Tag Archives: banana

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

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There’s chocolate in them thar muffins!  Specifically, a dollop of dark chocolate almond spread that is super tasty.

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Thanks to Kirsten at Farm Fresh Feasts and Meghan at Clean Eats, Fast Feets, I have been craving muffins like nobody’s business.  So I started poking around the pantry and looking at some of Kirsten’s muffin recipes to see what I could make.

I started with the bananas, since they were almost to the end of their useful lifespan.  I buy bananas every now and then because I think I want them.  What I really want is one of them.  Sadly for the other bananas, that means they languish in the bowl on top of the dishwasher until I feel bad that they’re being ignored.  Usually I make banana bread, because – to be honest – when they’re that far gone, I don’t really know what else to do with them!

This time, I wanted to turn them into yummy muffins.  I found this oatmeal muffin recipe from Farm Fresh Feasts and since I had almost all the ingredients on hand, I went for it!  (I did have to stop at the store for some buttermilk.)

I’ve made muffins with oatmeal before, but I’ve never soaked the oats first.  It totally makes a difference!  And I only soaked them for about 2 hours.

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Anyway, here’s what I ended up doing (Note:  I doubled Kirsten’s original recipe because I wanted to freeze some of them):

Banana Oatmeal Muffins with Dark Chocolate  (made 24 muffins)

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3 ripe (or overripe) bananas, squished into a puree

Combine the first three ingredients in a bowl on the counter.  Stir well.  Cover.  Leave on the counter at least an hour or up to 10 hours (overnight).

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Dark chocolate almond spread (Nutella would certainly work as well, or the Jif version.  But I’m not a huge hazelnut fan, so I was happy to find this alternative.)

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray, or use paper or foil liners.  Add the egg, brown sugar, and vegetable oil to the bowl.  Stir well.  Add in the rest of the ingredients dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined.

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I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup to fill the muffin pan.  Then I added a dollop of the chocolate almond spread to each muffin.  (It occurred to me later that I should have filled each muffin up halfway, dolloped in the chocolate spread, then covered it with more muffin mix. Oh well – next time!)

Bake 18 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes in pan, then flip onto a cooling rack to finish.

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My original goal may have been to freeze them, but that’s not what happened.  These muffins were so tasty that I ended up giving them to just about everyone I came into contact with over the past two days:  my parents, my sister, my co-workers, my boss…everybody loved them!

I guess that just means I’ll have to make some more!

Banana Granola

Breakfast this morning - vanilla Greek yogurt, banana granola and a spoonful of blueberry preserves.  Yum!

Breakfast this morning – vanilla Greek yogurt, banana granola and a spoonful of blueberry preserves. Yum!

Anytime I start to think about eating healthier breakfasts, I think of granola.  I love the idea of granola – crunchy, earthy and wholesome.  Granola makes me think of nature, of weekends backpacking in the woods, of trees and blue skies…

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The finished product.

But do not trust granola, my friends – granola can be deceptive.  Most granola, especially store-bought, is loaded with fat and calories.  So a few months ago, I went on a search for a healthy, tasty homemade granola that I could eat without guilt.

I finally found a recipe that sounded good – no oil, no dried fruits or raisins (I am NOT a fan of raisins).  The oats and nuts are held together by a banana mixture that you whir up in a blender.  No muss, no fuss.  I made it a few times, changing it a bit each time,  until I got it just the way I wanted.

My sister perfers a crunchier granola, so she likes it broken into smaller peices and cooked until it’s all a dark brown.  I like my granola to be a little softer with a chewy center, so I leave it in bigger chunks.  Hey, to each their own, right?

Banana Granola

(Original recipe found here.)

If you consider it 6 servings (3/4 cup each), it’s about 200 calories per serving.  If you’re just using it as a topping on yogurt, you’ll probably get more servings (and consequently, less calories per serving.  Woo hoo!).

  • 2 heaping cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1  1/2 ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • a large pinch of sea salt

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the oats, sunflower seeds and walnuts in a medium size bowl.  Set aside for now.

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In a blender, combine the bananas, water, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt.  Blend until smooth.  It does turn a funny brown color – don’t worry.

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Mix the banana mixture into the oat mixture.  Let sit for about 10 minutes – this gives the oats a chance to soak up some of that banana goodness.

Dump the granola onto a cookie sheet and spread it out to make a single layer.  Don’t worry that it looks sort of wet – as it cooks, it will crisp up.

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Bake the granola for about 40 minutes.  Every 10 minutes or so, break up the granola with a spatula and toss it around.  Make the granola chunks as large or as small as you wish.  When it’s all brown and crispy, it’s done!

Now I can enjoy healthy granola with a light heart and happy tummy.  What a great way to start the day!