Tag Archives: banana

Easy Whole Grain Banana Muffins

5 Mar

Baking seems like the natural thing to do on a Sunday morning when you’re up by 7:00 am (thank you, Cora) with little to no plans for the day. There was also some pressure from the black banana sitting on my counter, staring at me longingly for the past week. I was determined to use it before it needed to be thrown in the freezer, where it would sit with the rest of the sad overripe bananas that have been there for over a year.

I thought about making my go-to banana bread recipe, but muffins take much less time to bake and I’m always looking for new recipes to try. A quick search using my very advanced approach of adding the term “healthy” to the food item led me to a recipe from the blog Cookie and Kate, where I’ve found delicious recipes in the past. It had a 5 star rating from 175 reviewers so I knew it was a safe bet.

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It’s a one bowl recipe that requires little to no effort, other than mashing the bananas. The resulting muffin was moist, with nice texture from the added oats. I find that bananas add so much natural sweetness to baked goods that you can easily reduce the sugar, even in recipes that already call for very little.

My goal is to blog a little bit more often in the coming weeks since March is Nutrition Month (but hey, no promises). I’m always looking for inspiration so please let me know if you have any favourite recipes that you are willing to share!

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Whole Grain Banana Muffins
(adapted very slightly from CookieandKate.com)

1/3 cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey)
2 eggs, preferably at room temperature
1 cup packed mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1-3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup large flake oats, plus more (~1 tbsp) for sprinkling on top
1 teaspoon brown sugar, for sprinkling on top

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. If necessary, grease 11 cups of your muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray, or use paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and maple syrup together with a whisk. Add eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon.
  3. 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.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the 11 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 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
  5. 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. Enjoy muffins as is or with a spread of nut butter or regular butter.

Makes 11 muffins. Per muffin: 218 kcal, 8.2 g fat (6 g saturated – if using coconut oil), 32 g carbohydrate, 4 g fibre, 5 g protein, 230 mg sodium

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It’s Getting “Hot in Herre”: Tropical Banana Popsicles

19 Jul

What to do with a bunch of browning bananas?

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The answer would be “banana bread” any other month.  But the thought of using the oven in this sweltering heat makes me want to pass out.  Instead, I turned to a frozen banana-based treat to cool things down.  Three simple ingredients and a blender/food processor are all you need.  Er, and a popsicle mold (minor detail), which you can purchase at your local grocery store for a dollar or two.  A worthy investment to help you survive a hot and sticky summer.

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Banana, mango, and coconut combine to give you a taste of the tropics without leaving your home.  The texture of the popsicle is smooth and creamy, making it easy to gobble up in seconds.  In hindsight, the flavours would meld really nicely with a hit of tartness from either lime zest or lime juice.  If you try this at home, I’d love to hear how they turn out.

If something more simple is your thing, or if you don’t want to spend the $2 on a popsicle mold, here is a “recipe” for homemade banana ice cream which requires only ONE ingredient (can you guess?) and ONE tool (blender/food processor).  The texture is so amazingly creamy, it’s hard to believe that no milk has been added.  It reminds me of authentic banana gelato from Italy, one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.

Keep cool, my friends!

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Tropical Banana Mango Coconut Popsicles
(Modified slightly from Oh She Glows)

2 small, ripe bananas (or 1 large banana)
2 cups frozen mango chunks, slightly thawed
1/2 cup light coconut milk

In a blender or food processor, add all ingredients and blend until smooth.  Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until set.

Makes 8 popsicles.  Per popsicle: 66 kcal, 14 g CHO, 1.6 g fibre, 1 g fat

Peachy Keen Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

20 Aug

Rarely has a day passed over the past month where my fridge or counter has been devoid of peaches.   We’re in the middle of peach season in Southern Ontario and I’ve been buying them by the basket since the first crop of the season popped up at the end of July.  My peach-a-day habit hasn’t led to taste fatigue but it’s definitely becoming more challenging to finish up an entire basket before the soft flesh starts to bruise and the skin starts to wrinkle.  So when I came across this banana muffin recipe last week calling for berries, I figured I’d swap in chopped peaches for a delightful treat.

With minimal added sugar and no added fat, I was surprised that these muffins turned out as sweet and moist as they did.  The chunks of peach are a pleasant surprise when you bite into the muffin, although the recipe would be just as good with blueberries or raspberries.  My only complaint is that the muffins didn’t rise very well, likely because of the extra liquid that accompanied the chopped peaches when I added them to the batter.

Hidden treasures of peachy goodness

Baskets of Ontario pears were spotted nestled alongside the peaches at the grocery store last week and I’m already drooling as I think of the possibilities.  I could really go for a pear, beet, and goat cheese salad right about now…

Not a perfect looking muffin, but tasty all the same

 

Whole Wheat Banana Peach Muffins
(adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health)

1-1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)
1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey
1-1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 cup peeled, diced peaches (about 2 small peaches) or fresh or frozen raspberries or blueberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly oil a 12-cup muffin tin or line it with papers.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and honey.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt and stir in the wheat germ.  Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture just until combined.  Add the peaches and gently fold into the batter (note: if using berries, toss with 2 tsp whole wheat flour to coat  before adding to the batter).
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins and fill to the brims.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.  Muffins will keep in a well-covered containers for several days.

Makes 12 muffins.  Per muffin: 111 kcal, 1 g fat, 3 g fibre, 22 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 283 mg sodium.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Millet

21 Apr

In my attempt to cook one new food a week, I recently tackled a grain that’s rarely consumed in North America:  millet.  Millet is a small, seed-like grain that can be eaten raw or cooked into a sweet or savoury porridge.  I was inspired by a friend of mine who grew up eating millet much like I would eat oatmeal.

In its raw form, millet can be added to breads for a unique crunch.  It is also one of the major ingredients in birdseed.  From a nutritional standpoint, millet is very similar to wheat– a good source of fibre and rich in B vitamins.  As a bonus, millet is a great wheat-alternative for individuals with celiac disease as it’s gluten free.

Now… how to cook this teensy little grain?  I came up with my own directions from a few different sources and the final product was acceptable, but not great.  My mistake was rinsing and toasting the grains.  According to other sources, you can omit the rinse if you plan to toast.  Next time I think I will try these instructions… the author looks like she knows her millet!

Cooked Millet, eaten just like rice

My second attempt was to incorporate the raw grains into my favourite banana bread recipe.  The millet added a fun texture that both E and I really liked.  If you’re not sold, make the banana bread without the millet– you won’t be disappointed!

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Millet

 

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Millet

This is my favourite healthy banana bread recipe with the addition of raw millet.  I used half a cup of millet but I think one quarter of a cup might provide a slightly better texture.  Omit the millet if you’re not feeling adventurous!

1-2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/4 cups mashed overripe bananas
1/3 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 to 1/2 cup millet  (optional)

*to sour milk, pour 1 tsp vinegar into measuring cup; add milk to make 1/3 cup.  Let stand 5 minutes.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease an 8.5 x 4.5″ non-stick loaf pan.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine egg, sugar, bananas, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.  Whisk well until thoroughly blended.
  4. Add flour mixture to banana mixture and stir just until combined.  Stir in millet if using.
  5. Bake for 55 minutes or until tested inserted in centre comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes 1 loaf, about 16 slices.  Per slice (with millet): 145 kcal, 3.5 g fat, 2.5 g fibre