Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yum! Bananas and peanut butter

I hope it’s been long enough since my last muffin recipe to share another one because this one is so good!

About a year ago, I folded back a magazine to reveal a peanut butter and banana muffin recipe that I intended to try. When going through magazines over the past year, I’d see that folded back page but pass it by.

In recent months, I’ve become very attached to peanut butter and banana sandwiches, usually made on crunchy whole grain toast made from one of my favorite La Brea breads. I get a craving for them often.

When I ran across that recipe again a few weeks ago, that craving kicked in, so I moved the magazine to the kitchen where I’d see it and bought some bananas. Once they were ripe enough for baking, I finally tried the muffins (with a few changes.)

The recipe in Healthy Cooking magazine was for mini muffins topped with a mixture of brown sugar, peanuts and chocolate chips. I decided right away to use my regular muffin pan and to forego the topping, which would only add fat and calories to the muffin.

I made a few more changes with the flours and used brown sugar instead of granulated.

When I took my muffins out of the oven, I was disappointed. They were not the lovely golden brown that I usually look for in a muffin; they were more pale. I’ve found that muffins that don’t have oils don’t brown like those that contain butter or oil. Maybe the original recipe had a topping to dress it up.

As it turns out, the color of the muffin had absolutely no bearing on its taste. These muffins were delicious and only got better the next day and the next as I enjoyed them for a morning snack. One morning I put a muffin in the toaster oven for a few minutes to warm, which made the chocolate chips gooey and even more delicious.

The taste of these muffins reminded me of Gift of the Magi Bread, which made me think I could add some of those other ingredients sometime — including mandarin oranges, almonds and maraschino cherries.

If you’d like a crunch to these muffins, use chunky peanut butter. For a more intense peanut butter flavor, you could also use peanut butter chips or a mix of chocolate and peanut butter chips.

I wanted to make these muffins again this week but decided to wait a week. I really, really like these muffins and don’t want to get tired of them too soon.

But before the week is over, I’m going to get some bananas and let them start ripening!

Peanut Butter and Banana-Lover Muffins
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with cupcake holders.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl. Mix in brown sugar, egg, milk, peanut butter, applesauce and vanilla. Stir in oats, flours and chocolate chips and mix until just moistened.

Fill 12 muffin cups about three-fourths full.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Cool slightly before removing from pan.

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