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Athletic nutrition coaching

Banana, Date and Chia Muffins

Vegan Banana Muffing

This recipe was designed for Sydney Chic by Catherine Carr (no relation to Deb).

After nine years Catherine Carr was still battling Hashimoto’s which is an autoimmune disease . The most difficult side effect was the increasing joint pain particularly in her hands. Cortisone, in an injection form, had helped but she still had issues gripping and she was taking daily painkillers. She was keen to find a healthier way to eat that would help her manage the condition as well as reduce the medications she took to control it. One day she watched What the Health, a 2017 Netflix documentary about the link between eating animal products and chronic disease. Something the narrator said struck her: ‘We are killing the animals and they are killing us back.’ It made perfect sense to Catherine who decided to become vegan straight away. She was already vegetarian, however that diet still contained animal product in the form of dairy and eggs. She says her switch to a total plant-based diet yielded immediate benefits – within 21 days she lost weight and felt stronger, healthier and more energetic than she had in years. Most importantly the pain related to her joints completely disappeared and she was able to give up daily pain relief.

Catherine was keen to share her news with family and friends but disappointed when most of them reacted with disinterest or even hostility. She realised that although sharing her discovery and passion was important, she needed to respect the food choices and journeys of others in order to make a difference. Catherine is a counsellor and now newly qualified vegan food coach and the founder of Gently Vegan (, A passion project created to inspire food and lifestyle choices that support a plant based and compassion focused life.

Thanks Catherine for sharing this recipe with us:

Catherine Carr Vegan Coach

Banana, Date and Chia muffins are a low sugar, healthy snack. Perfect for kids lunch boxes or your afternoon energy hit at work. There is no sugar added to these muffins, the sweetness is picked up from the natural sugars in the banana, rice syrup and dates.


2 tablespoons chia seeds 1 cup almond milk 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/4 cups roughly chopped dates. 2 cups whole meal flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 cup mashed bananas (approx.2-3 bananas) 1/4 cup rice syrup 1/4 cup olive oil 2 tablespoons of almond butter

Topping- ten dates finely sliced (optional)


Small muffin tray Muffin wraps


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

  2. Add chia seeds to unsweetened almond milk, whisk well, and place to one side for the binding powers to kick in. This takes about twenty minutes for the chia seeds to go all gloopy in the mixture.

  3. Combine 1/2 cup of roughly chopped dates and 1/2 cup of boiling water with the baking soda.

  4. Set aside for about twenty minutes so the dates become soft and syrupy.

  5. Prepare the topping, finely slice ten dates and place to one side. (Optional)

  6. Combine dry ingredients, whole meal flour and baking powder.

  7. Mix well.

  8. Mash bananas.

  9. Add Bananas dry mix - don't stir in yet.

  10. For a second time whisk chia seeds and almond milk mix, add to dry mix.

  11. Mix all ingredients well to a batter.

  12. Combine olive oil, rice syrup and almond butter into a heavy based pot.

  13. Over a very low heat stir the almond butter so it melts into the oil and syrup

  14. The oils should only be warm, do not allow them to heat up; the process should take less than one minute.

  15. Now pour warm oils into batter, mix really well.

  16. Fold 3/4 cup of roughly chopped dried dates evenly through the mixture.

  17. Spoon batter into muffin papers (makes 10)

  18. Decorate each muffin with a sprinkle of sliced up dates. (Optional)

  19. Cook at 180 degrees Celsius for 45-50 minutes (Muffin tops should be brown once well cooked, if in doubt give them an extra minute or two)

  20. Banana, Date, Chia Muffins keep for a couple of days in a cool dry container.

I must confess that these are one of my breakfast short cuts with an almond milk latte if I am running late in the morning. The chia seeds are full of fibre, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. The bananas contain resistant starch, great for gut health. Dates will deliver a glucose hit to get your brain working. High in fibre, an energy rich booster, to kick start your day! - Catherine Carr

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