Banana Nut Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

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My baking hobby started around sophomore year of high school. I loved the science of it. Varying ratios of basic ingredients could yield something absolutely tasty. 

My life had gone a bit hectic around that time. My Gram had come to live with us because she was battling Alzheimer’s and dementia and I was sharing my room with her. Over the 6 months I shared a room with her (before the addition was built onto our house for her to live in) we became very close. 


(My first picture with Gram) 

My Gram isn’t your average grandmother. At 80 she was still running around, playing golf, and could debate with the best of them. She is very spirited and not afraid to speak her mind to anyone. Of course this spirited personality also made her battle with dementia harder. It was hard for her to accept her illness and so our family had many up and down days. Image

I turned to baking. Maybe it’s because it was something I could control, that I could ensure would turn out right. Muffins, cookies, breads…It was something I could make that would bring joy to people. 

I’ve had baking fails and successes over the years, but my little hobby has become a passion. I find joy in experimenting with different ingredients and love sharing recipes with friends and family. Especially now that I’m vegan. I love showing people that their old favorites can be made without eggs, dairy, butter (cruelty-free 🙂 ) 

So without further ado: 


Banana Nut Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

(makes 12-14 depending on batter distribution

  • 3 very ripe small-medium bananas
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup vegan dark chocolate chips 


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a muffin pan.
  2. Mash bananas and add in applesauce, flax, oil, coconut milk, and vanilla. Stir until well combined. 
  3. Sift in flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and coconut sugar. Mix well.
  4. Toss in walnuts, coconut, and chocolate chips. Combine until mixed throughout and divide batter evenly amongst muffin pan. 
  5. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes. Should be golden on the outside. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. ImageImage

Perfect on the go food. Make sure to store in airtight container after removing from pan. 

Hope you enjoy! If you do make them let me know how the recipe worked out for you. 


3 thoughts on “Banana Nut Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

    Jenn - Chivalrous Cooking said:
    June 4, 2014 at 11:03 pm


    Brie said:
    June 6, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    Hi Sarah, I just wanted to let you know that your posts are very inspiring! Ironically, my grandma has also been suffering dementia for probably 10 years now, and she has been living with my family for probably 8, so I can relate to you there – sometimes it really is tough and seems like no one understands. However, I chose to take all of my emotions out on running and trying to control my body image. Now that I have been getting into the “vegan foodie” lifestyle the past few years, I have been coupling my athletics with healthy food and nourishment, not depletion, and I have very recently started baking. My mom bakes a lot, so I never really did any of my own until I started discovering, like you said, that “old favorites” could easily be recreated by using healthy vegan substitutions. I’m loving delving into recipes to learn the way things work so that I can start to develop more of my own – I sometimes wish I could drop out of physical therapy school and just make food for people all day!! Oh well, I try to make the most of my time, and I hope that in the near future when I get more creative with food that I can also start a blog, but I need to get more Instagram followers first before I get myself in too deep! One thing at a time!

      sarmclaughlin responded:
      July 9, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoy my blog! It’s really tough living with a loved one that has dementia. It’s hard to see them suffering with it and it’s a very hard disease for caretakers to deal with. I also had the experience of exerting control through restrictive eating and exercise, but I’ve come to see the joy that comes with nourishing our bodies properly. I was on Instagram for about 2 years before I built up my following and started a blog! You can do it! If you need any support let me know.

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