Living dangerously (with added nuts)

Every now and again I feel the need to live dangerously. Like last night, when I ate carbs (processed and white) at 8.15pm. Or last week, when I exited out of the carpark through the ENTRY driveway. Talk about crazy times. Not quite on par with some of the stunts from my earlier days but you know how it is – a couple of kids come along and suddenly life is being lived a little differently.

Pre-children I never gave nut allergies a care nor realised how dangerous they are (there’s a great info page here). Equipped with my new knowledge (and surrounded by my kid’s friends with these allergies) it’s hard to use nuts in a recipe without feeling like you’re being the most irresponsible parent in the world. Nuts in the hands of the wrong kids can be life-threatening. Although nuclear weapons in the hands of legendary nutter, George Bush, was also life-threatening, and yet we’ve all managed to live through that one.

Every now and then though, I break free and have a nut off. The thing is you see, that if you are in the 99% of us who are allergy free, then nuts are awesome. They offer you nutrition (lots of relevant info here) and flavour that just can’t be substituted with any other ‘safer’ ingredient. And this recipe (whilst not as full on ‘out there’ as my nut puff recipe) uses almonds in a really good way.

While not all schools are nut-free, the majority of them maintain a pretty strict policy on food. It was refreshing at our old school – which was small and had no anaphylactic kids – we could still pack peanut butter sandwiches. But I totally get that most schools are larger, and need to impose blanket bans to cover their own bums. It is interesting to note though, on this NSW Government policy PDF that ‘Banning of foods or food products is not recommended. There is a lack of evidence to suggest that banning a food from a school is helpful in reducing the risk of anaphylaxis.”

So while these muffins would be perfect in lunchboxes, you may need to pay heed to your school’s policy and most likely keep these for afternoon tea instead.

vegie smugglers choc chip almond and banana muffin

Mmmmm, I fancy one right now!

Choc chip, almond & banana muffins

Even better than the taste of these muffins is that you can measure out the whole recipe with one half cup measure! Ah the joys of no fuss baking.

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup choc chips
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup grape seed oil
2 eggs
3 overripe bananas

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 12 hole regular muffin tin.

In a large bowl combine the sifted flour, sugar, choc chips and almonds.

In a jug or smaller bowl, mix together the oil and eggs. Pour into the dry ingredients. Mix a bit then add the mashed bananas. Stir everything well but don’t overwork.

Divide evenly into the muffin holes. Bake for 25 minutes or so, until golden and cooked through.

Makes 12

Leftovers freeze well!

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6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Natural New Age Mum said,

    nuts, George Bush and carparks – always entertaining! 😉

  2. 2

    Jacqueline said,

    will have to try these – albeit, gluten, nut, grapeseed oil, egg and normal choccie free for one kidlet (plus they have friends with anaphylaxis to nuts and dairy) but at least I can use normal banana’s though I might go organic – lol

    I still try lots of these recipes – they are just totally different after I’ve attacked them lol

  3. 3

    Barbara Good said,

    You rebel Wendy, out the in driveway, you’d be shunned at the school I work at for that one! This whole nut allergy thing certainly has brought up some tricky issues at schools. I remember taking a group of year 7s on camp, one of the students had such a severe nut allergy that if he came into contact with a surface (ie bench or tabletop etc) that had had something with any amount of nuts in it he would go into anaphylaxic shock. Made meal time enormously difficult, they had to set aside a section of the kitchen for his special meals to be prepared in which had to be thoroughly cleaned before hand and he had to sit at a certain table. Anyway, it was all fine with him, three others though did get carted off in ambulances after bmx bike and horse riding accidents and the whole thing finished with a third of the students and staff being struck down with severe gastro – what a bus trip home that one was!!!

    We’re big on nuts here (I put it down to me craving peanut butter during both pregnancies) so thankfully there are no allergies here. I also have loads of over ripe bananas in the freezer so this one might happen on the weekend. Thanks for another great recipe.

    PS I made your lamb and feta meatballs for the umpteenth time this week, it’s a top five dinner according to both Miss Three and Mr Good (they fight over the left overs!)

  4. 4

    Barbara Good said,

    Oh I forgot to add, I totally love that little orange and white mug in the background of your photo.

    • 5

      wendyblume said,

      Ha! Love the camp story – sounds hideous! Yet more reasons why teachers are underpaid. And yes, mug is cute – I have an unhealthy love of plastics from the 70s!

  5. 6

    Paula said,

    Delicious! A favourite in our house.


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