Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins

I've made a lot of banana bread since I started baking and you probably have too. It is the go to thing to make with overripe bananas. I took some of my favorite elements from a couple of recipes that I used to make and added some of my own ingredients to make them more nutritious. I also started making the recipe into muffins instead of a loaf. My recipe makes 24 muffins, so usually half of them go into the freezer to pull out later. For my recipe, I replaced half of the flour with whole wheat flour. I did not want the bread to be too heavy or the flavor to be overshadowed by the wheat so I used half and half of wheat and white flour. I recently discovered King Arthur's Unbleached White Whole Wheat flour. It made from 100% hard white whole wheat flour. It is lighter tasting and lighter in color than regular whole wheat flour. Because of that, I have been able to add it to any of my favorite baking recipes. I add it to regular chocolate chip cookies and no one has any idea that there is any wheat flour in the cookies. I don't know why I have not seen it in the store and tried it before, but I am glad that I found it now. It is a constant staple in my pantry now! Another nutritious element is the amount of walnuts that I add. Some recipes call for walnuts, some for pecans and some for no nuts. Walnuts are a wonderful nut that are filled with good fats and Omega 3 fatty acids. Since my children are not fond of chunks of nuts in their food, I grind up my walnuts in my mini-chopper until they are very small. That way my children are still getting all the healthy goodness from the nuts in the muffins without noticing and picking out the pieces of nut. And just because banana and chocolate taste so delicious together, I add some finely chopped dark chocolate to the muffins. I like to use dark chocolate because the flavor is more intense and dark chocolate has the antioxidant power of flavonoids.

Now I have a banana muffin recipe that my whole family loves. My husband loves how easy they are to eat as he is running out the door to rush to work. :) These muffins are a staple in my house. I like to make a batch on the weekend then we have a quick and healthy breakfast or snack ready to go for the busy week. Grab one of these muffins, a piece of fruit and some greek yogurt and you will have a quick, nutritious and tasty start to your day!

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

4-5 large ripe bananas

1 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. canola oil

2 eggs

1 c. walnuts, finely chopped

1/2 c. dark chocolate, finely chopped

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two muffin tin pans with paper liners.

In a small bowl, stir together the flours, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add the bananas, broken into large chunks, and the sugar.

Using the whisk attachment, mash the bananas on low speed for 30 seconds then increase the speed to medium-high and whip the bananas and sugar for about 3 minutes until the mixture is light, creamy and a little frothy. Add the oil and eggs.

Beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment until well blended. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.

Next, stir in the nuts and chocolate.

Scoop out the batter into the lined muffin tins.

Bake the muffins for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, or mostly clean with only a few crumbs on it. Transfer the muffins to cooling racks to cool completely. Store the muffins in a refrigerator or freezer.

Makes 24 standard size muffins.