Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Banana Bread Muffins

A few days ago, I found myself staring at some incredibly overripe bananas, debating on whether to throw them out or try to make banana bread with them.  I knew our family wouldn't be able to eat a whole loaf of banana bread before it went stale, so I came up with the idea to make Banana Bread Muffins and freeze them instead.  I looked at several Banana Bread recipes to get an idea of what sort of ingredients are used, and then using that as a guideline, created my own recipe, using as many healthy alternatives as I thought I could get away with, without sacrificing the flavor. Since I don't eat bananas, I had to rely on my husband and toddler to critique the outcome.  My toddler, who might be the pickiest eater ever, gobbled them down in under two minutes.  My husband pronounced it "delicious!" and was shocked when I told him they were healthy.  Success!  I froze the remaining muffins, so now I have an easy breakfast for them.  I just pop one out of the freezer, microwave, and voila, a relatively healthy breakfast in under 30 seconds.  

Banana Bread Muffins
Yields a Dozen

3/4 Cup All Purpose White Flour
3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
3 Overripe Bananas, mashed
2/3 Cup White Sugar 
1/3 Cup Coconut Oil, melted
1 Egg (or 1/4 Cup Applesauce)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
2/3  Cup Chopped Walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a muffin pan.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together both types of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a separate large bowl, combine the mashed banana, sugar, and oil until smooth.  Stir in the egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg (and nuts, if using).  Pour the flour mixture in with the wet ingredients in the large bowl, and stir until just combined. DO NOT OVER MIX.  

4.  Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, filling each up just over halfway.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  

Serving Size: 1 Muffin
Calories: 175
Fat: 7
Carbs: 27
Protein: 3


* The riper the banana, the better.  As it ripens, not only does it get sweeter, it actually becomes more nutritious!  The peel should be almost completely black, and the banana should be super soft.

*Be very careful not over mix!  It will make the muffins dry and crumbly.  

* To freeze:  Set the muffins evenly spaced--without touching each other--on wax paper in your freezer.  Once good and frozen, place all of them in a freezer bag.  Doing it this way will prevent them from getting frozen stuck together.

* Don't have wheat flour? You can use 1 1/2 cups of All Purpose Flour.  Don't have coconut oil? Well, you should really get some. It's great for you.  But if you don't have it, you can use whatever your preferred oil is (olive, canola, etc.).

* Watching your sugar intake?  Drop the sugar to 1/2 Cup.  

* Feel free to stir in some add-ins prior to baking, such as chocolate chips, blueberries, raspberries, etc.  You could also get adventurous, and try grated carrot or zucchini.  

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