If you like to eat just the tops of your muffins, you will love these hearty, dense, and chewy banana muffin tops. They have the perfect balance of crispness from the crust and chewiness inside - like a cross between a cookie and a muffin. I usually make these muffin tops for breakfast (since they are only sweetened with bananas and dates), but they are also great as a snack.
Toast the pecans (optional). Heat a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Spread the pecans in a single layer. Toast the pecans, stirring occasionally, until nutty and crunchy, 3-5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, coarsely chop the pecans. Set aside.
Blend the dates and bananas. Add the bananas, dates,, coconut oil, and vanilla extract into a food processor and blend until completely smooth.
Prepare the batter. Add the quinoa flakes/rolled oats, baking powder, spices, and salt, and pulse until just combined. A few pulses are all you need. (If you're using rolled oats, you might want to pulse the mixture a little bit longer, so the oats are roughly chopped). Finally, fold in the pecans (optional).
Bake the muffin tops. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Using a large ice cream scoop (or a large spoon), spoon about 3 tablespoons of the batter onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Do not press the batter down - it should resemble a muffin top. Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of the muffin tops), or until golden brown on the bottom. Let cool completely before serving.
Store, Leftover muffin tops keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. For longer term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
*Quinoa has a very bold flavor, almost grass-like and a little bitter. If you don't like quinoa, you can gently toast it, which gives it a wonderful nutty flavor. You can also substitute the quinoa flakes for rolled oats, which are more neutral in flavor and yield fluffier muffin tops.
**Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.
**Nutrition information is calculated without optional ingredients.
This recipe has been adapted from Oh She Glows.