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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins from Be Free Bakers

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It is DAY 26 of Gluten Free Baking With KitchenAid and we continue to celebrate our KitchenAid Stand Mixer Giveaway with these SUPER DELICIOUS gluten free, vegan banana chocolate chip muffins from Jennifer Ward at Be Free Bakers. Jen calls these muffins "Chocolate Monkey Business." I LOVE that name and I LUUUUUV these muffins, as well Jen's proprietary flour blend, "Jen's Blend," that she uses to make them. This amazing gluten free flour blend is composed of five different grains (teff flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, brown rice flour and tapioca flour) and works beautifully in muffins, cupcakes or even pizza crust. 

I have this burning desire to champion the cause of this small Missouri business, not only because I used to live in MO, but because, after exchanging countless emails with Jen over the last month, I am totally in love with her! She is utterly adorable! She has constantly entertained me with stories about cleaning and reseasoning an antique cast-iron muffin tin she rescued from the barn shed on the farm she just purchased, and whipping up treats in her "well loved" ancient KitchenAid stand mixer with a Hobart motor! I can just imagine the white paint flecking off the cast iron! She is also lovingly making her way through all of my recipes in a style that she says makes her feel like she is in the movie "Julie and Julia." I am more than flattered.  

Jen and her family live with multiple food allergies and are very particular about their whole foods diet. After teaching gluten free baking classes and doing private consultations, Jen started Be Free Bakers in 2009. She began selling her delicious baked goods at the "City Market" in Kansas City, Missouri. Word spread quickly and she now supplies to stores, restaurants and coffee shops all over Missouri. You can also purchase her baked goods and Jen's Blend flour mix online.

The thing I love most about Jen and her company is the attention to detail and uncompromising quality control. She uses only the highest quality local ingredients, 70% of which are organic, and the main ingredient in most of her products is whole grain teff flour, which is high in protein, fibre, potassium and iron. Jen has spent the last year perfecting her packaging, ensuring it is completely green. She uses boxes and packaging that are made out of 100% recycled stock sourced in the Midwest, and soy inked labels made by a local printer. Jen sent me a care package of her Jen’s Blend flour mix, as well as four flavours of her delicious cookies. The packaging was eco chic and GORGEOUS! I was amazed to find that the inner bag the cookies were sealed in was made of Natureflex, a sustainably harvested wood pulp, that you can compost in your back yard! How cool is that?! Just incredible.

So, here is one of Jen's delectable creations! These banana chocolate chip muffins are TO DIE FOR! They are ultra moist, and packed full of flavour! These muffins are gluten free, soy free and vegan (if you use almond milk), corn free (use guar gum in place of xanthan gum and choose a glycerin based vanilla extract) and nut free (use soy or rice milk). For a flavour variation you could add nuts or berries in place of the chocolate! 

You don’t have to use the brands Jen recommends and uses, but she wanted to emphasize that using quality brands will get you the best results. Jen says these muffins cook up absolutely gorgeously with cast iron, but using regular muffin tins work well too. ENJOY! These are very hard to quit eating. I have now gained seven pounds and counting! NOT A JOKE! I am off for a run! 

Thanks for sharing these delicious muffins with us Jen. I ADORE you! 

For more about this recipe, check out Jen's original blog post.
Learn more about Jennifer Ward at Be Free Bakers.
Follow Jen on Facebook and Twitter. 

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins from Be Free Bakers

  1. Preheat oven to 340° convection or 350° standard
  2. Mix dry ingredients in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment on the lowest setting for about 10-15 seconds.
  3. In a measuring cup, add 2 tsp apple cider vinegar, and then add the almond milk to equal one cup liquid.  Allow this to curdle for a minute or two.
  4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients in fairly quick succession and turn mixer on lowest setting to incorporate.
  5. Turn to a medium speed and mix for another 20 - 30 seconds, or until all ingredients are combined.
  6. If you happen to have a cast iron muffin pan, these muffins cook beautifully in one.  If not, place cupcake liners in a standard size muffin pan.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop, fill muffin containers 3/4 full and place in the oven.
  8. Cook for 17-19 minutes, depending on oven and pan. (Cast iron takes 1-2 fewer minutes; dark metal pans a minute or so less than lighter metal pans.) 
  9. You'll know they're done when the tops are a pretty golden brown and are somewhat firm to the touch.
  10. Allow to cool in pan. These muffins taste best after resting for a few moments out of the oven.
  11. Makes 12 muffins. 
  12. These muffins take less than 30 minutes start to finish. YUMMO! 

For more about this recipe, check out Jen's original blog post.
Learn more about Jennifer Ward at Be Free Bakers.
Follow Jen on Facebook and Twitter. 

Tip: a speedy way to ripen bananas

Placing unripe bananas in a paper bag is a great natural way to ripen bananas. The paper bag traps the ethylene gas produced by the bananas speeding up the ripening, but allows the oxygen to circulate so the bananas don’t rot. If you want the bananas to ripen even more quickly add an apple or an avocado in the bag which increases the amount of ethylene gas produced.

