Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Coconut Plantain Muffins, Urban Hiking and Fair Trade

This past Sunday I decided to walk from the Bronx to Manhattan. I don't really even know why I did it, but it turned out to be such a great day. The weather was perfect for walking, and it was so nice not to have a set route planned out. I just kind of wandered, and ended up going down Grand Concourse, over Madison Bridge, to Harlem, across to the Upper West, and down Columbus Avenue. On the way, I passed by several farmer's markets, got a free National Coffee Day coffee from Dunkin' Donuts, stopped by Sephora to pick up my birthday gift three months late, and wandered into a Whole Foods before ending my hike on 59th. I kind of feel like I was meant to walk in and see the demo of fair trade chocolate spreads from Barefoot & Chocolate. I asked where the chocolate was sourced from, and ended up having a great conversation about the importance of Fair Trade and the lack of its awareness with what turned out to be the company's owners. We had both seen the documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate, which is about child slavery and the unwillingness of the chocolate industry to take action against it. (watch it!!) Fair Trade has been on my mind a lot lately, and the more I learn about it, the more I develop a sense of guilt and urgency. I learned on Monday that 40% of the world's poorest make just 5% of global income, whereas 20% of the world's richest account for 75% of global income. I really makes me self-reflect on my life and realize firstly how grateful I am to be living the way I am, secondly how trivial some of our every day issues are compared to those who who lack the most basic human needs on a daily basis, and lastly how small decisions we make can be the most important steps to making a difference, such as asking a question or deciding to buy a Fair Trade good. My encounter was so relevant to the class I am taking on entrepreneurship and fair trade, and it was great to see that people are living and acting upon the principles that we are discussing in class. This Sunday, I really felt like I made yet another connection between class and real life, and I know that my way of thinking is completely changing thanks to these experiences, and I am so grateful for that.

Urban Hiking

To go along with a day's worth of incredible experiences, I would like to share one more life-changing thing: a recipe that I have been working on for a while and feel like I am finally ready to share. These Coconut Plantain Muffins have an incredible texture and no added flour or sweetener thanks to the amazing properties of plantains. They are so dense, yet really moist and have the perfect balance between protein and carbs. And on top of all of that, they are so easy to make! This recipe can also easily be made into a loaf. I tested it out with some leftover batter, and am including a picture later on in the post. Here goes, your mind will be blown :-)

Coconut Plantain Muffins

Coconut Plantain Muffins
Makes about 12 muffins

  • 2 ripe sweet plantains
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed
  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a mixing bowl, mash plantains and add egg whites, then blend with a hand mixer. You can also use a blender or Vitamix to make it easier on yourself, but I kind of like the occasional chunks of plantain that the hand mixer leaves in the batter.
  • Mix in the flaxseed and shredded coconut with a spatula.
  • Lastly, add the baking powder and stir in well.
  • Grease your muffin tin with oil (coconut works best) or use non-stick muffin liners and pour in the batter.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until the muffins are firm. Let cool inside of the oven before removing.
Coconut Plantain MuffinsCoconut Plantain Bread

Enjoy! Please let me know how they turned out, keep thinking about Fair Trade, count your blessings, and try taking an urban hike one of these days :-) 

Remember to follow for more great recipes, thanks!!



  1. Hi I was wondering if your plantains were black for this recipe. Or can they be a little yellow still?

    1. Hi! They can definitely still be yellow, but the riper the plantains are the sweeter the muffins will be :-)

  2. These lol great!!! 1. Do I need to use egg whites or could I try a cup of whole eggs? 2. Do you mean flaxseed meal?

    1. Thanks! Yup, you could definitely substitute whole eggs, but the recipe might just be a bit denser. And yes, I do mean flaxseed meal, probably could have clarified that a bit better, sorry! Happy baking, let me know how they turn out :)

  3. If I am sensitive to coconut, would ground almonds or cashews work in place of it?

    1. I haven't tried that yet, but I don't think it should be a problem! Definitely worth a shot :)


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