Friday, July 5, 2013

Chillin' in the Kitchen: Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (Fat Free!)

Eating healthy doesn't mean that you have to give up your desserts - and this recipe is the perfect example of how being mindful of what you put into your body doesn't mean you have to miss out on tasty treats. I love when a recipe comes together and this is probably one of my favourite recipes in my arsenal! It's a perfect way to use up bananas (which we always have an abundance of in this house), and you'll likely have the majority of the ingredients sitting in your pantry.

Super moist and fluffy, not only are these Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins fat free and low calorie, but they also happen to be vegan. Not that I try to live a vegan lifestyle by any means, but they're extra bonuses if you need more incentive for a delicious snack. This recipe also yields the best rising muffins of all recipes I've tried - so they look exactly like muffins from a bakery! One of my biggest eye-rollers is complicated healthy recipes. I find in baking, things can get really complex with hard-to-find ingredients or specialty items that I don't typically have around the house. The fact that these muffins use regular ingredients I always have on hand means I can have a tasty treat in my belly in under 30 minutes flat.

Indvidually wrapped, you can freeze these for later or they should keep for a few days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. They're so good though, they hardly last that long in our house. I've been known to eat them fresh from the oven and slathered in butter right from the muffin tin.

If you want to add more goodness to it - try adding ground flax, hemp hearts, wheat germ and/or chia for a healthy punch.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie
makes 12 muffins or 1 loaf

2 C flour (I use a combination of all-purpose and oat flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 C milk (I used vanilla rice milk)
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 C agave or maple syrup
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 C bananas, mashed (approx. 3 large - if not enough, use unsweetened applesauce to make up difference)
1/3 C chocolate chips (optional: more for tops)

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tins with liners.
2. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and mix well.
3. In separate bowl, combine wet ingredients and mix well.
4. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix by hand until incorporated - do not overmix. If it is dry, splash more milk a tablespoon at a time.
5. Spoon evenly into muffin tins and top with more chocolate chips if desired.
6. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until tops are golden and tester comes out clean. Cool completely before storing.

*If opting to freeze, individually wrap them before freezing. To thaw, put one in the fridge overnight and warm for 20-30 seconds the next day before eating. My favourite way to enjoy these is slightly warmed with salted butter spread on top and a nice cup of tea. :)


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