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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Whole-wheat Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips

I had been looking for a 'Whole-wheat Banana Muffins' recipe for the past few days. I wanted to add some more options to offer my 4.5 year old for breakfast other than the usual milk & cereal during the weekdays. Weekends call for 'Mickey Mouse' pancakes and waffles.  There is also a boiled egg or a sausage link or 2 thrown in for the protein factor. Most of the recipes I found used All Purpose Flour or looked too dry so I started looking for 'Whole-wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins' and found a great recipe (post to follow soon). I just tweaked that recipe a little bit and created this winner of a 'Whole-wheat Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips'. Of course there had to be some chocolate chips in it as a bribe. These muffins turned out great as well - soft and moist.

Whole-wheat Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips

Muffins are a little different from cupcakes, and can be deemed healthier as well as it uses less fat, less sugar and can be made with whole-wheat flour or oatmeal. Muffins will never have frosting or icing, but sometime a crumb topping. The shapes are also slightly different... only slightly. The top of muffin spills over a little, giving it a mushroom-like shape. I guess that's where the term 'muffin top' comes from (I might be wrong). Mine mimics a cupcake - another tactic to entice the 4.5 old who loves chocolate cupcake with chocolate chips in it and with a chocolate ganache topping which has to be adorned with M&Ms. If you want to give yours a 'muffin-top', go ahead and fill the liners to the brim and encourage it to overflow. 
The most important thing to keep in mind while making a muffin is perhaps the how its batter is prepared. It is called a 'muffin method' (used for making quick breads, pancakes, waffle batter) where the dry ingredients and wet ingredients are mixed separately first and then folded in gently till fully combined to prevent gluten formation. 

This recipe yields about 8 muffins.

Ingredients:
  • Whole-wheat flour - 1 Cup
  • Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Baking Soda - 3/4 tsp
  • Cinnamon Powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp
  • Egg - 1 (room temperature)
  • Honey - 1/3 Cup
  • Vanilla Extract - 1 1/4 tsp
  • Oil - 1/3
  • Buttermilk - 1/4 Cup
  • Banana - 1, big, mashed
  • Chocolate Chip - 1/3 Cup
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a bowl, sift together the whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, honey, oil and vanilla extract. Add the buttermilk. You can use store-bought buttermilk or make it at home (notes below). Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients along with the mashed banana and chocolate chip and fold until just combined. Scoop in the batter in a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners. Bake for 14-16 minutes - use a toothpick to check for done-ness - it should come out clean. Cool and store in an airtight container. These should stay fresh for 4 days. 
Breakfast scenario at home has been a little better the last 3 days. I made a batch of these muffins Sunday evening and I intend make a fresh batch next Sunday. 

Notes: For 1 Cup of Buttermilk - add 2 tbs of vinegar (or lemon juice) to a measuring cup and fill it till you reach the 1 Cup mark. Let it sit undisturbed for at least 15 minutes or till it curdles. 

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