Baking is love. Especially for introverts who want to show that they care, but don’t necessarily want to have a long conversation about it. These healthy treats are perfect for sharing: whole wheat muffins that get their moist texture from the bananas and their sweetness from the blueberries.

Ingredients

3 organic bananas, mashed
2 cups organic blueberries
2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar (I recommend Zulka Morena Sugar)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
10 ounces plain greek yogurt (2 containers)
3 1/2 cups organic whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-2 teaspoons ground ginger

How I Made Them

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare your muffin tin with paper liners, or use those groovy paper baking pans like I did.

Combine the bananas, sugars, eggs, and oil together in a bowl. Do not add the blueberries — those come at the end.

In a very large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sprinkle the ground ginger over the top, adding as much or as little as you like.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry.  Combine with a rubber spatula as best you can.  Then add the yogurt and continue to stir until thoroughly mixed.  You will have a dense, sticky batter. This is why you don’t stir the blueberries in — they would just mash up and turn everything purple.

Fill the muffin tins/baking pans 3/4 full, adding blueberries as you spoon the batter into the tin/pans.  Bake on the center rack of the oven for 18-20 minutes or until the cake tester comes away clean but for a few crumbs.

How They Turned Out

These are dense but not dry. Not super sweet, so the banana and blueberry flavors come through nicely. The ginger is very subtle, nicely complementing the berries. Best served warm, with cold milk.

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Elvis’s favorite sandwich was peanut butter and banana, sometimes with bacon and sometimes without. So I have no doubt the King would love these peanut butter banana chocolate chip muffins.

Ingredients:

4 overripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
1/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup Guittard chocolate chips
3/4 cup Reese’s peanut butter chips

How I Made Them:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin with fun paper liners. (This recipe makes 15 muffins, so prep your pans accordingly.)

Combine the mashed banana, butter, egg, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl.  In another large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  With a rubber spatula, mix the wet ingredients into the dry. When thoroughly combined, fold in the chocolate and peanut butter chips.

Fill the muffin cups three quarters of the way full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes away clean but for a few crumbs.

How They Turned Out:

Elvis Muffins

Yummy! Serve them warm if you can — they are soft and gooey and wonderful.  Also good at room temperature with coffee or cold milk.

Why is it that we only experience pumpkin frenzy in October? Because pumpkin is yummy!  And healthy — chocked full of vitamin A and fiber and beta-carotene.  It’s like turkey, which I also tend to save just for Thanksgiving.  Silliness!!

These pumpkin spice muffins are an easy morning treat, tasty if a bit rustic looking. Definitely worth making anytime of the year.

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup whole milk

1 large egg

4 tbs melted butter

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon salt

chocolate chips for decoration

How I Made Them

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare a muffin tin with festive liners.

Combine the oats, pumpkin, milk, egg, and butter in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet in batches, combining thoroughly in between.

Fill the muffin cups 3/4 of the way full. (This recipe makes ten full-size muffins, not twelve.) Bake for 14 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

While the muffins are hot, stud the tops with chocolate chips.  (This was a last minute decision because of how “rustic” — i.e. ugly — the muffins looked.)  Let sit until cool.

How They Turned Out

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

I omitted the sugar on purpose, trying to boost the healthy qualities.  It made for a more savory muffin — but I think next time I’ll add some brown sugar or mix chocolate chips into the batter.

My best friend’s husband hates chocolate.

Oh the humanity!

He is redeemed by his love of carrot cake, which I recently learned is in fact not a vegetable side dish but instead a high calorie dessert. Who knew an inch of cream cheese frosting wasn’t slimming?

So, I endeavored this morning to create a healthier carrot cake alternative. I came up with a carrot bread muffin with a sweet glaze.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups grated organic carrots
2 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon plus a little pumpkin pie spice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup Truvia or stevia
2 large eggs
1 cup low fat Greek vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/8 cup orange juice (no pulp)
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

How I Made Them:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin by spraying the cups with baking spray or lining them with paper liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl and set it aside.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and Truvia/stevia together. I actually used a little less than 1/2 cup of the Truvia, because I wanted a spicier muffin rather than a sweet one.

Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl in between each. Add the dry ingredients in four batches, alternating with the yogurt.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, scrape the sides, and then fold in the carrots.  The batter is more of a dough than a batter (very thick and sticky).

For the Oven

Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full (even if you fill them mostly full, they won’t run over when they bake) and bake for 22-25 minutes, until a cake tester comes away clean.

When they muffins are completely cool, prepare the glaze. Whisk together the orange juice and confectioner’s sugar, and then add the ginger to taste.  Place the muffins on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over each muffin.

How They Turned Out:

Despite the clean cake tester, the middles were a bit more moist than I like. Otherwise, they were exactly what I was going for: carrot bread. It’s not carrot cake by any stretch, but it’s flavorful and much sweeter to the waistline than the old-fashioned version.

Carrot Muffins

Thanks to the fabulous Messy Baker, I have these deliciously decadent chocolate banana muffins to share with friends (and to snack on myself).

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

With a whole bunch of bananas going brown, I made a quadruple size of this recipe (2 dozen regular muffins, 2 dozen mini muffins, and 4 jumbo muffins).  Substitutions: unbleached flour, dark chocolate cocoa powder, Splenda brown sugar blend, and no cinnamon.

How They Turned Out:

Make sure you have a tall cold glass of milk at hand, because these are intensely chocolate indulgences.

This recipe is a modification of my basic banana muffin recipe.  Follow the same directions except use canola instead of walnut oil, reduce the sugar to 1/3 cup, and instead of chocolate chips top each muffin with a swirl of organic blackberry preserves.

Bake for 35 minutes and serve with a cold glass of milk. Yummy!

BBMuffin

Pumpkin is good for you.  Lots of vitamin A and fiber.  So, pumpkin muffins must be good for you, too, right?  Especially with the antioxidants in chocolate added to the mix.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup Splenda+sugar blend
1/2 tsp salt
1 can organic pumpkin
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

How I Made Them:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the muffin tin(s) with festive liners.

Combine the dry ingredients, sifting together with a fork until well combined. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl, then add the pumpkin and canola oil and mix well. Combine the dry and wet mixtures until blended and smooth.  Add the chocolate chips.

Fill the muffin tins about 3/4 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

How They Turned Out:

Moist with a lovely texture, not too dense or too crumby, these are wonderful with a glass of cold milk. The taste is complex, with chocolate the primary impression at first and the pumpkin and spices coming through underneath.  I’m wondering if some cream cheese frosting wouldn’t be a nice addition, or if it would just be gilding a pumpkin.