Chai Spiced Banana Walnut Muffins

Last weekend I started a journal. I've never been a journaler - although you could argue that this space essentially functions as one. As a kid, I remember writing in journals with friends about the boys we liked and the the secrets that we would only ever tell each other. It was fun and I wish more than anything that I still had those little books, they would be so hilarious to re-visit. Besides the long games of MASH and doodles of our secret worlds, I never recorded my own thoughts in a meaningful way. 

In the past, I think the biggest road block to journaling was my question: what the hell do you even put in a journal? It says a lot about my emotional maturity and the level at which I was able to connect with my own experiences that I had literally no clue as to what I would write. Fiction? Sure. Poetry? All the time (even if it wasn't good). But personal accounts of my life and my feelings seemed so elusive and beyond my grasp. I wanted to know what other people wrote down in their journals as a kind of reference. I was endlessly curious about who to address and what tense I should write in. I completely missed the point that journaling is a personal expression; it can take any form that you choose it to. 

So, I started a journal. Nothing special or dramatic, just a daily writing practice where I try not to pause or think too much about the words that I am putting down. It feels good to write with a pencil on paper, a messy cursive scrawl that is almost illegible but serves the purpose that I need. It is a thinking tool, a chance to slow down and catch up with my own thoughts. If I'm being honest, I haven't written anything very personal or private. It is mostly comprised of ideas I want to explore and the little thoughts that seem to pop out of nowhere but might lead to something worth noting. 

Maybe you already do this and I am just super late to the game. It's only been a few days, but I really love the feeling it leaves me with. Do you keep a journal or have a writing practice? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this :)

This set of photos reminds me of spring. 

I know that I am a little premature, but I feel so hopeful and exuberant at even the slightest raise in temperature. On Sunday, I walked down the street and bought myself some flowers from the shop. The woman who sold them to me suggested that I dry them, and even threw in a few extra stems of a flower she said would dry nicely. I had the most lovely Sunday morning baking these muffins and arranging this little spring scene. It made me so happy.

Weekends are a kind of learned practice - you start to associate calmness and relaxation with those two days off. This is the first time in my life that weekends have really been just for me. When I was in school, weekends were filled with studying (or procrastinating) and a constant sense of guilt that I had things to do. Now, weekends are for muffins and new adventures!

I don't have much to say about these cozy spiced muffins because I feel like the title says it all. They are a spin on the classic banana walnut combo, but the result feels even more familiar if that makes sense. It's a taste I already knew through association and multiple cups of tea. The perfect balance between sweet carbs and cozy sips.

Let me know if you make these and have the best week! <3 

chai spiced banana walnut muffins

Makes about 10 large muffins or 12 smaller ones

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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp warm water
  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 1 tbsp molasses 
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup cashew milk
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp loose leaf chai OR two chai teabags
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (reserve some for topping)

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Notes

Preheat the oven to 350 and either grease the muffin tin or prepare it with liners.

In a large mixing bowl combine the ground flax and water. Let sit for 5 minutes, until thick. Meanwhile, mash the bananas in a bowl with the molasses until smooth. Add the mashed banana/molasses, melted coconut oil, cashew milk, and sugar to the mixing bowl with the flax egg. Whisk together. Fold in the remaining dry ingredients (except for the walnuts) with a spatula until everything is incorporated. Stir in the walnuts. 

Fill each muffin tin - if you fill them to the top you will get 10 large muffins, if you fill them 3/4 of the way you'll get 12 muffins. Top with chopped walnuts. Bake for 28 - 30 minutes until golden brown. Let cool and enjoy! They can be stored in an airtight container at room temp for a few days or frozen indefinitely.