Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Easy and Healthier Banana Muffins


    My boys love these banana muffins. And best of all they are so easy to prepare that even my 4 yr old loves to help me to make them! They are healthier, moist and delicious!!

   As a mom, I am always trying to make their favorite dishes as healthier as I can and "nana muffins" as my younger one calls them are no different. I manage to change up a little bit of Giada's Recipe to make a little healthier without sacrificing their flavor or texture.

   The flour I use to make most of my muffins and cookies is Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, which I find at Whole Foods, but I am sure you can find it at the regular grocery store as well. I like using the whole wheat pastry flour because it won't make my dough heavy and also it won't change the taste of it and at the same time I am adding more fiber. (Just to have an idea, checking the nutrition facts of my regular AP flour I use, each 1/4 cup has less than 1g of fiber while the whole wheat pastry flour has 4g of fiber)

   So, let's get to the recipe!

Easy and Healthier Banana Muffins
Adapted from Giada's Recipe

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (I grate my whole nutmeg in the bowl, so I eyeball it)
1 1/4 cup very lightly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 TBSP vanilla extract
6 ripe bananas peeled and sliced
1/4 cup very lightly packed light brown sugar
4 TBSP butter

In a saucepan, melt 4 TBSP of butter and add 1/4 cup of light brown sugar. Let the sugar melt a little bit and add the sliced bananas. Cook the bananas until a it starts to caramelize, mixing frequently so it won't burn. Let it cool.

Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and nutmeg in a medium bowl.

Mix the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla.

my little boy helping :)

Once all the wets are mixed, add the cooled bananas.

Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. 

Bake the muffins on the middle rack until the tops are golden brown. In my oven that took exactly 20 minutes. It is very important to NOT over bake them, otherwise they will be dry. I know for a fact... done that... still delicious tasting muffins, but dry. So, make sure you keep a close eyes on them and do not over bake if you want moist muffins. Transfer the muffins to a rack and cool .

   Enjoy them, slightly warm or cold. I love to cook the bananas on butter and sugar because it makes the muffin taste a little caramel banana and it is so good... It does add an extra step but oh so worth it! If you are tight on time, and want to just mash the bananas, it's totally fine, you can just follow Giada's Recipe. I've done that many times and the muffins still get devoured by everyone in this house! Never done her mascarpone frosting, but it does sound so yummy...

   So, what do you think you would prefer? The caramel banana taste muffins or just a regular banana muffins? Use the comment box below to let me know!!

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