Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I am finding that with teenagers in the house, now more than ever, I need to have fresh muffins available for a quick snack or lunch addition. This muffin recipe is a staple in our house. They are super moist and so delicious!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup of oil (or 1/3 cup apple sauce for a healthier version)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Method:

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well.

In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg and stir in the milk, oil and vanilla. Once combined, add in the mashed bananas and stir again.

Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir until the dry ingredients are moist and just combined. Do not over mix. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.

Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Cut small wax paper squares to sit in the base of each cup (about 1 1/4″ squares). I learned this trick from my mom! The little squares help to prevent the bottoms from sticking and help the muffins to release from the pan easily. Divide the batter among the 12 cups and bake for 18 to 22 minutes.

Once cooled, remove the wax paper squares from the bottoms and place in a sealed container or zipper bag to store. I will often wrap them individually in plastic wrap and pop them in the freezer. This keeps the muffins fresh and makes them easy to grab and go!

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Rhubarb Muffins

rhubarb muffinsYahoo! Rhubarb is in season! I grew-up picking rhubarb fresh from the patch and then dipping the end in a bowl of sugar….so 70’s! I no longer do the sugar dipping thing, but I absolutely love rhubarb recipes. I don’t grow any (not sure why not), but a few ladies from work brought me in some fresh rhubarb and I’m totally going on a rhubarb rampage over the next few days, so brace yourself.  The first recipe is for delicious rhubarb muffins….mmm good.

Rhubarb Muffins:

Preheat the over to 350 degrees.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cups oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups of chopped fresh rhubarb

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Fold in the rhubarb. Grease muffin tins. Place the batter in muffin trays. This recipe makes 24 muffins.

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon melted butter
  • Optional: candied pecans

Mix the ingredients together and sprinkle on top of the muffins. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf

Okay, I am  officially hooked on all things pumpkin. I tried a new recipe for pumpkin loaf on Monday and my family devoured the first loaf in one day. Generally speaking, Eden isn’t overly enthused with most of my new recipes, in fact, sometimes I think it is her mission to “snub” them.  She will usually try my new recipes and often finish one serving, but rarely asks for seconds or offers any praise, despite the taste. Well, let me tell you this pumpkin loaf passed the “Eden test” with flying colours!  Not only did she gobbled up most of the loaf, but when I got home from work yesterday, she had already removed the second loaf from the freezer. She was raving about it and asked when I was going to make it again. I love the crusty texture on the outside and the moist “cake” on the inside of the loaf.  Slap on some butter and it’s like a give straight from heaven.  The loaf actually seemed to taste even better the second day. Is that even possible? This is a definite keeper and a must try ~ thanks to The Twisted Chef for another great recipe. (I believe the original recipe was found in Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Polafito.)

Pumpkin Loaf

Pumpking Chocolate Chip Loaf

Ingredients:

3 1/4 c. flour, sifted
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp group allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1 3/4 c. pumpkin purée
1 c. vegetable oil
3 c. sugar (She used 1 c. white & 2 c. brown)
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c. water, room temperature
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Spray two 9 inch loaf pans with non-stick spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another, larger bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée and the oil until combined. Add the sugar(s) and whisk again. (There seems to be quite a bit of sugar in this recipe, but it does make two nice sized loaves, so I guess it isn’t so bad.) It’ll thicken nicely – now add in the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition, and then add the vanilla. Add the water and whisk until combined. Grab your rubber spatula and stir in the chocolate chips. Gently fold in the dry ingredients – try not to over mix.

Divide the batter between the two loaf pans. Gently tap the pans against the counter – it’ll remove any air bubbles and level out the top of each loaf. Bake at the centre of the oven – about 1 hour 20 minutes (give or take) – a toothpick or tip of knife should come out clean when inserted in the centre.

Transfer the pans to a wire rack, cool for about 15 minutes; then invert the loaves and cool completely. And then slice into it.

pumpkin loaf

This delicious pumpkin loaf recipe was borrowed from the Twisted Chef. Mmmm good!

