12 June 2012

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Kissed Banana Muffins

It's been muggy and in the 70s, if not 80s, here in Happy Valley for several weeks and today I did the unthinkable. I decided to bake. The window air conditioner unit I bought is not even installed and it still seemed like a good idea to use the oven.

Luckily for me, and all of you, this recipe is worth turning on the oven and sweating for- The muffins are healthy and oh so flavorful!

As many of you may know about me, I am obsessed with peanut butter. I love it so much that the first time I went on Weight Watchers I was disgusted by how many points (the measuring system in WW) are in two measly tablespoons! I quickly found PB2, a healthy, natural alternative to peanut butter, that easily allows me twice the amount of peanut goodness for less than half the points of the real stuff. Since then, I've been meaning to try PB2 out in a baked good and now we have its debut! And my few, faithful followers, don't think that this means you have to use PB2 to make these bad boys. You can just as easily sub in the same amount of peanut butter into this recipe (though you'll want to heat it up, so it's warm, more liquidy, and easy to mix)!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Kissed Banana Muffins
Recipe inspired by Skinny Taste's Low Fat Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Yields 12 muffins

  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 ripe medium bananas
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp of prepared PB2 (6 tbsp PB2 mixed with 3 tbsp water) OR 6 tbsp of your favorite peanut butter
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips 
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin pan with 12 liners, or spray pan liberally with your favorite non-stick spray. 
  2. Cream together butter and sugar. While these are creaming, peel and mash the bananas in a small side bowl. A few small lumps of banana are fine, but avoid having extraneous banana chunks on the larger side.
  3. Once butter and sugar are creamed, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix in bananas, egg whites, vanilla extract, and peanut butter of your choice. 
  4. When the wet ingredients are well incorporated, fold in all of the dry ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Be sure not to overmix or you'll end up with tough muffins!
  5. Pour batter into the muffin tin, filling each designated muffin area 1/3 of the way up. At this point, evenly scatter the 1/4 c of chocolate chips throughout the 12 muffins. Pour remaining batter into the pan until there's none left (or until there's just enough batter left for you to scoop out with your fingers for a taste test before you do the dishes). 
  6. Bake muffins for 25-27 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out practically clean. When storing, make sure they've cooled down entirely, even if this means you have to leave them out overnight. If you don't, you're at risk for these muffins going from perfectly cooked with a touch of undone, warm insides, to the awkwardly sticky, and dare I say it, moist, texture. Alternatively, just eat them all at once! 
Whoa, blurry, sorry about this everyone!

These muffins come in at 4 points and are great for a snack, a treat, or even to start off your day, perhaps with a bowl of fruit salad and a small side of scrambled eggs. Don't be afraid to go crazy with the filling options, either. I suspect adding in a dollop of jelly would make these muffins a great play on PB&J. You could also try using peanut butter chips instead of chocolate chips, a little ball of coconut flakes, or even mini-marshmallows! Actually, why not try a combination of all of the above?

Happy eating, folks!

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