Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Weekends were made for muffins! I never have time on busy school/work mornings to bake muffins, so we usually make them on Saturday mornings. These banana muffins are a favorite of ALL of my girls, and that is really sayin’ somethin’! I have some very picky eaters at my house. 

One thing I really love about this recipe is that it is a great base batter for lots of different mix-ins. Blueberries are always great, but have you ever tried adding  frozen raspberries along with a handful of white chocolate chips? Toss in a bit of shredded coconut and it gets even better! 

Of course, chocolate chips are my girls’ favorite mix-in, but I also like nuts; yummy, crunchy, heavenly nuts! My girls hate nuts in muffins. What is wrong with them? To satisfy my craving, I just press chopped nuts into the tops of a few muffins before baking for myself and my non-picky husband. Muffins are so versatile!

Gather up your ingredients and let’s get baking! You’re going to need some oil, milk, yogurt (or sour cream), eggs and a couple of sad-looking bananas. 

Mash the bananas however you’d like. I like to use a potato masher, even though I never use it to mash potatoes. I should call it a banana masher! I have found that making mashed potatoes with a hand mixer is infinitely yummier and much faster!

Some people like their bananas a bit chunky, some very, very smooth. My preference falls in between.

Add the oil,yogurt (or sour cream), eggs and milk to the mashed banana.

Whisk it well! Get your energy out here, because you’re gonna put your whisk away now and be gentle with the batter for the remaining steps.

Okay, so let’s have a little discussion about whole wheat flour for a sec. If you buy whole wheat flour off the shelf at the grocery store, you are only getting one benefit over white flour, and that is a bit more fiber. We all think that whole wheat flour has more vitamins, and that was true when it was freshly ground, but as the flour sits, the vitamins, sadly, deteriorate due to oxidation. If you are wanting vitamin-rich whole wheat flour, you are going to have to grind it yourself! (Or find a friend with a grinder you can borrow.) 

Okie dokie! Now that you know about the vitamins, let’s talk about measuring whole wheat flour. Notice how I meausure one cup in the picture. It is obviously more than one cup! Whole wheat flour, due to its higher fiber content, does not soak up as much liquid as white flour, therefore you need extra in any recipe you are using it to replace white flour. So, if you need 1 cup, measure it mounded on top! Do this with any size measuring cup, just with increasingly smaller mounds with increasingly smaller cups. This is a handy little trick I use for all of my whole wheat flour conversions.

Now, I know that traditional muffin making dictates that you mix all of the dry ingredients together before adding them to the wet ingredients, but I have just never seen a difference between doing that, and doing it my lazy way, so you be the judge and if you are so inclined to dirty one more dish, do it the old-fashioned way. As for me, I hate doing dishes! 😉

Go ahead and add all of your dry ingredients now.

Using a rubber scraper/spatula/whatever- you-want-to-call-it, FOLD in the dry ingredients gently. You want to mix until your batter is just barely all moistened. The more you mix, the more the gluten in the flour develops. This is not desireable in muffins. We want a tender crumb, not a tough, chewy one. 

When your batter is sufficiently moistened, stir in your chocolate chips, or whatever mix-ins your little heart desires. Get creative! I totally forgot to take a picture with the chocolate chips mixed in! I think I was too busy sneaking them into my mouth to remember to snap a photo.

Look at these adorable tart liners! I saw them in the cake decorating aisle at Wal-Mart one day and just snatched them right up. They are shallow, but extra wide, and stand alone. They are also heavy duty (thick), so please don’t try making stand-alone muffins with thin paper liners. You will regret it, haha! I found some similar ones for you on Amazon (check out link button below) in case you can’t find any at your local stores. You’re welcome!

Pace the tart liners in a cake pan or on a cookie sheet (or use regular, boring paper liners in a regular, boring muffing tin like I usually do). Divide batter equally between 6 large tart liners or 12 regular muffin cups. Press yummy chopped nuts into the tops of some, or all!

Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes (regular size) to 22 minutes (large tart size), till toothpick comes out clean when inserted into middle of muffin.

Slather with butter and enjoy with a tall glass of cold chocolate malt milk. Oh! Or hot chocolate! I love to dunk muffins in hot chocolate! 🙂

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