Saturday, March 23, 2013

Banana Crunch Muffins

I gave running on the treadmill at the Y another shot the other day. They have these new machines that have a TV built right into the treadmill. You just plug in your headphones, change the channel until you find one you like and run while you're watching. Andy seems to be able to manage 10 miles or so while watching, but I still struggled to do more than 2.5 miles on the treadmill - primarily because of the commercials...hate commercials - and ultimately had to hop off and run the rest of my run on the track. However, while I was on the treadmill, I caught an episode of the Barefoot Contessa making some fabulous muffins that looked heavenly, and really heavy, but I thought, I bet I can lighten these up a bit, while still keeping some good flavor. These are still not super healthy for you, but they are substantially improved and quite tasty if I do say so myself!

So, something came out of that dreadful treadmill session...thanks Ina Garten.

*For Ina's original recipe, click HERE.

Banana Crunch Muffins (makes 24 muffins)
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour flour
1.5 cups sugar (next time, I'll knock this down to just a cup)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled (that's 2 sticks)
2 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup non-fat milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)
1 cup medium-diced ripe bananas (1 banana)
1 cup granola (I used a mix of Uncle Sam cereal and TJ's Vanilla Almond Crunch Granola)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Line 24 large muffin cups with paper liners. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the melted butter and blend. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas, and add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Scrape the bowl and blend well. Don't overmix.

3. Add the granola and coconut into the batter and fold gently. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each 1 to the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly, remove from the pan, and serve with butter!

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