Saturday, October 12, 2013

Very Banana Nut Oat Muffins (with chocolate on the side)


I’ve been slammed at work lately and had barely enough time to cook during the week. Even when I am working from home, lunch is usually something easy and placed between bread (Think veggie burgers). I also have morning meetings that make making single-serve muffins or popovers impossible.

banana nut oat muffinsSince having cereal everyday does not appeal to me (not that there is anything wrong with that), I have been baking a batch of muffins every weekend. I’ve been in an oats mood lately. I love the texture, and besides oats are supposed to be heart-healthy.

I found the Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins recipe in AllRecipes.com, and thought that this would beautifully meet my criteria. It was also the perfect time to clean up the pantry a bit, so I think this is the perfect opportunity to do so. As an example, I did not have enough chocolate chips on hand (oh, the horror!). I also do not have applesauce handy, but I did have lots of bananas! I also have some coconut flour leftover, so I thought using this up would be good to put a bit of coconut flavor.

Here’s the resulting recipe. Let me know what you think.

Very Banana Nut Oat Muffins
Makes 1 dozen muffins and 20 mini-muffins

Ingredients 
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (can use whole-wheat flour instead)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (I use Silk unsweetened)
  • 1 1/2 cup mashed banana (about three bananas, preferably over-ripe)
  • 1/8 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper liners.
  2. Stir rolled oats, the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.
  3. Make a well in the center. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl until frothy; mix applesauce, almond milk, agave nectar, and banana into eggs.
  4. Pour moist ingredients into well made in dry ingredients; stir just to moisten. Batter will be lumpy.
  5. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips, if using.
  6. Fill prepared muffin cups about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of several muffins comes out clean, 16 to 18 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to finish cooling on wire racks. Mini-muffins bake for about 10-12 minutes. (I added about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to the mini-muffins only)

Verdict

This is like the big batch version of my Low-fat Chocolate Banana Nut Muffin for one, except this one uses eggs and rises better than my single-serve version, probably because I baked it in the oven instead of the toaster oven.

This is a very filling muffin, perhaps from the combination of oats, whole wheat, and bananas. This goes great with Nutella, Chocolate Peanut Butter, or just plain peanut butter. My husband loved it – he’s the peanut butter maniac.

I will half recipe next time. I figure half of the recipe will make 9 to10 muffins, which will be perfect for the week. With the recipe halved, I can use mostly agave nectar (I did not have enough last time). I also forgot my usual mainstays: chia seeds for that Omega-3 boost! I would add one tablespoon next time (I did have chia seeds).

The coconut flour did not come through as much, but I am considering using some coconut oil next time. Adding both coconut flour and oil may elevate the coco-nutty flavor (I usually put about 2 tablespoons of butter for moisture, but I ran out). And I did miss the moisture.

Problem is coconut flour and oil is high in saturated fat, so use sparingly if you are watching your cholesterol. Coconut oil “is a good source of antioxidants and lauric acid, a heart-healthy fatty acid with anti-bacterial properties” (Source: “All Dressed Up” by Matthew Kadey, Yoga Journal, May 2013)

Definitely cleaned out the pantry and refrigerator, though.

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