Saturday, May 17, 2014

Banana Nut Whole Wheat Muffins

Easy, healthy and tasty; these muffins get their goodness from whole wheat, sweetness from banana and crunchiness from nuts. This recipe produces a hearty muffin with a heavier texture. So why bake with whole wheat? I personally prefer the texture in these to a cup-cake type breakfast muffin. They are also healthier for your heart, digestive system and blood sugar levels.

Julian's Banana Nut Whole Wheat Muffins Ready for Delivery
Eating foods made from wheat flour contributes to your grain intake, helping you reach the six 1/2-cup servings recommended daily. One of the primary nutritional differences between whole-wheat and white flour is the food’s fiber content. The refining process associated with making white flour separates the fiber-rich bran from the rest of the grain, so white flour contains less fiber than its whole-grain counterpart. Dietary fiber has a number of health benefits; it prevents constipation, lowers blood cholesterol and helps you maintain a healthy weight.  It also absorbs more slowly into the blood stream and as such helps to regulate blood sugar better than white wheat flour. It also contains several vitamins, including folate, riboflavin and vitamins B-1, B-3 and B-5. White flour contains lower levels of these vitamins, since the processing involved in making white flour destroys the grains’ vitamin content.

So if you are now convinced to make these delicious breakfast treats, follow the easy instructions below. The topping is optional, as are the nuts, although I never skip either one. If you want a lighter muffin but still with some healthy whole wheat, try my sugar-free carrot, honey, applesauce muffins.

Ingredients (12 muffins)
Dry
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup  brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Wet
3 teaspoon canola oil
1 egg, beaten
2 egg whites, beaten
1/3 cup Greek yogurt

Other
3 ripe bananas
1 cup uncooked quick oats
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Topping
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
2 tablespoons butter, direct from refrigerator, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
Sanding or other course sugar for decoration

Muffins ready for topping then baking.

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients and then stir in wet ingredients. Mixture will seem dry. Mash the bananas with a fork or your hands. Then mix the banana until smooth using a hand mixer. Add mashed banana and oats to the dry/wet ingredients and mix together with hand mixer. Stir in the optional nuts if using.

In small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients except for the nuts coating the butter pieces very well.  Using a hard bladed (not wire) pastry blender/knife, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it forms small pieces. You can also pulse in a food processor if you prefer. Stir in the chopped walnuts if using. If using whole walnuts as I often have on hand, simply use the pastry blender to chop the walnuts right into the topping mixture until they are at the size you prefer. Set aside

Spray muffin pan with cooking spray or use tall muffin papers as shown and fill each cup 2/3 full distributing the batter equally between 12 cups. Divide the topping mixture on each muffin. Sprinkle with the optional sanding sugar.

Bake for 20-30 minutes. Insert toothpick at 20 minutes and if it comes out dry, they are done. Test every five minutes and do not overbake. Remove when done. Let cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes, then remove to a serving basket or try.

I use Golda's Baking Cup Papers


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