Saturday, February 14, 2015

Healthy Banana Chocolate Muffins

A couple of weeks ago, I was staying with my mom in South Carolina attending to another family member who was ill. I had picked up a bunch of bananas for my mom, but in the hub-bub of coming and going, they began to ripen …and ripen. I don’t know what it is with bananas, but seeing a perilously ripe banana inspires tremendous guilt in me. No one, including me, wants to throw away a perfectly good banana, even if it is kind of mushy and sickly sweet (at least in my opinion.) I searched around my 93 year-old mom’s pantry, which wasn’t particularly well-equipped for baking projects, to see what I could cob together with bananas. The result was banana muffins. Honestly, the crumb was so tender and moist that these could have easily passed for healthy cupcakes.

Back at home in Vermont, there were more overly ripe bananas waiting for me. At my mom’s, she had a box of King Arthur’s All-Purpose Gluten Free Baking mix, but at home, I decided to try my own combination of flours and see how a little cocoa changed the flavor profile. Both versions were absolutely the best banana muffins I’ve ever eaten, gluten-free or not. Feel free to try either version by simply omitting the cocoa and using either King Arthur flour or the blend shown below.  And go ahead and ice them with cream cheese frosting, if you like.

Makes 12 cupcakes plus a little banana cake
3 ripe bananas
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
½ cup honey
¼ cup olive oil
2 large eggs
¼ cup cocoa
1 packed cup King Arthur Flour (or ½ cup (60g) light buckwheat flour, ½ cup (70g) tapioca starch and 1/8 cup (15g) coconut flour)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 400°F and grease a 12-muffin tin plus a small ramekin.
Mash the bananas with a fork and using a hand mixer, blend the bananas with the yogurt, honey, olive oil, eggs, and cocoa.
Beat in the flour(s) and then beat in the baking powder and baking soda.
Spoon about ¼ of batter into each muffin cup and spoon the remainder into the ramekin.
Bake for 19 to 20 minutes or until the tops spring back and a toothpick comes out clean.

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