Muffins really are a thing of beauty. Compact. Portable. Just the right size for the wee or the full grown. Infinitely adaptable and as decadant or wholesome as you like.
Monkey muffins are big in our house. Basically banana muffins with a few chocolate chips thrown in for window dressing, they make a perfect addition to a school or work lunch and are quite lovely with a cup of coffee in the morning. Don’t be fooled by the chocolate either – consider the flax seed, bananas, yogurt and smidge of whole wheat flour and these muffins are not as guilt inducing as they look.
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour (I like King Arthur’s white whole wheat)
- 1 – 2 tablespoons ground flax seed (optional)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 2/3 cups)
- 2 large eggs, beaten slightly
- 1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
- ½ – 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 6 tablespoons canola oil
- Handful or two of semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put a rack in the middle of the oven. Put muffin cup liners in 2 muffin pans.
Make The Batter
- In a bowl whisk together the flours, flax seed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- In a separate, larger bowl whisk together the bananas, eggs, yogurt, sugar, vanilla and oil.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones until just incorporated – if you mix too much the muffins will be tough.
- Add the chips and fold them in.
- Divide the batter among the muffin cups.
- Bake for about 15 minutes. Check for doneness at about 12 minutes by sticking a toothpick in the middle of a muffin. If it comes out clean or with just a smear of melted chocolate on it, they’re done. If wet or gloppy muffin batter is sticking to it, put them back in for a few minutes and test again.
- Cool for a bit in the pan, then tip the muffins out of the pan. If you’re freezing them for eating later, let them cool completely before wrapping up and freezing.
- I like to use a large cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop to get the batter in the muffin tins – it prevents a lot of gloppy mess and keeps muffin size uniform.
- I’ve used whole eggs, egg whites and a combination of the two. They all work fine, but if you’re using egg whites only, you may want to add another tablespoon of canola oil.
- Don’t have any bananas? You can use an equivalent amount of canned pureed pumpkin to make Great Pumpkin Muffins. If making the pumpkin muffins, I would suggest substituting brown sugar for half of the white sugar and adding some ginger. White chocolate chips work nicely with the pumpkin too.
Yield: 12 – 18 muffins, depending on the size of your muffin tins. (Which, if you wrap and freeze them for school lunches, and calculate at about 1 – 2 muffins per brown paper lunch bag, will make about 6 -12 days that you don’t have to make a pb&j sandwich at 7:00 am.)