Okay, I admit it. While I do tend to be a healthy eater most days, I do enjoy a piece of chocolate peanut butter cake from my favorite bakery once in a while, or maybe a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie… or two… or three… But I’ve recently come up with a new motto for the regular meals and snacks we eat at home throughout the week. That motto is: If I don’t love it, I don’t eat it. That may sound silly, but let’s face it, if you’re going to eat something that’s high in calories and fat grams and doesn’t offer much nutritional value (and may cost you a pound or two), then it better be good!!! Right? The worse thing in my humble opinion is to eat something that’s super unhealthy and not very good. UGH! Wasted calories! So, all that being said, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE when I find something that’s satisfyingly good AND offers nutritional value and is (for the most part) healthy! The other day I was browsing around Pinterest for some healthy ideas for around the house snacks. With the kids home for the summer now, I find that they are ALWAYS hungry and ALWAYS looking for treats. So I came upon this awesome recipe for Maple Sweetened Banana Muffins from Cookie and Kate. They are made with whole wheat flour so they’re filling, and the sweetness comes from the maple syrup and bananas. That’s it! A tiny bit of raw sugar can be sprinkled on top of each muffin for a pinch of flavor, but other than that, these are healthy, healthy, healthy! And they are made with EVO instead of butter or shortening. So that’s good, right? Now, I do tend to like using whole wheat flour in my baking when possible and it can sometimes seem a tad bit drier than regular flour if you’re not used to it. But these are great! If you like healthy, satisfying, whole grainy (is grainy even a word?) types of goodies, these you will love! And on top of it all, this recipe uses only one mixing bowl. So less things to clean up afterwards! Hip hip hooray! I adapted the recipe below very slightly in order to use what I had on hand. Happy baking!!!
Maple-Sweetened Banana Muffins
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs, preferably at room temperature
- 1 cup packed mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
- ¼ cup milk of choice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
- 1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
- ⅓ cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top
- 1 teaspoon turbinado (raw) sugar or other granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). Grease 12 cups of your muffin tin with butter.
- In a large bowl, beat the EVO 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.
- 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 12 muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats (about 1 tablespoon), followed by a light sprinkling of sugar (about 1 teaspoon). Bake muffins for 23 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. Enjoy muffins as is or with a spread of nut butter or regular butter.
Recipe adapted from: Maple-Sweetened Banana Muffins
STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: 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).