Health-ier Banana Muffins for those Busy Mornings
If your mornings are anything like mine, they can be a bit chaotic! Between trying to get myself ready and wrangling two small people who have very little interest in getting dressed or eating or, well, doing anything besides playing, I often feel that I’ve run a marathon by the time I finally get in the car!
That being said, sitting down to eat breakfast at home is just not going to happen, so I always take it on the go. Sometimes I eat in my car, but the majority of the time I sit down at my desk at work to eat. I enjoy going through emails and eating breakfast quietly to start the next (read: adult) part of my day.
My momma ingrained in me not to waste food, so when I have some bananas turning brown, I make banana bread instead of just pitching them. Often times banana bread recipes are loaded with sugar, and bananas already have a lot of natural sugar in them as it is, so I Googled some healthy banana muffin recipes to use up those browning bananas and create a healthy and easy breakfast option that I could take on the go – bonus points if the kiddos would do the same!
I came across a recipe from Cookie and Kate that I instantly liked because it had limited ingredients, all of which are things I normally have in my pantry. No need to run to Whole Foods for anything special on this one! Not to mention the actual preparation is very easy, so it’s something I can engage my daughter to help with as well. And most importantly, the end product is yummy.
I like to make the muffins in one regular size muffin tin, and then I also fill up one tin of the little bite size muffins. I find that my kids seem to like the smaller ones better for some reason – but because they are smaller they require less time to cook, so be aware of the need to pull those first! I don’t add any goodies to the mix as the recipe says you can (nuts or chocolate chips or dried fruit or whatever floats your boat) but I do like to “ice” them with peanut butter or even Nutella – my personal favorite is Justin’s Honey Almond Butter. They last for about 3 or 4 days, and you can freeze them, so I find they check all the boxes for me!
Maple-Sweetened Banana Muffins
From Cookie and Kate
⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil* I always use EVOO because the hubs hates coconut oil)
½ cup maple syrup or honey (I use maple syrup)
2 eggs, preferably at room temperature (Mine always come straight from the fridge)
1 cup packed mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
¼ cup milk of choice or water (I use almond milk)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top (I usually don’t sprinkle any on top)
1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour (I always use whole wheat flour)
⅓ cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top (I do usually sprinkle the oats on top but of course my daughter doesn’t like that because, well, she generally has to find fault with me on almost everything. Girls.)
1 teaspoon turbinado (raw) sugar or other granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top (I also don’t do this.)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). If necessary, grease all 12 cups of your muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray (my pan is non-stick and didn’t require any grease).
- In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and maple syrup together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon.
- Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. If you’d like to add any additional mix-ins**, like nuts, chocolate or dried fruit, fold them in now.
- Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats (about 1 tablespoon in total), followed by a light sprinkling of sugar (about 1 teaspoon in total). Bake muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
- Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool. You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan. These muffins will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They keep well in the freezer in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months (just defrost individual muffins as needed).
*Another note on mixing items in – I have mixed in chocolate chips but felt like the muffins were then too sweet. I also have mixed in walnuts and pecans but of course that turns my daughter off and also renders them obsolete to go to school due to the use of nuts. Speaking of nuts, though, I have thought about mixing in some of the powdered peanut butter because it seems like it would be good and possibly negate the use of actual peanut butter or almond butter as a spread (though it’s not necessary either) but I haven’t tried it yet. Let me know if you do!