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Posts Tagged ‘peanut butter banana muffins’

When I sat down to write this post I knew exactly which recipe I wanted to share with you all. It’s a Martha original and one that invokes a sense of pride being that I have only recently started to dabble with whipping up recipes of my own. However, my inspiration behind the recipe was far more scattered (ranging from vegan baking to food waste to eating at an actual table). And so after much floundering I decided to take a totally different route that comes in the form of a top 10 list. David Letterman I am not, but we all love a good “Top 10” so sit back and enjoy the countdown of the….

Top 10 Reasons Martha Loves Muffins

10. Banana Burden – Nick is a “banana a day” kinda guy so we always have a stocked supply of these potassium-powered fruits. Unfortunately, as any banana consumer has undoubtedly learned, selecting bananas at the appropriate ripeness is an art. When you grocery shop once a week like I do you there is no avoiding the brown spotted, pathetic looking one or two left in the fruit basket by the end of the week. In the past I would toss the overripe bananas into the trash, silently scolding myself for wasting food. That was until I discovered that overripe bananas are a hidden treasure for baking…. they are easier to mash, sweeter, and more intense in flavor. And the even more exciting discovery was that they could be cut and frozen in all their overripe splendor until needed. Not only do a plethora of muffin recipes call for ripe bananas, but they can also be used as a substitute for oils. So gone are the days of banished bananas… embrace them in all their spotty, squishy glory!

9. Love of Liners – Confession…I cannot go to a Michael’s Arts and Crafts store and walk out without having purchased at least one package of baking cups. For years, I thought they only existed in dull pastels or even worse… foil! That was until I discovered Mary Engelbreit baking cups in Michael’s $1 section and baking instantly became exponentially more exciting (and cute!) Needless to say I have hoarded a stash of liners in a variety of colors, patterns, and seasonal designs. I rarely make cupcakes so whenever I am looking to bake something with a visually appealing flair I always turn to muffins. Adorable and delicious… what more could one ask for?!

8. Make it Mini – Everything tastes better when it’s bite sized! The beauty of muffins is that with the wave of a mini-muffin pan any recipe can be magically turned miniature. Having the option of poppable portions is ideal when serving a large group, making them as part of a spread, or creating healthy snacks. It is tradition at my school to have payday breakfasts (grade levels rotate hosting a “potluck” style breakfast). Mini muffins are my go-to contribution for these events because when placed aside an array of bagels, quiches, fruit salads, and countless other baked goods full-sized muffins are too hefty and cannot be easily doled out into smaller portions. However, their tiny counterparts allow everyone to have a taste without skimping on taste!

7. Ease of Execution – There are certainly recipes out there that appease the one or two of us crazies who enjoy the challenge of infusing as much sifting, beating, folding, and toasting as possible into the baking process. However, there are even more that recipes that appeal to those who are looking for a quick, minimally messy baking experience. Many recipes require only a single bowl and spoon for prep and an ingredient list that consists of pantry staples.

6. Timelessly Tempting –  The enjoyment of muffins is not constrained by the boundaries of mealtimes. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or snack time… given the endless varieties, muffins can be seamlessly adapted to complement any meal. Muffins for dinner you ask?! How about a savory corn muffin aside a piping bowl of chili?! Did I just make your dinner plans for you?!

5. Vast Variety – Sweet or savory, indulgent or nutritious, the myriad of muffins is endless. No matter what your preference or craving may be there is undoubtedly a muffin to match it. Feeling fruity?! There’s Lemon Blueberry. Craving chocolate?! There’s Chocolate Chocolate Chip. Needing nourishment?! There’s Bran Flax. Pining for piquant? There’s Cheddar and Sage.

4. Very Vegan-izable – When I began my vegan “experimentation” one of my biggest concerns was baked goods.. specifically muffins and quick breads. All of my favorite recipes contained some form of dairy; be it eggs, yogurt, milk, etc. Luckily, with minimal research, coupled with trial and error, I was able to find substitutions that did not significantly compromise flavor and/or texture. I also was pleasantly surprised to learn of substitutions that could be made with ingredients I already had on hand(no need to splurge on pricey “replacements”). The best discovery of them all was the “flax egg.” Combine one TBSP flax meal with three TBSP water.. stir… refrigerate for 15 minutes… and voila! You’ve got yourself the structure and tenderness of an egg, without the egg!

3. Freezability Factor – Most recipes yield a dozen to a dozen and a half muffins. Between the two of us we would be eating a muffin at every meal in order to get through a batch while they were still fresh. I realize I could half the recipes, but if I’m going to go through the whole process of mixing, pouring, and baking then I want to maximize the yield. Fortunately, there is a perfect solution to this conundrum… freeze the extras! After baking let the muffins cool completely then place in individual bags or in a large freezer bag (squeezing out all excess air before sealing). The muffins will keep in the freezer for a couple of months. When ready to enjoy thaw completely (to revive that fresh from the oven goodness stick them in a toaster oven for a couple of minutes after thawing!)

2. Portable Portions – Nick and I both spend approximately 2 hours a day commuting. Add to that a typical 9 hour work day and the result is that we spend the majority of our waking hours away from home. Each of us leaves the house in the morning with a cooler bag packed with our breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the day. This means that our meals need to be compact, eaten cold, and on occasion consumed in the car (Michael Pollan would surely cringe at this last point, but at least we’re avoiding the drive-thru!) Muffins are a great option for grab-and-go meals because when done right you can pack quite a bit of nutrition into those dense little packages and they can be consumed sans utensils with minimal mess.

And the #1 reason that Martha loves muffins is…… *drumroll please*…..

They’re delicious… duh!

I know you are craving a warm, moist, delectable muffin now (or is only my stomach growling?!) So in order to get that muffin into your mouth as quick as possible I’ll take care of the “find a recipe” step for you!

We all know that bananas and peanut butter, and peanut butter and chocolate, are undeniably dynamic duos. Pack them all into a muffin, with a healthy dose of oats and flax meal, and you’ve got yourself a trifecta of tastiness that will satisfy your sweet tooth and conscience alike!

Peanut Butter Banana Mocha Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP flax meal + 6 TBSP water
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBSP instant espresso power
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup mashed banana (approximately 3 ripe bananas)
  • 2 TBSP applesauce
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (dairy-free if making vegan)
  • 2 TBSP flax seeds (for topping)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Place 18 muffin cup liners in muffin pans and coat liners with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, add flax meal followed by water (not water followed by flax), stirring as you go. Place the bowl of “eggs” in the refrigerator for a minimum of 15 minutes. This will allow your egg to “set”.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (the flour through the sugar) and mix well.
  4. In a separate large bowl, stir applesauce and peanut butter until smooth. Then add the mashed banana, flax egg mixture, 1 cup water and mix well.
  5. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin cups and sprinkle evenly with flax meal.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven a for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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