Banana oat muffins

This Feb. 15, 2017 photo shows banana oat muffins in Coronado, Calif. This dish is from a recipe by Melissa d'Arabian. (Melissa d'Arabian via AP)

Servings: 26 muffins

Start to finish: 40 minutes

1/2 cup (gently packed) pitted dates

2 tablespoons coconut oil (or other oil or butter)

2 medium bananas, ripe, roughly chopped

2 eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups rolled oats (gluten-free, if making gluten-free)

3/4 cup almond flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the wet ingredients: Place the dates in a small bowl and pour 1/2 cup boiling water on them and let them sit for 5 minutes to soften.

Once soft, pour off the excess water (do not drain; leave them very wet), and use a fork to smash the dates gently into a loose paste. In a stand mixer using the whisk attachment (or hand mixer), mix the date paste, coconut oil and bananas on medium high speed until soft and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each one, and add the vanilla. Prepare the dry ingredients: Place the oats in a dry blender or food processor and pulse until oats become a coarse powder.

Pour into a bowl and add almond flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, and salt and whisk to mix. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients half at a time, mixing after each addition. If the dough becomes too thick for the whisk attachment, fold in using a rubber spatula.

Use a small ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon to scoop dough into a mini-muffin pan fitted with paper liners.

Bake until muffins spring back to the touch, about 17-20 minutes.

Nutrition information per serving: 68 calories; 30 calories from fat; 3 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 17 mg cholesterol; 55 mg sodium; 8 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 2 g protein.

Melissa d’Arabian, Associated Press