There is no better way to start the morning than enjoying a pastry with a good cup of coffee. Many opt for donuts or bagels as their pastry of choice, but I personally prefer muffins. Not the sugar overloaded donut shop kind, but the homemade, relatively healthy kind.
Muffins are so popular in my house, I make them almost every week as part of meal prep. Unlike other sweets that get boring when repeated week after week, muffins are customizable to any taste or seasonal ingredient options. With literally endless flavor possibilities, muffins are a great way to quench your sweet tooth all year long without ever getting bored. Another great perk of a muffin is the ability to use up leftover ingredients that would have otherwise gone to waste. In fact, it was precisely for this very reason that this recipe was born.
Left with a bunch of bananas that were far past their prime, I opted to use them up instead of simply tossing them in the trash. I already had cinnamon raisin bread on hand, therefore making a loaf of banana bread was not feasible. I pondered other easy options for using up overly ripe bananas, and immediately muffins came to mind. Once I knew what I planned to do with the bananas, the next question became how to make them healthy enough to work with my fitness goals.
Even when I do not need to use up an overly ripe bunch, I still love to use bananas in muffins. Not only do they impart sweetness, which helps cut back on added sugar, they also provide a wealth of nutrients. Bananas are a great source for vitamin B6, which helps boost your energy. Additionally, bananas contain potassium, which is a mineral that helps the nerves, cells, and muscles of the body function properly. In addition to the health benefits of bananas, I added in dark chocolate for antioxidant power and walnuts for healthy fats.
This muffin tastes just like your classic chocolate banana bread, but in a portable muffin. Perfectly portioned and packed with sweet banana, rich dark chocolate chips, crunchy walnuts, and warm cinnamon, this muffin is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Give it a try when you need to use up some ripe bananas or on your next meal prep day for a sweet, yet healthy treat!
Banana Chocolate Chip Crumble Muffins
- 1 cup plus 3 tbsp. White Whole-Wheat Flour; divided
- 1 cup Oat Bran
- 1½ tsp. Baking Powder
- 1 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon; divided
- ½ tsp. Sea Salt; divided
- ½ cup Dark Chocolate Chips
- 1 large Egg
- 3 very ripe Bananas; mashed (about 1¼ cups)
- ½ cup Whole Milk
- ¼ cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 3 tbsp. Olive Oil
- ¼ cup finely chopped unsalted Walnuts (about 1 oz.)
- 2 tbsp. Sucanat
- 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; melted
- Line a 12-count muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350°.
- Prepare Crumb Topping: In a small bowl, add the walnuts, 3 tbsp. white whole-wheat flour, sucanat, ½ tsp. ground cinnamon, and ¼ tsp. sea salt. Stir with a fork until combined. Add butter and stir until the dry ingredients are moistened. Set aside until topping is at room temperature, about 1 hour.
- Prepare Batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup white whole-wheat flour, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda, remaining 1 tsp. cinnamon, and remaining ¼ tsp. sea salt. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine. In another large bowl, lightly whisk the egg. Add the bananas and whisk again until combined. Add the milk, maple syrup, and oil. Whisk until combined. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until dry ingredients are moistened.
- Divide batter evenly in prepared muffin tin, filling each cup almost to the top. Sprinkle crumb topping over muffins, about 1 tbsp. per muffin, pressing down slightly to adhere to the batter. If the topping has firmed up from resting, use a spoon to crumble it up again before adding to the muffin cups.
- Bake muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Best served warm. Leftovers should be cooled completely before storage. Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3 days or freezer for 1 month. For a single serving, defrost at room temperature for 1 hour. For multiple servings, bake in the oven at 250° for 7 to 8 minutes.
NutritionPer serving (1 muffin): 226 Calories; 5 g Protein; 11 g Total Fat; 3 g Sat. Fat; 4 g Fiber; 267 mg Sodium; 17 g Sugar; 33 g Carbs; 22 mg Cholesterol
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: J. O’HARA
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS
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