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Bran Muffins

This recipes was passed along from a family friend many years ago.  It has always been my favourite bran muffin recipe.  They are super moist and delicious. I am always playing with the basic recipe depending on what I am craving. These are packed with fibre and my son calls them “Poop Muffins”.  Ha! Ha! It is for this reason that I rarely serve them to company.  Not so much because of the effect they might have on guests, but more to avoid the embarrassment my son asking if he can have a “poop muffin” in front of company.

bran muffins

Basic Bran Muffin Recipe

1 cup flour (I use whole wheat)
1 cup bran
3/4 cup white sugar
2 T. wheat germ
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Mix the above dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Add:

6 T. oil
1 cup hot water
1 cup raisins
1 egg, beaten

Mix wet and dry ingredients just until blended. Bake in greased/lined muffin tray at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.  I usually cut small squares of wax paper that sit in the bottom of the greased tray.  My mom used to do this and it seems to help prevent the bottom from sticking to the pan. Turn cooked muffins upside down on a cooling rack.  Once cool, store in an air tight container or freeze in a ziplock bag.

Variations:

In lieu of the raisins I have used, cranraisins, dates, prunes, chopped apple, etc.

In my last batch, I microwaved about 3/4 cup of dates with a T. of water and heated until the dates were soft enough to stir. I then added a banana and mashed it together.  I also threw in 1/2 of chopped walnuts.  Get creative and toss in what ever you fancy.  Enjoy!

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Bananarama Bo Bama ~ Going Bananas or Bananas Going?

Did you know that bananas are one of the world’s most popular foods and the #1 selling item at Wal-Mart?

Over 100 billion bananas are consumed annually in the world, making bananas the 4th largest agricultural product in the world, following only wheat, rice and corn.

Are Bananas Really at Risk?

Bananas are loved for their flavour, texture and health properties, but this highly popular fruit may be on the brink of extinction.  Check-out this video to learn how and why the future of bananas may be at risk.

Until the 1960’s, the bananas that were found in most stores were from the “Gros Michel” banana crops, but crops were quickly wiped out by the Panama Disease.  The entire banana industry had to be re-built and the variety most consumed today is known as the “Cavendish” banana.  The Cavendish crops are now in danger of being wiped out as well. Hopefully, scientists will be able to use what they know about bananas and the diseases infecting the crops to prevent extinction.

Banana Nutrition Facts

banana nutrition facts

 

 

As you can see from the nutrition facts chart on the left, bananas are low in fat and provide a great source of both Dietary Fibre and Vitamin C.  They also contain Vitamin A, Calcium and Iron.  In addition to the above, bananas also provide us with Vitamin B6, manganese, and an excellent source of potassium. Bananas are high in carbohydrates and so if weight loss is your intent, you may want to monitor your consumption, especially in relation to other carbs you may be consuming on a given day.

 

Health Benefits of Bananas

  • The potassium in bananas helps to protect our cardiovascular system (high blood pressure and stroke) and enhances the performance of our circulatory system.
  • Bananas contain a prebiotic substance called fructooligosaccharide, which aids in digestion and the absorption of calcium.
  • Banana peels have been used for a variety of natural healing purposes such treatment of warts, mosquito bites and even pimples!
  • Regular consumption of bananas has also been linked to increasing brain power.
  • Bananas can stimulate energy and help improve your mood.

Another benefit to bananas high potassium content derives from that mineral’s role as an energy-supplying electrolyte. Since bananas also contain tryptophan, serotonin and norepinephrine, they help prevent depression while encouraging feelings of well-being and relaxation. In addition, the vitamin B6 in bananas helps protect against sleeplessness, mood swings and irritability.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/034151_bananas_nutrition_facts.html#ixzz2ZbAhBJVL

Other Strange Ways to Use Banana Peels

banana peels

Borrowed from thesecretyumiverse.wonderhowto.com. Click the image to go directly to the original site.

Delicious and Healthy Banana Bread
chocolate-chip-banana-bread

This photo was borrowed from The Vibrant Family. The picture links back to their recipe, which sounds delicious, but I haven’t tried it.

We love banana bread at our house. I have a great recipe that I have used for years.  It is very moist and delicious, but probably not the most nutritious.  Last winter, our family did a 3 month stint of eating following the Primal Blueprint principles.  The Primal Blueprint is not exactly the same eating Paleo, but the two are similar in many regards.  One of the recipes that we fell in love with was a grain and sugar-free banana bread recipe.  It is moist and delicious and very nutritious.  I don’t even feel bad when my family cobbles it up in one sitting!  Follow the links to check-out the original recipe.

Banana Bread and the Date Mixture that is called for in the recipe.  I do find that it tends to stick to the pan a little more than regular banana bread, so I will often line my loaf pan with parchment paper or wax paper.  I also add a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter (of course!!).  Enjoy!

My Sources: 1, 2, 3