Oh my goodness, Tess!
With tears streaming down my face, I am again humbled, yet delighted too, by your kind words and accolades - thrilled and honored to be included in such a fine selection of gluten free bakers.
The recipes so far have all been marvelous, of course, but the camaraderie has been an out-of-this-world experience thus far!  I am in absolute heaven getting to know everyone,  trying all your recipes and those submitted this month - and then clicking to all the beautiful blogs too - what FUN!  Icing on cake?  I now have countless resources to share among friends and people who need these amazing recipes and women in their lives. 
Way to go, Tess!
Thank you ever so much!


I LOVED having you as part of this event with all of the other amazing ladies.
Your “Jen’s Blend” Gluten Free Flour Blend and recipes are FANtastic!
It is I, who am humbled by YOU! xxx

Awww… Thank you Tess. You really are too kind.

I am always a sucker for banana anything! Never tried to make GF banana muffins vegan though - great job!


Alta - these are SOOOOOO good!

Agree:  bananas = yum.  Ever had the Earth University Bananas from WFM?  Or the little 3” red ones that turn black when they’re “just perfect”?  Oh my goodness - dessert in a peel.

LOL! LOVE it! “Dessert in a peel!” xx

This must be the reason for those leftover bananas in my kitchen. Yum.


LOL! Yes! Make these. They are AMAZING!

Oh, how yummy! I am so impressed that so many of these recipes are also vegan (and allergen-free!) These look fabulous!


Colette! These muffins are SOOO moist and delicious! AND VEGAN!!!! WOO HOO!!!!!

Loving this recipe!  A delicious way to use those ripe bananas and keep my gluten free baking marathon going!
Thank you for another amazing collaboration, Jen and Tess.
Tess, I have been sharing your amazing website with friends who are changing their diets, they are LOVING it!  Thank you for all the incredible work you’re doing!!!


Stacey, I couldn’t agree more - YES!  GF baking is so much fun!  There are many beautiful recipes on Tess’ site, and on all the other beautiful blogs newly discovered this month, my family is in HOG heaven.  Fabulous Food = Fun.  Weee!

Thanks Stacey!
I really appreciate your kind words. xxx

Ohhh…I want to make that!


Yes! Do NOT miss these. They are AMAZING!

i can’t take any more awesome recipes… i think i’m going to have to start eating only baked goods after this month ;)


:-)  Oooh - that would be fun!  Best news of all? Now we have at least 30 different bloggers with amazing recipes to choose from - yippee!

LOL! Only a few more days and then we go into detox! Well….not quite…...but soon…...LOL!

Oh my, Jen! These look fantastic! Will be baking a lot while my father comes for a visit and this will definitely be on my list of to-bakes! Love the touch of almond extract. I bet that makes these muffins! Thank you so much!


Thank you Carla! 
I hope you have a lovely time baking with your father.  Yes, the almond extract totally makes a difference.  I forgot both the almond and the vanilla last week - was testing this recipe without the bananas… they had a great texture but were missing that little extra oomph of flavor that the bananas and extracts provide.  (Don’t get me wrong - they were still scarfed by all in attendance!)  :-)
Thinking out loud…  wonder how these muffins would taste with that “dessert in a peel” banana I mentioned above… hmm… 
p.s. they make GREAT mini-muffins too!

Having a great time with my Dad. Thanks. So, do that actually place the muffin in a banana peel. Sorry, but I’m a little lost. Thanks for the tips!

Ok Tess, please stop!  The recipes this month have been so incredible and I don’t know if there’s enough time to try them all… I’m definitely in agreement that anything with bananas is truly delightful.  Thanks again for all the yumminess… :)


LOL! I have four more days and then we move onto gluten free snacks for the Healthy Surprise Giveaway! HA! You CANNOT miss these muffins. They are SOOOO good!


Looking forward to more great recipes!


Great! Oh…..there WILL be more! LOL!
Can’t wait for YOURS too!

I was looking for a new banana recipe and here you put one up! I cannot wait to try it tomorrow :-)


Yes! These are SOOO good! ENJOY :)

Stephanie Stephens - Apr 28, 2012 at 04:30pm #

be free piggy


Good Luck with the KitchenAid Giveaway Stephanie!

Hello Stephanie!
Big hugs, my friend!  Good luck with the KitchenAid Giveaway!  I hope you win!  You are a rock star cook - I know you’ll know exactly what to do with this beautiful mixer!
Cheers!  Jen

Jen - these look delicious!  They are my favorite type of muffin to make.  I can’t wait to try your version:)


Hello Jen!
Would you like me to send you some “Jen’s Blend” so you can try them out or do you have your own special “go-to” gf blend that you love? 
I am having a great time exploring your website!  What a treat!  So much to do and see and experience - thank you!  I’m originally from Chicago but so much has changed in the past 7+ years in the gf community it’s like a whole new world.  Can’t wait to come back and visit.  Hope to catch you while I’m there!  Do you run the Kansas City GF Expo too?  I was there last year as an attendee.  Great show!

Just wanted to leave a quick thanks! I’m having a baby very soon so I’ve been baking like crazy trying to fill my freezer with quick snacks for after baby is here. These turned out drool worthy, and I love that they were so fast and easy to make! Keep the recipes coming :)


Thank you Jessica!
So happy these muffins have worked out well for you!  Aren’t we all so lucky there so many wonderful resources on this fabulous website?  Tess is a true inspiration.  All the best with your new family addition.

Drool-Worthy is right! Jennifer Ward’s recipes ROCK! Enjoy your new baby!

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