The art of finding

Stocking a Healthy Pantry (+ A Banana Nut Muffin Recipe!)

December 22, 2017
by HG Guest

Entertaining and Recipes Kitchen and Dining

This is a guest blog post from health + wellness blogger, Nicole from Pumps and Iron.

HomeGoods is one of those places where you walk in to get one or two items and then magically end up leaving with a cart full of things (in my case: throw pillows). In-and-out missions for a single product never work for me—I could literally spend the entire day shopping through the aisles of decorative pieces, furniture and pantry essentials. It’s like the 30-year-old’s equivalent of a kid’s treasure hunt.

Most of us think of HomeGoods as a go-to when decorating a new home or apartment, but I also love stocking up my pantry there. They have a big selection of health-conscious ingredients and foods, from cooking oils to chia seeds and everything in between. And the best part? They are all at HomeGoods prices.

Pantry staples (nut butters, coconut oil, olive oil, spices, flours—the list goes on) can be some of the more expensive items in your grocery cart. Have you ever looked at the price tag on those big jugs of maple syrup at other grocery stores or health/specialty food stores and thought to yourself, “This is why Millennials can’t afford to buy homes.” Well I have (lol). At HomeGoods, on the other hand, I was able to stock up on all that’s pictured below, plus three gourmet spice blends and apple cider vinegar, for under $100. And more than half the products were organic!

Photo by Pumps and Iron

On my latest trip to HomeGoods, my best find was probably the Chosen Foods oil sprays. I LOVE these and use them all the time when cooking, so being able to stock up for less was a huge win. They’re one of the few oil sprays that don’t contain propellants, which make them my preferred brand. I also was excited to try the Chia & Flax Seed Powder. Flax “eggs” (flax meal + water) are a great vegan egg replacement in recipes, and I was curious to see if this blend would work as successfully. It does—the vegan banana nut muffin recipe I’m sharing with you guys today turned out great! In addition to its function as an egg replacement, chia and flax meal are great sources of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

Photo by Pumps and Iron

Some other pantry items I always look for at HomeGoods include –

Spice blends – No joke, I have four different salt grinders currently in my pantry from HomeGoods right now. My favorite is a garlic, red pepper and salt mix that I sprinkle on just about everything.

Smoothie add-ins – HomeGoods has everything you need to power up on a smoothing: hemp, flax and chia seeds, protein powders, maca, cacao – the list goes on. In this most recent shopping trip, I found sunflower seeds which I love to sprinkle on top of smoothie bowls. They add a nice crunch and are a great source of iron.

Sweeteners – Maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar – so many ways to sweeten recipes without granulated sugar.

Snacks – I always find popcorn, chip and fun nut mixes. Joe is obsessed with trail mix so I stock up for him.

Almost all the ingredients in these vegan banana nut muffins were found during my latest trip to HomeGoods. Even though I was there to stock up my pantry, I couldn’t resist shopping the other aisles, and how cute are the gold measuring cups, whisk and butter knives pictured? I had no choice, guys, I had to buy them.

Photo by Pumps and Iron

Photo by Pumps and Iron

Vegan Banana Nut Muffins

INGREDIENTS

– ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (plus more for topping)

Dry ingredients:

– 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used gluten-free)

– ½ cup coconut sugar

– 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

– 1 teaspoon cinnamon

– ½ teaspoon salt


Photo by Pumps and Iron

Wet ingredients:

– 2 medium ripe bananas , mashed

– 1/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

– Flax “egg”: 2 tbsp flax meal (I used a flax and chia meal) + 5 tbsp water

– ¼ cup maple syrup

-2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Photo by Pumps and Iron

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: Preheat to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease muffin tin (I spray with olive oil) or insert liners. In a small bowl, make flax egg and set aside.

Step 2: Mix dry ingredients together (except for sugar) in a large bowl. Mix sugar and wet ingredients together in a medium bowl (including flax egg once it’s settled about 5 minutes).

Step 3: Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. It’s important you don’t over-mix the batter or the texture of the muffins will be off. Add the chopped nuts and stir a few more times.


Photo by Pumps and Iron

Step 4: Fill muffin tins about 3/4 of the way with the batter. Top with more nuts if desired.

Step 5: Bake 17-20 minutes (toothpick should come out clean when inserted into top of muffin). Let cool for 10 minutes and enjoy!

Photo by Pumps and Iron

These banana nut muffins make for a quick breakfast on the go or the perfect snack during the day. Try spreading peanut butter on top or drizzling with honey to really take them to the next level. I found some artisan jams at HomeGoods (just four simple ingredients in each jar) and while I normally wouldn’t put jelly on a muffin, it worked so well with these. Give it a try!

Photo by Pumps and Iron

Photo by Pumps and Iron

Nicole is a paid HomeGoods Partner.