Friday, March 2, 2012

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Obviously, I'm make a very concentrated effort to make breakfast now (this is the second week in a row!).  I'm not a breakfast person.  I blame my schooling and teaching experiences - nothing like having lunch at 10:30am to throw off your breakfast game!  However, I am supposed to be a grown up now, and breakfast is the most important blah blah blah.  Regardless, I loved the "granola" bars, and wanted to try something else that was as easy and wonderful in the morning that I could wake up, grab, and go.  I don't leave myself more than a half hour to get up and ready, get the dogs going, and hop out the door in the morning, so the more bake-ahead items that I can make, the better!

Over at Skinny Taste, of course, I found this recipe for Low Fat Peanut Butter Banana Muffins.  The problem is that I wanted to use a whole wheat flour, which threw the rest of my measurements for a loop.  In addition to that, reduced fat Jiffy was my PB mode of choice because it was already in the house.  I would have used the low sodium version, but my husband has that with him on his business trip!

Here's my process...

1 1/4 C flour (*use no more than half whole wheat -ww- flour)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda (*use only 3/4 tsp if you're not using ww flour)
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp stick margarine, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar
5 ripe bananas - mine were small and on clearance. Use 3 if they're larger.
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce (*use only 1/3 cup if not using ww flour)
2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8 tbsp peanut butter - you choose your own poison

I wanted mini-muffins, so I greased my mini muffin pans. No liners needed if you spray, but it's always your option.

Pre-heat the oven to 325.

In a small bowl, combine your flours, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, mix together your margarine and brown sugar. Then, add your egg whites, bananas, apple sauce, vanilla, and peanut butter. Mix it all up until it's nice and creamy. Since I used whole wheat flour, I had to add more apple sauce to maintain a "moist" consistency throughout the baking process. Also, I didn't mash the bananas before mixing them. I have no problem with chunks of banana in my muffin, and the electric mixer did well to break up the very ripe bananas in any case.

Finally, add your dry mixture in, and mix until just combined.  Add your batter to your prepared muffin cups 1/2-2/3 full.  My mini muffins took about 10 minutes, but the large took about 20 in my oven.  Just cook until a toothpick comes out clean.

Super simple, and very tasty.  I had some (immediately!) with a little dollop of the leftover unsweetened applesauce, but when I eat them for breakfast, I just grab three minis as is. Also, most of these ingredients I had on hand.  The only thing I needed to buy was the bananas, and it was only 11 cents for the bunch of five on clearance.  Not too shabby!  Keep them in an airtight container, and (according to Thomas) make sure you refrigerate them if you plan on them lasting all week. 

Curious how I made the conversions to incorporate Whole Wheat Flour?  Check out the Cook's Thesaurus.  They claim... "Replace no more than half of the all-purpose flour with this and add half again as much baking powder plus a bit more liquid to the recipe. Compared to all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour makes baked goods denser and coarser in texture. It provides more fiber but about the same nutrients as enriched all-purpose flour."
So moist...  does that word annoy any one else??  I couldn't get around it this time.  Sorry!

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