Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Healthy Banana-Nut Muffins

Don't let the 'healthy' tag on these muffins dissuade you from trying these muffins. They're moist, chewy, filling and delicious, all for 157 calories and 2.2g fat per muffin -- the perfect easy breakfast to grab on your way out the door, rather than skipping (tsk, tsk) or grabbing donuts or something worse later. They also provide a nice balance of legit food for those of us raiding our Easter baskets for some pre-breakfast treats while waiting for the coffee to finish. These even get the boyfriend stamp-of-approval, and he has very little patience for deliciousness trade-offs in favor of lower calories, which I can fully support.
These muffins were a little on the dense, rather than light and airy, side of things, which could be attributed to the whole-wheat pastry flour I was using. They certainly weren't too dense, and added to them being filling while still moist, but you can substitute in some white flour if you want a different texture. These muffins keep for about a week in an air-tight container at room temperature. They also freeze well, if you're making a big double-batch and won't eat them all in a week.

As the weather gets warmer and clothing becomes a little less forgiving, I'm intending to start shifting my posts from delicious baked goods to things that won't require so much cardio time to undo these things. I'm all for indulging on occasion, but 80% of the time I'm much more veggie-based than butter-based, so time to shift the focus a bit -- but no worries, if I keep up posting each week, there'll still be plenty of space for spring and summer desserts. Too many delicious fruits are coming into season to not utilize them!!

Healthy Banana-Nut Muffins
Adapted from
Takes ~15 minutes prep time, makes 12 muffins or 1 bread pan

    2         Eggs
2/3 cup   Sugar
    2         Bananas, very ripe and mashed
1/4 cup   Applesauce
1/3 cup   Milk, nonfat -- soymilk worked just fine
1 Tbs      Canola or Olive Oil
1 tsp       Vanilla Extract
1 3/4       Cups Whole-Wheat Flour
2 tsp       Baking Soda
2 tsp       Cinnamon
1 tsp       Nutmeg
1/2 tsp    Salt
1/3 cup   Walnuts, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 325ยบ, spray muffin or bread pan with non-stick spray and dust with flour.
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, ~5 minutes.
3. Beat in bananas, applesauce, milk, oil, and vanilla.
4. Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients until just blended -- muffins are best when not over-mixed. It's not cake batter, it's supposed to have a few lumps!
5. Fold in walnuts, pour batter into the prepared pan.
6. Bake ~15 minutes for muffins, 1 hr for bread pan, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick into the center comes out clean.
7. Turn out of pans onto cooling rack and let cool completely -- or smear some butter on them and enjoy hot!!

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