Thursday, September 24, 2015

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

A traditional recipe for banana chocolate chips muffins with a few healthier substitutions no one will ever know happened

Creating non-traditional original recipes is one of my passions, but sometimes you just need to stick with the traditional basics.  For today's post, I did just that, well with a few healthier substitutions.

Since one of 360FN's most frequently viewed recipes is Low Fat Banana Bread, I decided it was time for a follow-up recipe.  This time, I wanted to create an individually portioned option.  Meet Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins, the muffin version of the Banana Bread (well plus some chocolate)

If you follow any of my other recipes you know that I am all about recipe substitutions. So here is what I did!  I was able to reduce the fat content in this recipe by adding in some unsweetened applesauce. The amount of added sugar was decreased due to the natural sweetness provided by the bananas and applesauce.  I skipped the white flour and went for pure 100% whole wheat flour (King Arthur's is my absolute favorite).

For a sweet treat I added a few chocolate chips, however, the muffins can still be enjoyed without the chocolate addition.  Typically the darker chocolate options will have less sugar and fat (i.e. look for chocolate made with more than 60% cacao).  For an even more fruit packed option consider including canned or dried fruit pieces.

The muffins will stay fresh for several days. I enjoyed one muffin for breakfast over the course of several days.  For a balanced breakfast, I combined one muffin with one or two scrambled eggs and a piece of fruit (usually a banana).  This was banana overload!  I eat a banana almost every single morning of my life.  If I don't eat a banana in the AM hours I feel like my whole day is off schedule.

Now remember not all muffins are created equal.  In this instance, I created a lower calorie (and fiber packed) healthier muffin option.  When I lived in New York City I frequented a certain well-known donut shop (for the coffee of course).  I was always surprised to see the posted calorie amount of muffins greatly excited the donuts. Yes, the muffins were nearly 500 calories per serving.  Who would have ever though donuts would be a better choice?!

Your family's dietitian,

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
by Kristen Smith
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Ingredients (15 muffins)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sugar (or sugar substitute, will need to adjust amount)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (I used buttery spread)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or dried fruit)
  • non-stick cooking spray
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit; line a muffin pan with baking cups
2. Combine butter, banana, applesauce, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl; beat on medium speed until creamy
3. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, and baking soda; gradually add to batter and beat on low speed
4. Stir in chocolate chips or dried fruit
5. Spoon batter into baking cups (fill about 2/3 full)
5. Bake muffins at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 23-27 minutes or until cooked through (stick toothpick in center to determine if complete)
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