Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Banana Peanut Butter Surprise muffins

Ripe bananas are wonderful.  Sometimes I let them get overripe just so I have a reason to bake with them.  Banana bread, banana muffins, banana cream pie... its all good.  This time I wanted to experiment a little with banana muffins.  I am a huge fan of toast with peanut butter and bananas for breakfast and that was the inspiration for these sweet dessert-type muffins.  

Making balanced snacks and meals (including breakfast) is very important in feeling satisfied.  Combining fat, protein, and carbohydrates in meals makes the body feel good!  These muffins fit right into that mold, making them a satisfying breakfast.  This recipe beats a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts muffin on taste and nutrition.  Deli and bakery muffins can run about 600 calories, and are filled with tons of fat, sodium, and don't have any whole grains.  Ttrade a little time in the kitchen for savings at the grocery store or local bakery.  

I made these whole-grain muffins following a traditional muffin recipe and added bananas and all of the special toppings (peanut butter, mini chocolate chips, and walnuts) and they came out so tasty!  The canola oil provides a good source of monounsaturated fat (one of the heart-healthy fats) and the peanut butter and walnuts provide extra protein (along with those healthy fats).  The walnuts and flax seed provide a little bit of Omega 3 Fatty acids which may decrease inflammation and decrease your risk for Heart Disease.  Let's face it... the chocolate just brings it all together and makes it extra tasty.  

Banana PB Surprise Muffins
Make 16 muffins

1 cup of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp flax seed
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup skim milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup ripe, mashed banana (about 2-3 bananas)

1/4 cup Natural peanut butter
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl, make a "well" in the center of the bowl.  Mix the oil, egg, and milk together and pour into the "well" of dry ingredients.  Mix just so the wet ingredients are moistened.  Add the banana and mix (don't overmix or it will ruin texture of the muffins).  Fill greased muffin tins (or muffin-cups) until they are 1/2 full.  Drop a tsp of peanut butter on top and fill the muffin tins until they are ~2/3 full.  Top with a few chocolate chips and walnuts.    Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Stick a toothpick in the center, when it comes out clean, the muffins are done! 

Enjoy with a fresh cup of coffee and seasonal fruit for a great breakfast or snack!  Like most baked goods these muffins taste best right out of the oven (how could you resist).  That being said, they will stay fresh for 2-3 days if you cover them or you could freeze them and they would be fresh for a while!

Nutrition facts: 1 muffin
~185 calories, 23 g carbohydrates, 4 g pro, 2 g fiber, 8 g fat, 240 mg sodium


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