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Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

24 Jan

You’ve got a couple of mushy, dying bananas….what to do? How about a batch of banana muffins? They’re easy to whip up quickly and they make a great snack.

Monkeys love banana muffins, of course!

Monkeys love banana muffins, of course!

Now, I hate it when recipes produce too much batter, forcing me to either bake a second, tiny batch of muffins, or tempt me into overfilling my muffin tins, throwing off baking times or resulting in half burnt, half raw muffins. But it turns out that a 2-banana recipe makes a good amount of batter for about a dozen regular muffins – I actually made 6 regular muffins and a little under two dozen mini muffins with this recipe.

I’ve also always had a problem creating fluffy muffins with crispy tops – they would always come out dense and slightly wet/sticky on top – but the higher baking temperature of this recipe fixes the problem! I used a mix of all-purpose flour and coconut flour in this recipe to reduce the gluten content, but you can use all AP flour too.

Ingredients

  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream (I used light sour cream)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Cream together bananas and sugar.
  2. Mix in vanilla, sour cream, eggs, and oil.
  3. In a separate bowl, blend together flour, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture. Mix well.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Fill muffin tins to 2/3 full.
  7. Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips over each muffin, if desired.
  8. Bake in preheated oven at 400°F until tops are crispy with golden brown edges (about 16-18 minutes for regular muffins, 10 minutes for mini muffins).

Mini muffins

Chocolate-banana cupcakes (vegan!)

19 Apr

IMAG2456These are some decadent chocolate-banana cupcakes with chocolate-avocado frosting. They may be vegan, but they are delicious!

Chocolate-Banana Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners or parchment paper. If you’re making mini cupcakes, spray the tins with cooking spray, otherwise much of the cake will be stuck to the paper liners.

1) In one bowl: mash 1 very ripe banana.

2) Whisk in:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

3) In a separate bowl, sift together:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

4) Make a well in the flour mixture. Pour in the banana mixture. Stir together until just combined. Do not overmix.

IMAG2434

5) Fill cupcake tins (only fill until they are 2/3 full)

6) Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (If baking mini cupcakes, bake 9-10 minutes). Makes 12 regular cupcakes.

IMAG2438

 

Chocolate-Avocado Frosting

IMAG2442Cream together:

  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and skinned
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Yes, at first this mixture looks like guacamole gone wrong. But keep on mixing, and you’ll soon get a creamy chocolate frosting.

I don’t like a lot of frosting on my cupcakes, so I usually only make half this recipe. It’s enough to cover the cupcakes, but if you want a tower of frosting, make the full recipe.

 

 

IMAG2445Nutrition
Per cupcake (with half the frosting)
Calories: 221
Total Fat: 12.0 g
Saturated Fat:  4.3 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Fiber:  2.6 g
Sugars:  17.0 g

By comparison, Starbucks’ “chocolate bloom” cupcake has 420 calories, 27 g fat (15 g saturated), and 32 g sugar. Yikes!

 

Cauliflower “Cream” of Mushroom Soup

9 Feb

IMAG2143Is it possible to make a thick, creamy, mushroom soup that won’t go straight to the hips? Absolutely! Here’s my slow cooker recipe for a creamy but cream-less mushroom soup – the thick texture comes from pureed cauliflower. But don’t worry, you can’t taste the cauliflower at all in this yummy soup.

You can also simmer this soup on the stove for several hours, but I like to make mine in a slow cooker so I can leave the kitchen without worrying that I’ll burn my apartment down.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced (I used 30 white button mushrooms)
  • ½ large onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 5 cups fat free chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook cauliflower until softened. I like to stir fry it until slightly browned, then add a bit of water to the pan to let the cauliflower steam until it is soft.
  2. In a medium saucepan, make a roux by melting the butter on low heat. Add the flour and stir about 2 minutes. Then add 1 cup broth.
  3. Put cauliflower, roux, and the remaining ingredients into a 5-6 quart slow cooker.IMAG2132
  4. Cook for 5-6 hours on Medium, or 4-5 hours on High. You should be able to smell the mushrooms well before the soup has finished cooking.
  5. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 8-10 servings.

 

Best-Ever Gluten-Free Banana Brownies

4 Oct

IMG_0161My boyfriend tells me these are the best brownies I have made so far! I’ve spent the past few months perfecting these brownies, made with a whole banana and only a ¼ cup of oil. These brownies are a delicious and decadent way to use up a mushy, overripe banana.  They are also gluten-free, and can be dairy free! (Note that some cocoa powder may be produced in facilities that also handle dairy products). Could these be the healthiest brownies ever?

Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: approx. 25 minutes

Ingredients 

For an 8-inch square pan or a 9-inch round pan:

  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips (Optional. Omit for dairy-free brownies)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ cup oat flour
  • ¼ almond meal
  • ¼ cup safflower oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
So easy, even a monkey can make these brownies

So easy, even a monkey can make these brownies

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine eggs, sugar, banana, oil, vanilla, and coffee granules.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together oat flour, almond meal, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Fold together a few times.
  5. Add chocolate chips. Mix until flour is just absorbed. Do not overmix.
  6. Pour batter into greased pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Then, rap the pan against oven rack to force air to escape from between the batter and the pan.
  7. Bake for another 9 – 11 minutes. The top of the brownie should be puffed up slightly. Insert a toothpick 2 inches from the edge of the pan. Batter should stick to the toothpick, but should not be runny. (If the toothpick comes out clean, you have overbaked the brownie, and you’ll get something that’s more like chocolate cake. Don’t worry, it will still taste yummy.)
  8. Cool before serving.

Nutrition
Per 2-inch square serving (16 servings per pan)
Calories: 145
Total Fat: 6.5 g
Saturated Fat: 1.9 g
Cholesterol: 20 mg
Fiber: 1.8 g
Sugars: 17 g

By comparison, a 2-inch square of Martha Stewart’s “fudgy chocolate brownies” packs in about 237 calories, 11.2 g of fat (7.0 g saturated), and 65 mg cholesterol.

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