morning glory muffins

Thank goodness I made these muffins on Monday or else you wouldn’t have a post to read today! We’re still making progress on our projects. I’ll have the ‘after’ photos for you next Monday!

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On Sunday I realized I had 2 very ripe bananas hanging on our cooking wall and 7 frozen in the freezer. It was about time to start using them.

Banana bread is one of my favorite snacks but I wanted to change it up and find a different recipe. I searched my cookbooks and came up empty so I went to my trusty Cookinglight.com and searched ‘bananas’. I found a recipe called Morning Glory Muffins with over 50 positive reviews. By substituting some of the ingredients I didn’t have to go to the grocery store first therefore it was a winner.

I went a little overboard with the substitutions but hey, I can’t not. Experimenting is fun! If you’re wondering about the Peach Yoplait, Al hates that flavor so I wanted to use it up and of course I didn’t have regular yogurt on hand.

To explain it all, I put my changes in parenthesis after the original ingredients in the recipe below.

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Morning Glory Muffins
(source)

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (about 4 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces) (White Whole Wheat Flour)
  • 1 cup regular oats
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (Cane Sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon wheat bran (Chia seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain fat-free yogurt $ (Peach Yogurt)
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2)
  • 1 large egg $
  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (Pecans)
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried pineapple $ (Dried Cherries)
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed (about 2 tablespoons whole (Raw Buckwheat Groat)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place 18 muffin cups liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray.
  3. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flours and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine yogurt, banana, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in dates, walnuts, and pineapple. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle evenly with flaxseed. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans immediately; cool on a wire rack.

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So I guess I created a variation of the original recipe. My ‘substitutes’ aren’t all similar to the original ingredients! It’s almost like I knew what I was doing.

Fresh out of the oven with a little butter or earth balance. These muffins were amazing. I thought all the dried fruit and crazy yogurt would make the muffins way too sweet so I cut back a little on the dried fruit when I made them. I think this helped because the sweetness was definitely there but it didn’t overpower the pecans or oats. The oats, raw buckwheats, and pecans gave the muffins an awesome chew which contrasted with the gooey fruit.

It’s ridiculous how good these muffins are! No wonder so many people on Cooking Light felt the need to give there two cents.

I’ve taken two with me to work each day this week. I could have probably eaten one for my morning snack and one for the afternoon but once I start one I can’t leave the other all by itself. 🙂

Do you have a yummy muffin recipe?

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yummy: banana (protein) bread

This week I needed to refill my husband’s stock of homemade protein bars. Even though they’re very tasty, I decided to change it up since we’ve been eating the same kind for over a month.

I made banana bread instead!

It’s a treat from my childhood that my mom would sometimes make when she has too many bad, frozen bananas in the freezer. I’ve followed in her footsteps and do the same thing when it happens to me.

I think I had 6 frozen bananas and 2 that were going bad. Oops!

Again like my mom, I turned to my Cooking Light cookbook for help and used this recipe. When I was a kid she used to get the magazines. I don’t remember reading them at all but I DO remember looking at all the delicious photos.

I decided to make two loaves so that I could freeze one to eat next week.

Prepare yourself. I changed a couple of the ingredients per the usual but this time it all worked out swimmingly. It was not a  Mama Pea’s Cookie repeat!

The first change up was the flour. Instead of using  two cups of all-purpose flour (white flour), I used one cup of white whole wheat and one of just plain whole wheat flour.

I’ve read many times that if you want to add whole wheat flour to a recipe you should put in half of what the recipe calls for and then use normal all-purpose flour for the rest. This is what I normally do for recipes but I thought I’d try the white whole wheat and see what happens. I’d say the bread is a bit more dense but still very very good with a lot more nutrients!

My next change up was subbing Earth Balance for butter. If you didn’t know, Earth Balance is a dairy-free buttery spread. I didn’t know what it was until last month when I needed it for a different recipe! But anyways, I didn’t taste any difference at all!

Belle follows me EVERYWHERE when I’m home by myself so to help her settle, I have to bring one of the dog beds into the kitchen so she has a place to rest. It’s sweet and cute. 🙂

Fun little tip: Don’t freeze the bananas whole like I did. You end up with something mushy and super kinda gross when they defrost. Instead, when you’re bananas go bad, peel them, cut them into a couple chunks, and then freeze them all together in a freezer bag. That was you can use them for smoothies, bread, or maybe even banana soft serve!

Alright, my main ingredient change was this protein powder. Since this bread is supposed to be a substitute for protein bars, I added some (the recommended serving) into the batter. I just put in a little less flour to make room in the recipe. I think the vanilla flavor helped bring out the bananas. It didn’t change the texture or anything! That surprised me because some brands often have a gritty/chalky texture. Trader Joe’s for the win.

Ever wonder what the difference is between baking in a metal non-stick pan and baking in a silicone ‘pan’? Look no further.

Honestly, there wasn’t much difference at all. I thought the ‘fancy’ silicone would somehow make the bread better but it didn’t. They both tasted great! The bread from the silicone DID taste more moist but I think it’s because the bread bakes quicker in the metal pan. Interesting, eh? I thought so.

Proof of my official taste test. A little Earth Balance on top.

Shockingly, I only ate the two slices pictured here!! And I haven’t had anymore… yet. Course now that I’ve had to write this post and I see all the tasty goodness, I might just have to get down to the kitchen and get myself a slice.

So if you ever decide to make a protein-filled snack, remember it doesn’t have to be just bars. Throw your protein into anything! I bet it’ll work out just fine and you’ll have another healthy food to add to your snack arsenal!

What snacks do you eat? Do you make anything in advance?