Tag Archives: banana

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Chip Muffins

These easy and tasty muffins are a great way to start any day.  You can’t beat combining the flavors of banana, peanut butter, and chocolate.

My mom sent me a recipe for peanut butter banana bread which served as my inspiration.  I modified it to add a few more ingredients and turned it into muffins.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup plain yogurt (fat-free is okay)
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (natural is okay)
3 Tbsp butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp flaxseed
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Add first five ingredients to mixing bowl and beat at medium speed.

Add sugars and beat until blended.

Combine flour, flaxseed, baking soda, and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Add flour mixture to banana mixture and beat until just blended.

Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.

Pour batter into greased muffin tin, filling each cup about 3/4 full.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool about 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack.

Remove from pan and finish cooling on rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature.  They will keep for about three days in an airtight container, and the muffins also freeze well.

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Smoothielicious

Readers of this blog know that I’m not the biggest fan of bananas.  I buy them because my husband likes them for his lunch, but I don’t just pick one up, unpeel it, and start eating.  They are good for you, so I do try to include them in my diet.

I can handle the fruit as an ingredient, just not the main attraction.  Banana bread is a favorite, and you can find two good recipes in earlier postings (Mom’s Banana Bread and Orangette’s Banana Bread).  One cannot live on banana bread alone, however.  There are other ways to deal with bananas that are starting to turn brown on your kitchen counter.

First, let me say to those of you who don’t feel you have the time to deal with your browning bananas and are tempted to just throw them out…don’t.  Put them in your freezer instead before they get overripe.  You can put them in peel and all, as I do.  The peel will turn even browner, but the inside will be just fine.  You can also peel the banana, cut into slices, and put the slices in freezer bags.  The frozen banana can then be used for baking or smoothies, which is another way I like to use my ripening bananas.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
Makes 1 generously sized smoothie

1 ripe banana (frozen or chilled is what I prefer, but not required)
2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 Tbsp chocolate syrup
1/4 cup milk

Put all ingredients in blender and blitz away until desired consistency.

The amounts in my recipe are just rough suggestions.  You should make adjustments to make your smoothie thicker or thinner, and emphasize your preferred flavors.  Also, I used non-fat dairy (cow’s milk) products, but you can use full-fat or soy based products.

SMOOTHIE VARIATIONS: I think bananas are key to creating the best smoothie texture, so they are almost always included in mine at home, but I mix them up with other ingredients.  I like them with strawberries and orange juice, cantaloupe and pineapple juice.  Be creative in using fruit you have at home, combine them with different juices, flavored yogurts, etc…You the proportions that make it the most tasty for you.  One more note.  I don’t add crushed ice to my smoothies cause I like them a bit thick, but my husband likes it that way.  You may too, so give it a try.

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Orangette’s Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger

My husband and I are now celebrating a long weekend in his hometown of Cleveland.  To show my appreciation for my in-laws, I decided to bring some banana bread.  While I have a favorite recipe, I thought it would be nice to try out the recipes from Molly Wizenberg’s (aka Orangette) book, A Homemade Life, that I recently finished and reviewed.

I modified it slightly to our taste, and we are definitely enjoying it.  We had another slice for breakfast this morning with our coffee.

Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger
Makes 1 standard-size loaf

6 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz of chocolate chips
2.5 oz of chopped crystallized ginger
2 large eggs
2 large ripe bananas
1/4 cup low fat plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Set a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a standard-size (about 9 x 5 inches) loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, microwave the butter until just melted.  Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.

Add the chocolate chips and crystallized ginger and whisk well to combine.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs with a fork.  Add the mashed banana, yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla and stir to mix well.

Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a silicone spatula, scraping down the sides as needed, until just combined.  Do not overmix.  The batter will be thick and somewhat lumpy, but there should be no unincorporated flour.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top.

Bake until the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  It took me an hour, but I covered it with aluminum foil after about 50 minutes.

Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.  Then tip it out onto the rack, and let it cool completely before slicing.

According to the recipe, this bread freezes well when fully cooled.  We started scarfing it down immediately.

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Brown Bananas

I didn’t like bananas as a kid. Even when my grandmother told me how good they were to eat and attempted to ply with me her homemade banana pudding with Nilla wafers. I just didn’t like them.

Defying logic, however, I did like my mother’s banana nut bread. Maybe it was the pecans, maybe it was the change to the chemistry of the fruit with baking, or maybe it was the cream cheese she spread on each slice. Regardless, I was hooked.
I’ve improved my attitude about bananas somewhat since reaching adulthood, and even willingly purchase them at the store, especially since my husband likes them in his lunch. I still don’t like eating them straight out of the peel, though, and I absolutely cannot stand the mushy texture of an overripe banana. But, that is the perfect texture needed for Mom’s banana nut bread.
Apparently, I was a bit exuberant in my last food shopping trip and I noticed several quickly browning bananas on the kitchen counter last night. What a perfect way to end our weekend….filling the house with the smell of banana bread. Yum.
Here’s how to do the same at your place…
Banana Nut Bread
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sour milk (or buttermilk or yogurt) (See Note)
2 large mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Cream sugar and oil. Add the egg and stir to blend. Sift dry ingredients together and add to the wet mix. Add the sour milk and bananas. I usually mash my bananas in a separate bowl with a potato masher before adding to the mix.
Pour the mixture into greased 5×9 loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees F.
NOTE: Sour milk does not equal spoiled milk. To make sour milk, add a couple of drops of white vinegar or lemon juice to the three tablespoons of milk. Let it stand about 5 minutes. Carbon dioxide is created by the reaction of the acid in the sour milk and the alkali of the baking soda. It makes the batter lighter and more airy. You can certainly use regular milk for this recipe, but the bread turns out a bit more dense.

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