A friend of mine has been making banana bread on a fairly regular basis recently. I don’t know if that is intentional or if he just isn’t very good at remembering to eat his bananas. Each time he makes banana bread he uses a new recipe in an attempt to perfect his own. The most recent time he gave me a sample of his homemade goodness it got me thinking about bananas and how delicious and healthy they are. Also, what a shame that they are mixed with and masked by all that flour and sugar.
What if I could make a banana muffin where the natural sweetness and goodness of the banana could really star, and give added nutrition through the rest of the ingredients? I tried, and failed, to make a loaded banana muffin. It was okay, it baked well, it tasted fine, but it was missing something. I tried again, and again, and I finally came up with a loaded banana muffin that I felt comfortable sharing with my family of taste testers. These loaded banana muffins were a hit and everyone had fun trying to guess what all the ingredients were.
These muffins are moist from the absurd amount of mashed banana I used, and they contain no eggs! Also, you can easily substitute your favorite alternative sweetener for the sugar. I added some wheat germ and chia seeds to up the nutritional content. I used my favorite butter, Kerrygold, to add that rich buttery taste that banana bread just begs for. (You can definitely break open these muffins and spread on some more butter while they’re still warm!) And, of course, chocolate. Is there anything that chocolate doesn’t improve?
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup white sugar (you can also use turbinado sugar or any dry sugar substitute)
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3-5 bananas, mashed (about 2 1/4 cups)
- 1/2 cup unsalted Kerrygold butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped chocolate, or chocolate morsels
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, wheat germ, chai seeds, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
- Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until almost combined.
- Fold in the sliced almonds, shredded coconut, and chopped chocolate. Mix until just combined.
- Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups about 2/3 of the way up with the muffin mixture.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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