Wholesome banana muffins
This recipe is pure goodness. The combination of wholewheat (atta), buttermilk, brown sugar, chocolate/butterscotch chips and bananas is a huge energy booster – and tasty. Adding nuts and seeds only up the health quotient. All in all, a cracklingly healthy, wholesome breakfast food or anytime snack!
1½ cups atta (wholewheat flour)
1/3 cup white or brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
¼ cup chopped walnuts or cashewnuts
¼ cup dark chocolate or butterscotch chips (optional)
1 large egg (see tip below for eggless muffins)
2 ripe bananas, well mashed (a little more than ½ cup)
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk or buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon chopped nuts, sunflower seeds or demarara sugar for topping (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a muffin pan.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg until frothy, then blend in the banana and the rest of the wet ingredients.
4. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet mixture. Gently mix the batter with a large wooden or metal spoon until just evenly blended. Remember not to over-mix.
5. Spoon into muffin cups, using an oiled serving spoon or ice cream scoop, filling each about 2/3 full. Sprinkle with toppings, if you wish.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the muffins test done.
7. Remove from the oven and let cool for a bit. Serve warm or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Handy Hint #1: For eggless muffins or cakes, replace each egg with 3 tablespoons of yoghurt or milk. You could also replace each egg in a recipe with 1 tablespoon of finely ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of warm water, and let it sit for 15 minutes to thicken. Ground flax seeds can be stored in the fridge or freezer for months.
Handy Hint #1: Bananas freeze really well and add natural sweetness to food. Freeze ripe bananas and use them for muffins, banana bread, ice-cold smoothies or milk shakes. Store the entire banana (with skin) in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. The peel turns black but the banana stays fine. Use within 2 weeks.
Food Fact: Bananas are a super-food. They contain fibre and high levels of potassium, which help with nerve and muscle function and in lowering blood pressure. Their natural sugars help to regulate blood sugar levels, and they are an unexpected source of protein and calcium. Bananas are a perfect anytime snack, especially for active kids.