February has been a month full of celebrations - from celebrating love on Valentine's Day to several birthdays for friends and family members and my "farewell brunch party" to end my community rotation with the WIC clinic, there has been chocolate, pies, and cake galore! While I love celebrating others (and eating chocolate), I don't love the empty calories and questionable ingredients in most baked goods and desserts that are typically offered at celebratory events. That's why I am always looking to make healthier versions of my favorite treats with wholesome and nutritious ingredients.
This past week, we celebrated two birthdays at the WIC clinic and I volunteered to bring in a dessert for everyone to share. This was my perfect opportunity to test out a new recipe that I have been working on for Cocoa Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins! And let me tell you, they were a hit! The staff raved about how delicious my muffins were and they were all gone by the end of the day! I count that as a great success!
This week's Recipe Feature: Cocoa Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
The best part about these mini muffins is that they are super simple to make and you can modify the recipe to your liking! Plus, it is totally acceptable to lick the bowl clean afterwards!
Ingredients: (Makes 18 mini muffins or 9 regular muffins)
- 1 medium Banana (slightly brown)
- 1/2 cup natural nut butter (I used Skippy Natural peanut butter)
- 1/4 cup Maple Syrup (I used Log Cabin Lite, with no HFCS)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 cup Dark Cocoa Powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark, unsweetened)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips (I used Enjoy Life)
- Preheat oven to 375F and prepare muffin tin with Olive Oil spray (to prevent sticking).
- In a large mixing bowl, mash banana (until all clumps are gone) and then add all other ingredients (in order) except for the chocolate chips. Mix well until all ingredients are combined and "batter" is very smooth. (Alternatively, you can blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor).
- Gently fold in the chocolate chips and divide batter evenly into muffin tins (just over 3/4th full since muffins will expand during baking).
- Bake for 10-12 minutes (closer to 10 minutes for the mini muffins) and then remove from oven and test with a tooth pick (it should come out clean). Allow muffins to cool for about 10 minutes in the tin before removing. (Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 week).
That's it! Easy as pie (muffins) and you have 18 delicious (and cute) mini muffins in under 20 minutes from start to finish!
Now go ahead and have a mini muffin (or two) and be sure to share them with your family and friends!
There is ALWAYS a reason to celebrate and be thankful for what you have and for the people in your life! Remember that and have a wonderful Sunday and week ahead!