Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

I love bread and other yummy baked goods.  It’s totally my weakness.  For some people, mac and cheese is comfort food, but for me, it’s bread.  I think it’s the texture that I love so much.  I love French bread, multi-grain bread, biscuits, muffins, cake.  I also love to bake, so it’s constantly a challenge for me not to be my own worst enemy by filling my house with tempting, sinfully delicious baked goods.  They’re so not healthy.

For the past couple years, I’ve been on a mission to bake healthier.  I now have a delicious whole wheat bread recipe, a whole wheat pizza crust recipe, a multi-grain waffle recipe, and even a whole wheat pancake recipe.  But, what if you just want a really good muffin?  I didn’t have a recipe for that.

I’ve spent hours on pinterest looking at muffin recipes.  I was hoping to find something full of healthy ingredients that would also taste delicious. 

Did I mention that I have a baby?  He’s 7 months old, and he’s been eating my homemade baby food creations for about a month.  His purees have been the inspiration for some of my baking experimentation.  For example, I bought a huge bag of carrots to puree for him (he LOVES carrots) and thought, “I should eat more carrots.  Let me try to find a healthy carrot muffin or cookie bar recipe.”  I tried about 3 recipes and none of them was a “do again” (what my husband and I call a recipe that we love so much we want to make it again). 

My baby’s latest pureed concoction consists of pumpkin, banana (he LOVES bananas even more than carrots), breastmilk, baby oatmeal cereal and a dash of cinnamon.  He loves it and wolfs it down.  It made me think, I bet a muffin recipe that included both pumpkin and bananas would be delicious!  I have a pumpkin bread recipe that I frequently make into muffins, so I figured I’d start there and change, well, just about everything. 

before baking
I was inspired this morning, so during my baby’s morning nap, I daringly whipped up a batch of Pumpkin Banana Muffins.  I figured it was no big deal if they didn’t taste great on the first try so I just guessed at what I thought would be good in them, and let me just say, I was more than pleasantly surprised.  My husband and I couldn’t stay out of them!  It makes a dozen, and there are only 5 left!  They’re that good, at least, they are in my humble opinion. 

after baking
The best part?  Besides the delicious taste, they’re only 95 calories each!  That means it’s not such a bad thing if you can’t eat just one.  They’re so good you don’t need to put butter or anything on them, so that saves calories and fat grams too.  When I was first making them, I thought they tasted a little too sweet, but the Greek yogurt tones it down to the perfect sweetness.  The texture is perfect too.  The bread flour keeps them from being too dense.  They’re fluffy but not too airy. 

perfect texture inside
All I can say is that if you like pumpkin pie and banana bread, I really think you should try making these muffins!  They’re a definite “do again” in my book.

Here’s the recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my husband and I did this morning.

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Yields 12 muffins

1 c Splenda (you can substitute 1 c sugar, but it’ll add more calories)
½ c packed dark brown sugar
2 servings liquid egg whites (you can substitute 2 eggs, but it’ll add more calories)
¼ c nonfat plain Greek yogurt
½ c mashed bananas (about 1 large banana or 1 ½ smaller bananas)
½ c whole wheat flour
½ c bread flour
1 c old fashioned oatmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1/3 c water
1 c (8oz) pumpkin

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.

In an electric mixer, mix the Splenda, brown sugar and egg whites. Add the Greek yogurt and bananas. 

In a separate bowl, mix the flours, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Add about half of the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and mix well.  Then add the water and mix well.  Add the rest of the dry ingredients.  Then add the pumpkin.

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve warm, at room temperature or cool.  You can keep them in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze and defrost in the microwave for a quick snack anytime you want.

Now, try to eat just one.  I dare you!

Happy eating!

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