Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Healthier" Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

If you are like me, you always have extra bananas around the house that are over ripe and too mushy to be eaten, right? Usually at that point I just throw them in the freezer and save them for when I want to make banana bread or banana muffins or even a smoothie. Sometimes I'll just use the bananas right away, make banana bread and pop it in the freezer. Just take it out the night before you want to eat it and it is fresh and ready to go. Perfect for those guests that come over and you want something a little extra special to go with breakfast. That and it's just good to have on hand for snacks or to bring along when you are visiting family or friends. I promise to share my super delicious crumble topping banana bread recipe soon!

These are my usual left over banana go to recipes, but this time around I wanted to try something a little bit different. I had several bananas about to go in the freezer and a jar of peanut butter in the fridge and started to think, what goes better with bananas then peanut butter! At first, it reminded me of these banana peanut butter chip muffins Ryan makes. They are SO good, especially when he heats them up in the microwave and the chips get ooey gooey. Mmm. I'm starting to salivate. So, then came the idea of how about chocolate chips instead of peanut butter chips. Just as good, right? I don't know, Ryan's muffins are pretty darn good!

The search began and I found the perfect recipe to use up my peanut butter (because if I don't get rid of it, I will eat it by the spoonful with a few chocolate chips. Bad, I know. It's just so good!) and bananas. There are several blogs I read on a daily basis and Picky Palate had the best recipe to combine all the ingredients I already had in my kitchen (and which I'm sure you have too!). 

squishy bananas. I like to eat mine with then are slightly green.

can you see the chunks of swirling bananas?

scooping station!

sprinkled with coconut and ready for the oven!

oven shot!

testing for doneness - they needed another couple of minutes.

hot out of the oven - YUM!

“Healthier” Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins (slightly altered from

makes about 14-18 muffins (pending on how many bananas you use)

4 Tablespoons softened butter
2 eggs
3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 Cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons coarse sugar (I used organic raw sugar)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, whatever you have on hand will work)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place butter, eggs, bananas, yogurt, sugar and peanut butter into a large mixing bowl. Mix to combine. Place all dry ingredients into a separate large bowl and stir to combine. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with the chocolate chips until just combined. Scoop into muffin tins lined with paper cups 2/3 way full. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and shredded coconut. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center.

These muffins are not too sweet, and are moist and totally delicious. With the recipe below, these muffins come in around 170 calories a piece. Next time I make these, I will be using applesauce to replace the butter - this will drop the calorie count down to just about 140.  Much better and it will taste the same! Anytime you are looking to keep the moisture but lose the calories and fat, you can always replace oil and butter for the same amount of applesauce!

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