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.
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
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.
Leftovers freeze well!