Protein Banana Nut Muffins

September 1, 2010

Chef’s Notes: I love muffins, especially on a chilly morning with a cup of tea. I’m trying to eat less carbs and more protein, and muffins really don’t fit into that plan. So I experimented and concocted and came up with this recipe that’s a bit more compatible with my diet. There is no sugar or sweetener at all, so they are not rich in the same way as a typical muffin, but the spices give it depth and flavor.

Protein Banana Nut Muffins
(makes 9 small muffins)

1 cup flour (I used 1/2 white 1/2 wheat)
6 tablespoons protein powder (I used MLO Super High Protein Powder)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons natural unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (1 cup)
1/4 C. walnut pieces
2 teaspoons assorted baking spices (I used 1/2 tsp. Penzey’s baking spice, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon,1/4 each of nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners.

Stir flour, protein powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a bowl; set aside.

Combine egg, applesauce, yogurt and vanilla and beat well in a medium mixing bowl. Beat in the bananas, walnuts, and spices.

Add flour mixture to banana mixture and stir just until mixed – batter will be thick. Fill 9 muffin cups nearly full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Per muffin: Calories 134. Fat 3 Carbs 17.5 Protein 9.5

A delicious idea for day old muffins: Cut muffin in 4 or 5 thin slices (from the side, not the top) and lay the slices out on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until browned and crispy. Tastes like banana toast!


Blueberry Chocolate Muffins

May 15, 2010

Chef’s Notes: How do you make an amazing blueberry muffin even more delicious? Add some chocolate chips!

Blueberry Chocolate Muffins
(6 muffins)

1/4 C. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 C. buttermilk
1/2 C. blueberries
1/2 C. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Mix together the flour and baking powder. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in the blueberries and chocolate chips. Scoop into muffin cups.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown, and tops spring back when lightly tapped.

Nutrition info: (I made 9 slightly smaller muffins) Calories: 246. Fat: 8.9. Carbs: 40.7. Protein: 2.9. Calculated at Spark Recipes.

Peanut Butter Cornbread

April 24, 2010

Chef’s Notes: I modified the original recipe by adding additional peanut butter but it made it very heavy. This is the recipe without my changes.

Peanut Butter Cornbread
(serves 6-8)

1 ¼ C. all-purpose flour
¾ C. cornmeal
3 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. kosher salt
1/3 C. coarsely chopped salted peanuts
1 C. minus 2 T. skim buttermilk
3 T. honey
2 T. unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 10-inch pie plate with vegetable oil and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and chopped peanuts. In a separate bowl, beat together the remaining ingredients. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Spoon the batter into the pie plate and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool slightly before slicing.


Original recipe appeared in Ladle, Leaf and Loaf by Lisa Cowden.

Spicy Orange Coffee-Cake Muffins

March 20, 2010

Chef’s Notes: I made this for as a birthday gift for a friend who loves coffee cake. I found several recipes for coffee-cake muffins online; the one I made is most like this one. I added orange zest to the batter, and used Penzey’s Baking Spice (a blend of Ceylon cinnamon, Spanish anise, Grenadian mace, and Guatemalan cardamom) instead of cinnamon. This spice blend really makes this recipe!

Spicy Orange Coffee-Cake Muffins

Spicy Orange Coffee-Cake Muffins

Spicy Orange Coffee-Cake Muffins
(makes 12 muffins)

Crumb topping:
1/3 C. brown sugar, packed
1/3 C. chopped pecans
1 T flour
1 tsp. Penzey’s baking spice
1 T. softened butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 C. softened butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. fresh orange zest
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place paper liners in a muffin tin.

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the crumb topping. Mix with pastry blender until crumbly. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Stir in egg, vanilla extract, orange zest, and buttermilk. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until just combined.

Fill the muffins cups about 1/4 full (half the batter). Sprinkle with 1/2 the crumb topping. Fill the muffin cups with remaining batter, and then sprinkle on the rest of the crumb topping.

Bake 15-18 minutes. Cool in muffin tin for about 5 minutes and then remove to wire rack.

Cranberry Banana Bread

February 20, 2010

Chef’s Notes: I was in the mood for a quickbread this morning, and found some bananas and cranberries lurking in the fridge. Hrm, I wondered, how would that taste? I googled, found this recipe…and was totally delighted with the result! I was a good girl and shared…the family and the co-workers enjoyed it also! I made only a few small alternations to the original recipe.

Cranberry Banana Bread
makes 1 loaf

1 C. ripe bananas, smashed (original recipe – 3 bananas)
5 T. salted butter, softened (original recipe – 1/3 C. melted butter)
3/4 C. brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon orange juice (original recipe – bourbon)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of ginger (I added this)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. fresh cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and juice, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour, mix. Add the cranberries, and stir until just incorporated. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes (original recipe – 1 hour). Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Elvis Muffins

November 21, 2009

Chef’s Notes: On Halloween, a friend and I were discussing candies we have known and loved. She mentioned a limited release treat that honored the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll: Elvis Reese’s Cups.

Elvis Reese's Cup

When trying to decide on a muffin for a late-Saturday-morning brunch, I remembered that conversation, and wondered if the same candy bar ingredient combo would work in a muffin. I googled, found this recipe, and discovered a yumlicious treat!

I made the recipe exactly as written, except that I divided it into half. I still had 12 muffins. Apparently the 12 muffins indicated in the original recipe refer to the monstrous 3000-calorie bakery-style muffins. I also used a cinnamon-sugar topping instead of putting cinnamon in the batter.

Elvis Muffins

Elvis Muffins

Elvis Muffins
Makes 12 (normal-sized) muffins

1 1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. mashed banana (about 2 very ripe bananas)
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. peanut butter
2 T. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1/2 C. chocolate chips

2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put paper liners in muffin tin.

In a large bowl, put together, flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt; combine.

In another mixing vessel combine mashed bananas, milk, peanut butter, egg, oil, and vanilla; mix well. Add this to the dry mixture previously prepared; mix just enough to combine. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Combine the sugar and cinnamon for topping and sprinkle onto muffin batter. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Triple Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

November 3, 2009

Chef’s Notes: I took the ideas of several different recipes and devised my own, which resulted in these dessert-like muffins that are bursting with chocolate and have just a little tang of cranberry.

Triple Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

Triple Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

Triple Chocolate Cranberry Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

1 3/4 C. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 T. cocoa powder
3/4 C. cane sugar
1 cup milk
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons canola oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 C. dried cranberries
1 C. white chocolate chips
Semi-sweet chocolate chips, about 1/4 cup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour through sugar). In a small mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients (milk through vanilla). Make a well in the dry ingredients, slowly add wet ingredients, and stir just until combined. Gently fold in the cranberries and white chocolate chips. Do not overmix,

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each liner about 3/4 full. Sprinkle semi-sweet chocolate chips over muffins. Bake 20 minutes, or until set and springy. Cool on wire racks.