Fruity Muffins & Maker Culture

My Relationship with Maker Culture

One of the best sessions I attended at Podcamp Toronto in February was led by Wayne MacPhail and his journalism students from Ryerson University. Their class focused on the idea of Maker Culture, whereby people focus on making things they need and use everyday. Different class members focused on different goods that people could make. (One girl actually interviewed me about one of my blog posts where I describe how to make your own skin products using raw, natural food products.) They used Google Wave and wikis and all sorts of handy online tools to track their progress and share ideas.

You might say I’ve been going through my own maker culture phase…

I’ve stepped back from blogging a little bit, but I’ve been dutifully cooking every night. I always say I’m not a baker, but I’ve found myself baking a lot!

I know it’s against clean eating principles to be making things with white flour and sugar, but there is always that lingering, Nigella Lawson-y part of me that insists homemade anything is better than store-bought anything in the end. At least you can always see what goes into it.

And I'm not so strict that I'm about to ever swear off flour. I go pretty green/vegan/raw at times, but this is a Food blog at the end of the day and the French, baguettey part of me will always beat out the clean eater.

So what, I’ve been eating lots of quinoa and spirulina and legumes. A girl still wants something sweet every once in a while. Instead of reaching for a Cadbury bar, doesn’t it seem better to reach for homemade fruit-filled, homemade blueberry-banana muffins?

Wholesome, old-fashioned food will always be good for the soul.

Banana & Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup oat bran
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of turmeric
tablespoon of ground flax seed
tablespoon of chia seeds
tablespoon of raw sunflower seeds

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3)
1/2 cup unflavored soy milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries or 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries, unthawed (6 to 7 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Combine flour, sugar, oat bran, baking powder, salt and other dry spices in medium bowl; whisk to blend.

Place mashed bananas in large bowl. Stir in soy milk, egg, oil, and lemon juice. Mix in dry ingredients, then blueberries. Remember with muffins and brownies that you want to mix the ingredients just enough that they are combined, but not so much that the gluten starts to break down in the flour. If that happens, the batter becomes stringy and the muffins will turn out tough instead of soft and moist.

Divide batter among muffin papers. Bake muffins until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Turn muffins out onto rack and cool 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

As I always say, I ain’t no baker, but these muffins do the trick. They are full of good things.


  1. Yum! These look delish, Jess. I have some bananas in my freezer begging to be turned in to muffins. I'm going to try these out this weekend.

  2. Thanks Amanda!

    I thought they tasted pretty clean and I was pleased with the resule. You could easily leave out the chia and sunflower seeds if you're not a fan. (I was just trying to hide some extra nutrients in them!)