my recipes :-)
      ps. there's an even better version of that banana bread in my book! xx

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  8. Congratulations Emma! I can't tell you how much I love to read every single blogpost. Your writing, your photography and your recipes are amazing. I'm always looking forward to new ones. Keep up and to many more years!

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  9. Keep up the good work Emma, I really enjoyed your book and recipes.

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    1. That's so awesome to hear Susan, thank you xx

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  10. Hello! I'm at the beginning of my blogging journey so it's always wonderful to read a post like this from someone this you who is so much further on. I had a sneaky peak at your first post and thought that it was pretty good, actually. Not a 'crap photo' in sight!
    Anyway, I'd like to wish you all the best for your next 4 years of blogging. Just ignore any nasty commenters - what is wrong with those kinds of people? Love the muffins, too (love the coconut and how you piled the chcolate on the top).

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    1. Thanks heaps Helen! The photos in that first post actually don't make me cringe as much as some of the slightly later ones do :-) xx

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  11. Happy blogiversary Emma! You remain a continuing inspiration with your heartfelt writing. Don't allow others to make you question what you do. I for one hope to be reading your work for many years yet. And thanks, I now know what to do with the ageing pile of bananas on my kitchen bench :)

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    1. Thanks so much Tania! It's hard not to let nasty comments get you down, but I don't think I could stop doing this even if I tried! Haha xx

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  12. Happy 4th Emma!! To many many many more!! I think bloggers are made of a very unique mettle :). I only discovered your blog last year and we are by no means gf but it is always a treat to read what you share! Much love!! xx

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  13. Happy blog anniversary Emma! Thanks for sharing your recipes and words. Your recipes + photos have seriously inspired me and given me some many new recipes to add to my veggie repertoire, I cook so many of your dishes weekly even though I don't always comment - but I've never been disappointed in any of the dishes. They are always full of flavour and usually with ingredients we have on hand wish is a huge added bonus. I've really enjoyed watching your blog grow from the beginning and so amazing to see you head off the to US for the awards. Lots of love from Norway xox

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    1. It's been so lovely having your support over all these year Julie! And you have no idea how happy it makes me to hear you've adopted so many of my recipes. Thank you! xx

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  14. These look so tasty!! Such a yummy recipe :)

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    1. They went down a treat in our house ;-) xx

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  15. Happy Blogaversary Em! I'm glad you aren't taking a break- I'd miss you! Thanks for all the love and hard work you put into making such a great blog, and such great recipes like this yummy one xox

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    1. Thanks so much for your love and encouragement over the years Rebecca! It means the world xx

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  16. Sad to hear you've been receiving nasty comments from the green eyed monsters, am at a loss as to why as your blog is always such a positive place to be. Happy 4th anniversary, thanks for all the hard work and delicious recipes! X

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    1. Thanks love! I don't get why some people think it's their right to be judgemental either, but ah well? xx

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  17. this post is so beautiful, emma!! happiest of blog birthdays to you! i loved seeing your first post!!!! so fun :) keep up the beautiful and amazing work.

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    1. Thanks Molly! The comments at the bottom of my first post crack me up the most, especially the ones from my cheeky brothers! Haha xx

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  18. Happy blogging anniversary Emma! I'm so happy your are here doing what you love and sharing it with us all! Your book is my absolute fav, and I love your down-to-earth style and openness here. Wishing you many more years of blogging and book-writing! (hoping for more!)
    Love xx

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  19. Happy anniversary! I love your blog so much. The muffins look amazing too. Can't wait to try!

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  20. Really nice post Emma. I can relate ha ;) What you provide is beautiful and you can see your passion in everything you do. Congratulations on reaching 4 years x

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    1. Thanks Chantelle! I do slightly envy you, taking a break from it all must be so freeing!! xx

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  21. Wow, congrats on the big milestone! These muffins look like a lovely way to celebrate.

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  22. Congratulations on your blogiversary! These muffins sound like the perfect way to celebrate--especially with all that chocolate exploding every which way. Yay!

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    1. Haha, love that 'exploding every which way'! :-) Thank you! xx

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  23. happy anniversary...i am so proud of how far you have come along and looking forward for many more!!!

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  24. Happy anniversary!! It is really inspiring to hear about your journey and I hope that four years from now I will still be at it!!

