Lil’ Tot loooves the Nick Jr. cartoon Max & Ruby.  Like loves.  He begs me to watch it every day.  It’s  a sweet little cartoon about Max and his big sister Ruby and her difficulties with keeping him out of trouble. Repeated viewings are also definitely helping with Lil Tot’s English vocabulary.


He especially loves the episode where Ruby loses a tooth in one of Grandma’s Triple-Nut Coconut Crunch Muffins.  So, since he has come down with a cold and has to stay indoors, I decided to make similar muffins with him as a special treat.

I’ve adapted this recipe from the “Coconut Cupcakes” recipe in Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting by Bethenny Frankel.  I really love her healthy recipes and solid advice within – it truly is a whole new way to address food and eating issues.  But the recipes are to-die-for!  I didn’t have vegan shortening or oat flour or raw sugar, as the recipe calls for, so I made some substitutes and added some things. They do not “puff up” like muffins that use butter and eggs…they are more cakelike and crumby in consistency.

Carly’s Coconut-Banana Crunch Muffins 
makes 12 muffins

*3/4 cup sugar
*1 1/4 c whole-wheat flour
*1 1/2 tsp baking powder
*1/2 tsp salt
*1/3 cup shortening (like Crisco)
*1/2 cup vanilla soymilk**
*3/4 tsp coconut extract
*1 banana, diced
*2 T brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper or foil liners.
2. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl, and mix them until well-blended.  Add the shortening and cream together with the dry ingredients.  Mix the soymilk and coconut extract in a separate bowl, then add to the first mixture, mixing until batter is just moistened.
3. Stir in banana pieces.
4. Scoop the batter into the liners (you can use an ice cream scoop; I didn’t since the batter is quite sticky).  Sprinkle on the brown sugar over the tops of the muffins before placing in the oven, which will create a delicious “crunchy” topping.
5. Bake for 20 minutes; rotating the pan after 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and then remove the muffins from the pan to cool.  They are delicious warm and are more cakelike when cooled.

**(If you do not have vanilla soymilk, use 1/2 cup of soymilk + 3/4 tsp vanilla.)

Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!



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