Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Chocolate Banana Walnut Muffins

Bananas... the original super food of endurance athletes. Renowned for their potassium and easily digestible sugars, bananas are also packed with C and B vitamins and micronutrients. Unfortunately for me, even after repeated attempts to make myself like them, I've never been a huge fan of bananas. With my quest for recipes with that minimize added sugar, I decided that I should give bananas one more go. Last week, bananas were on sale for $0.29/ lb at our local grocery store so I committed to experimentation by purchasing two pounds. I've become pretty good at using applesauce in my recipes (like my chocolate peanut butter muffins last week) so I decided that I'd take it slow and try for a chocolate banana muffin, substituting banana puree for applesauce. The result was these muffins, which are like a new and improved banana bread. Adding cocoa powder, which is rich in flavanols, can improve circulatory function and enhance recovery. I did add sugar to these, but I think if you are really against it, you can substitute the banana for apple sauce in last week's make a really portable and balanced breakfast treat. Alternatively, these are decadent enough that you can go the other direction, whip up some icing, and make these into full-fledged cupcakes. Enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Walnut Muffins

2c flour
3/4c sugar
1/2c unsweetened cocoa powder
1t baking soda
2t baking powder
1c crushed walnuts
1 flax egg (1T ground flax seed plus 2T water)
2 ripe bananas
1c almond milk
3/4c water
1T apple cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Mix flax egg and set aside.
3. Mix dry ingredients, then add crushed walnuts.
4. Add bananas and almond milk to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. (I hate the texture of bananas, so this helps eliminate banana chunks in the muffins.)
5. Add flax egg, banana & almond milk, and water.
6. Stir in apple cider vinegar.
7. Add ~1/3c batter of greased muffin tins.
8. Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Yield: 18 muffins

Chocolate Cranberry Walnut option:
Substitute 1/2c applesauce for the banana and add 1c dried cranberries when you add the walnuts. My husband loves these!

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