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  25. congrats! and these muffins look amazing, i'll definitely give them a try :)
    xo, cheyenne

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    1. Thank you! Hope you enjoy the muffins :-) xx

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  26. I've gone back and forth, thinking about taking a break - but just like you, I can't imagine life without this crazy food blogging world. Big hugs and high fives for four years, lady! So happy to know you and call you a friend. <3

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    1. Thanks so much Ashlae and right back at ya! I know you'll understand exactly where my mind has been at lately. But like you say, what would life be without all this madness?! :-) xx

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  27. Thank you so much for all your hours and dedication Emm,it shows!!Love this beautiful space.One of my fav places to be,,,you rock babe:)

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    1. Thank you my number one cheerleader! Much love xx

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  28. Hi Emm, happy 4th birthday to My Darling Lemon Thyme. That first blog post is fantastic, nothing has changed - OK besides the photos - but you are still telling it as it is. Love you space and your recipes, all the best for the next 4 blogging years xx

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  29. Such a beautiful post and i loved looking at and reading your first post. So fun! Happy 4 years of blogging! Wishing you the best! :)

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    1. Thanks Tieghan! I've thought about re-doing the photos for that first blog post, but really I wouldn't change it for the world. xx

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  30. Happy 4 year bloggiversary! It takes a lot of work, learning and patience to keep a blog going especially for such a long time! Your recipes always look so amazing too!

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  31. Happy four years of blogging! I'm so, so thankful that I found the space and have got to 'know' you over the last few years. It's always such an inspiration and you take some of my most favourite food photographs in the whole wide world (plus, if you think the photos in your first post are crap, you should really have a dig round my archives!!). Congratulations on all you've achieved over the last few years and here's to many more years of success! xo

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  32. Happy anniversary Emm!
    Now I want to track down and smack hard anyone who is nasty to you.
    Don't let the bastards get you down sweetie.
    XO

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  33. Happy 4th Anniversary. I started following recently so it was good to read your first and previous links about the blogg. Congrats on the success!

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  34. Happy 4 year anniversary! I only recently discovered your blog, but I love it dearly already. I think you have such wonderful photos and delicious recipes. You have a great personality that just shines through your work that draws me in - I hope this next year is amazing!

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  35. Happy anniversary, here's to 4 more! Don't let those nasty comments get you down, you have a lovely blog and you share great recipes!

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  36. Hi Emma, I just bought your book yesterday, I came across your blog via Nicola Galloway's I think...anyway, thanks for all the hard work that must go into doing this, please keep it up! I follow a handful of food blogs and it sort of makes me feel like I'm part of an online family where we all want a more healthy lifestyle for ourselves and our families, so thanks and please keep up the good work, you have no idea how helpful it is!

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  37. Wow huge congrats Emma, can hardly believe I have been reading your blog for nearly as long. Yours was the first Kiwi food blog I found and was such a joy to read. Many of your recipes are firm favourites in our family thank you so much for all that your share with us out here we really do appreciate it. I can't wait to get a copy of your cook book.

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  38. We're so glad you're not taking a break from this space, Emma. ;) Congratulations on four years and here's to many more.

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  39. Emma, I 've been trying to buy your book on the "international" web site and they have no more!! :(
    any clue when will they receive more? or maybe in amazon? pls let me know, we want your book in this part of the world as well!!! its not fair!!!!!
    xx

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    1. Hey love, I hear ya I really do! I wish it could be available up your way already but this is outa my hands. The first print run has sold out and my publisher is waiting on the new stock to arrive. I don't know dates but it will hopefully be available online again in the next few weeks. It's also going to be available on Amazon etc next year... If you can wait another year!! Xx

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    2. Thank you and congratulations on the "sold out" !!

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  40. wow 4 years of blogging.. congrats! thanks for sharing another great recipe - craving one of these muffins now. definitely will be recreating this in my kitchen. thanks for the inspiration!

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  41. Happy 4th blogiversary! Mine is this week too! Amazing, isn't it? These look amazing, some of my favorite flavors.

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  42. Happy blog birthday Emma! I'm so sorry you're getting nasty judge-y comments. You don't deserve it!
    You make so many of us happy with your amazing work - you're adored.
    xoxox from Berkeley,
    E

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  43. Ahh! Happy happy (late) blogiversary, Emma! You are such a shining light and inspiration, and we're so blessed to have you brightening the blogosphere with your spirit. I really don't know how you do it all -- if you ever did feel like taking a break, it would be the most well-deserved and overdue one there ever was. But like others have said, I'm secretly glad you aren't taking one :) Thank you so much for all that you do!

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  44. This is a scrumptious recipe, I just made them and my husband devoured 2 immediately. How do you think this would be with blueberries added, minus the chocolate? Just wondering since I have so many berries at the moment. Thank you

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    1. Yes! Any berry works great in place of the chocolate :-) xx

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  45. Oh, Emm, I so value you. Your words, your photographs, your recipe, your spirit. You are a gem and we are blessed that you share. Thank you x

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  46. Congrats on 4 years! That first post reads as more stitch up than some of mine a few years in ;) you certainly have always had the touch. xx

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Thanks so much for stopping by, arohanui xx Emm

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