Try sorghum muffins to start your day. You could also call it a banana muffin or even a whole wheat muffin. In short, a healthy, delicious low-fat breakfast. Bake it on the weekend and be rid of breakfast worries for the next few days. I’m partial to whole grain recipes and try to incorporate gut-friendly, nutrient-dense whole-grain and flours in my baking wherever I can. This sorghum muffin recipe is one such attempt that turned out exactly as I had hoped it would.
Know your sorghum
A hardy plant, the grain has been cultivated and eaten in India since ancient times. Besides being iron-dense, fibre-rich and gluten-free, it contains hardly any saturated fat and provides a good amount of fibre and protein and small but significant quantities of calcium and niacin. It’s also thought to contain anti-cancer chemicals and prevent heart disease. It may be seen in the trendy health food section of stores now, but sorghum has been around for a long time, providing affordable nourishment to the masses. It’s a popular choice of flour for making a variety of unleavened flatbreads such as rotis, dodda, thalipeeth, bhakri, jonna rotti, jolada rotti (depending on the region/state). Whole sorghum grains are eaten as khichdi (savoury porridge), upma, muthia etc. The natural softness and sweet nuttiness of sorghum flour makes it wonderful for cakes, pancakes, muffins and cookies.
Holding the sorghum muffins together
I used 50 percent whole wheat flour along with sorghum in this recipe since I decided to leave out the eggs completely – 100 percent sorghum flour muffins would not hold together without the help of a substantial binding component. Flax eggs work well as binders for this 50-50 flour mix. My Finger Millet And Date Cake also relies on flax eggs. To make flax eggs, grind the flax seeds and soak them in water for 10-15 minutes till they turn gluey; use 3 tbsp water for every 1 tbsp of flax seeds. The pectin in the bananas also lends a hand in binding the muffins.
- An important tip to remember while baking with whole grain flours is to allow the batter to rest for 5-10 minutes before filling the muffin tray or cake mould. This helps the flours absorb the liquids better and will help to get an evenly hydrated, more tender result.
- Also, never over-mix the batter. This will push all the air out, deflating it and you’ll end up with a flat, dense muffin.
- If you’re out of liners like I often am, make sure to grease the tin with a little oil.
- To get a nice, tall muffin, fill the cups till they’re 75% full, and not halfway like many recipes tell you to.
Whole grain muffins can sometimes turn out dry and dense. These sorghum muffins, I promise you are quite the opposite – bananas, milk, olive oil and flax eggs give the muffins a vanilla-scented, tender crumb. If you want to go vegar, substitute the milk with almond or soy milk. I’ve used extra-light olive oil – the ‘extra-light’ means that it’s lighter on the olive oil flavour not the calories when compared to regular olive oil. It has a more neutral taste, which makes it better for baking. Going with oil instead of butter has many advantages –
Firstly, it straightaway cuts the amount of saturated fat in the muffins, which is always welcome.
Baking with oil keeps baked goods made with whole grains, especially muffins, moist and tender for longer.
Using oil in muffins helps the batter rise taller – oil cakes are often domed for this reason.
I hope you’ll make these sorghum muffins because they are deliciously satisfying, and will not disappoint you either with their flavour or with their texture. The vanilla from ripe bananas and the hint of sweet from the sorghum are intense and the bite of whole grain flours is earthy and comforting. If eating healthy makes you happy, this is a recipe for you.
- 75 g sorghum (jowar) flour
- 75 g whole wheat flour
- 32 g extra light olive oil
- 80 g raw sugar or light brown sugar
- 150 g very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1¼ tbsp flax seeds ground and soaked in 3 tbsp water for 10 minutes
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp soda bicarb(baking soda)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 35 g walnuts, chopped
- 85 g milk
- ½ tsp salt
- Lightly grease 6 moulds in a muffin tray and preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Sift together the flours, salt, baking powder and soda bicarb in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, lightly whisk together the olive oil and sugar followed by the flax mixture, mashed bananas, vanilla essence and milk.
- Now using a spatula, gently fold in the dry, flour mixture into the wet mix until almost combined. Put in the chopped walnuts and in just a few strokes, fold them into the batter taking care not to over-mix.
- Rest the batter for 10 minutes and then fill the greased molds till three fourths full.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 16-18 minutes till the muffins are tall and golden. A toothpick inserted into the centre of the muffin should come out clean with no traces of wet batter. Cool in the tray for 5 mins before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool fully. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for a couple of days. Refrigerate to keep for longer.