I may have mentioned before that we make banana muffins all the time around here. As in so often that I no longer have to look up the recipe. And neither does our Girl-Friday, Lacie. I keep banana muffins in the freezer for snack or breakfast on the go or lunchbox treats. The recipe that I have used forever is from an old Williams Sonoma cookbook for kids that my mom gave my older kids ten years ago. Fortunately, the recipe is available online here.
Despite my non-completion of the kids nutrition class last month, I am still thinking about ways to improve what my kids eat. One of the great concepts from the Kids Rule class was what they call “leveling up”. The idea is that you can make small changes in your kids’ diets by adding better nutrients or ingredients to things that they already eat. The classic example of this would be adding spinach to a fruit smoothie. I do this all the time. They can’t see it or taste it but I know that they are getting the extra nutrients. Kind of dishonest, really, but hey, I’m doing my best.
With this in mind, I’ve been experimenting with upgrading our banana muffins. Coconut oil and chia seeds are definitely on the hot list at the moment, so I thought that I would give both a try. I’ve said it before and will say it again, I am not a chef or a dietician. I’m just working with what I have. Caveats out of the way (P.S. you can apparently give up your license to practice law but the lawyer never goes away), here is what I made.
Sneaky Banana Muffins (adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kids Baking by Abigail Johnson Dodge)
1 1/3 cup plus scant 3 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp wheat bran
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
Scant ½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp chia seeds
3 very ripe bananas
1/3 cup plus 3T sugar
Scant 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. (To measure flour, I started with 3 tablespoons of wheat bran in a 1/3 cup measure, then added flour to the top.)
Smash bananas in a large bowl. Mix in sugar, eggs, melted coconut oil, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Bake in prepared cupcake pans at 350° for 12-17 minutes (12-13 minutes for mini muffins, 15-17 minutes for regular muffins).
The kids ate several mini-muffins with their scrambled eggs. The muffins were moist (sorry, people, awful word, but there really is no substitute). The addition of the wheat bran did not make the muffins dense at all and the reduction in sugar worked great as the muffins were definitely sweet enough. I had Lacie taste test these for an adult opinion. Mind you, I do pay her, but she said she thought that they were better than the original recipe. There you have it. Time to get in your kitchen and make some banana muffins.
Oh, and I would be remiss if I did not include this photograph.
“Mom, I think you should take a picture of me since I helped make the banana muffins.”
You bet, buddy. Anytime.