Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip, Banana Muffins


I adore banana bread, but I am not a wonderful baker. I have a slight problem following recipes exactly; I always want to fool with them. This, usually results in less than fabulous baked goods and I am always dissapointed. However, I have figured out that muffins are much more forgiving!! You can mess with them and they still cook wonderfully and are much easier to get cooked all the way through without issues. My banana breads always want to cook too fast on the outside and then not enough in the middle, I am blaming my extremely old oven :).  My banana muffins are not only delicious but healthy too! They are full of fiber rich whole grains, sweet overripe bananas, chunks of fair trade, heart healthy dark chocolate chips and a secret ingredient!

If you have not read my other blog posts and you are not familiar with Wholdheartedfoods.com then you are in luck because their products are going to change your life! They are a small company located in the Finger Lakes region of NY and they are one of the only "huileries" in America. They make small batch, culinary, squash seed oils...yes that is right, I was super excited too when I first heard about them! They recently sent me two bottles and I have been putting them in everything. The particular squash oil I used for these muffins was the butternut squash. Upon opening the bottle you can see that the oil is a deep caramel color and the smell of the most delicious roasted nuts comes wafting out. This oil is wonderful for sauteing, baking or even drizzling at the finish of a dish for a deep, intense flavor. If you can't tell, I just adore this product! This nutty and intense oil was perfect in these whole grain banana muffins. The whole grains are also slightly nutty so the flavors were complimentary, but I also feel that bananas and peanut butter are a match made in heaven, and this muffin embraces that relationship perfectly. I gilded the lily and added dark chocolate chips to the mix, oh boy am I glad I did that! The ones that weren't inside the muffin got all crispy and...ummm, were about the most delicious things ever!


























This recipe makes 12 large muffins.

Ingredients


3/4 Cup unbleached, organic, all purpose flour, I used a locally milled one.
1/2 Cup organic whole wheat flour, also used a locally milled, stone ground one.
1/4 Cup wheat germ, untoasted, I used Hodgson Mill.
1 Cup organic rolled oats
1/2 Cup raw cane sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Organic, farm raised egg
3/4 Cup vanilla almond milk
1/3 Cup butternut squash seed oil, I used Stony Brook , if you cannot find this product or just don't want to use it then canola oil or coconut oil would work well here.
1 tsp pure vanilla extract, I never ever use imitation it's full of chemicals.
3 overripe, fair trade bananas, mashed.
1/3 Cup dark, fair trade chocolate chips, I used callebaut.

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a bowl sift together flours, wheat germ, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt.

In a large bowl slightly beat the egg. Mix in almond milk, squash seed oil, vanilla extract and bananas. Mix these well. Add wet into dry and mix only till combined, DO NOT OVER MIX!! This is the biggest mistake people make when making muffins and then you end up with dense, hard bricks instead of soft, fluffy muffins. Fold in chocolate chips.

Line a large muffin tin with paper cups and scoop in the muffin mix, evenly into each cup. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. They are done with the top is golden brown and it bounces back when you touch it. Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack.

I like to eat mine immediately with a schmear of Earth Balance!




Beware of people who don’t eat; in general they are envious, foolish, or nasty. Abstinence is an anti-social virtue. 
                     -Grimod de la Reyni√®re

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