Clean Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

With the school year in full swing, I wanted to make a healthy breakfast item that Isabel and Brady could enjoy before school for days to come. Since I was out of my usual boxed banana bread mix, which let’s face it, is glorified cake, I found a retro banana bread recipe from my beloved school recipe book, circa 1990, and gave it a healthy makeover.

I replaced the white flour with a combination of whole wheat flour and almond flour. I swapped out vegetable oil for apple sauce, which in addition to the mashed banana, makes the muffins so moist, I wonder why anyone would ever add oil! With a few added touches of nutritious ground flaxseed and irresistable chocolate chips, this recipe is the perfect balance of healthy and indulgent, and my kids love it! If you don’t happen to have the ground flaxseed, leave it out, but it adds a nice boost of nutrition. This is how I made the muffins.

I started by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

Truth be told, this photo was an opportunity to show off my new kitchen towels gifted to me by my friend, Amy. Thank you, Amy, for seeing the potential in me to be a Real Housewife of Oklahoma. I am truly flattered! She also knows about my newfound love of cows.

Next, measure out the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

Whisk to combine.

In a small bowl, measure out the chocolate chips. In my world, that means don’t measure them and just pour a whole bunch of chocolate chips into the bowl. Eat a small handful.

Put a tablespoon of the dry mix into the bowl and stir. This will help prevent all of the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the muffin tin while baking.

Time for the wet ingredients. Mash the ripe bananas.

Add the applesauce, brown sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon. True, brown sugar and cinnamon are not technically wet ingredients, but I like to mix them with the wet ingredients. The brown sugar melts into the wet ingredients and the cinnamon permeates through the mixture.

I’d like to point out the beautiful, sturdy Pyrex mixing bowls that I’m using. They were my Grandma Margie’s. Coincidentally, my Grandma Isabel had the exact same ones. I love that I think of them both when I’m using them.

I also feel like I should address the elephant in the room. My lighting is horrible in this post. Maybe there wasn’t enough ambient light outside today. Maybe I need to take a lighting class. Maybe I need to invest in some other lights. You would never know it, but I had every window shade open and every light on, yet it looks like I’m cooking in a cave.  I borrowed Isabel’s desk lamp to supplement all the other lights in the room, but to no avail.

Lighting has never been my forte. Back in my LMU film school days, Diana Cracknell, Brian Horn and Seamus Smith, to name a few, used to help me with my lighting on my student films. Do you think they’d fly out to Skiatook, Oklahoma for a zero budget blog?

Such is life. Back to the muffins.

Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients, and stir to combine.

Now, mix in the chocolate chips.

Spray two muffin tins with cooking spray, as well as a 1/4 cup measuring cup.  Distribute the batter easily using the measuring cup.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Do the toothpick test to make sure they’re baked through.

While still warm, run a knife around the muffins to loosen and remove. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.

After a  few days in a tupperware, I like to move them to the refrigerator to ensure freshness.

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup almond flour

¼ ground flaxseed

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

Chocolate chips

2 mashed ripe bananas

¼ cup applesauce

1 tablespoon stevia brown sugar (or ¼ cup regular brown sugar)

2 eggs, beaten

2/3 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredient mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients, starting with the mashed banana. Add to the dry ingredients.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and mix well.
  6. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Lightly spray a 1/3 measuring cup with cooking spray. Add 1/3 cup batter to each well.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

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