Saturday, June 22, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday, Dancer Bakes! {Oatmeal Banana Nut Muffins}

Pretend there's a candle in one of those muffins because the blog turns two today!!  WHOA!

It barely feels like this last year happened for me - graduation, marriage, and 6 months at sea dancing my little tush off made it fly by!  But even though I'm still in denial that it's really been two entire years since I started this little online journey, I couldn't be happier about where it's taken me.  I started my dance career, I lived in one of the most beautiful places in the entire world, I have a wonderful husband who helps and supports me in every way, and I've developed a deeper love of food than I ever imagined when I decided to start writing it all down.

This occasion really demands rich and delicious baked goods.  In lieu of rich, have healthy and delicious baked goods!

The other day, I got hit by a particularly strong urge to bake, fed in part by the appearance of a Nutella Swirl Banana Muffin recipe on my newsfeed - courtesy of Jessica over at The Novice Chef. I basically started salivating on sight.
However, I've recently tried to renew my commitment to eating a clean diet - high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats; low in sugar, saturated fat and processed chemicals.  The hardest part for me to cut out is sugar.  It's no secret that I love sweets, and I particularly like finishing a meal on a sweet note, so sugars - even natural ones - are hard for me to both limit and avoid altogether.
I couldn't shake the banana muffin craving, though, so I searched for a healthier recipe, and voila!  I found one!  Still sweet, but not a cupcake masquerading as breakfast.

These are oatmeal muffins, but not in the same sense as an oatmeal cookie.  In this recipe, the oats are ground into oat flour to form the base of the muffin.  I was a little low on oats at home, so I supplemented with a little white whole wheat flour and they still turned out great.  Also, these are basically the easiest muffins to make in the history of the world: all you do is process the oats, add all the rest of the ingredients, process until it looks like a batter, and bake!

In terms of the calorie count (if you even care), these beauties come to a whopping 135 calories per muffin!  Not bad at all.  If you're watching your sugar intake, you'll still need to balance these with low-sugar, high-veggie-and-protein meals, but eating one is nothing to feel guilty about!  Score :)

Oatmeal Banana Nut Muffins
Source: slightly adapted from this recipe by Michelle Hein
Yield: 1 dozen muffins

2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 extra ripe bananas, cut into quarters
2 eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp honey
3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray, butter, or shortening (I used Baker's Joy).
Place the oats in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. 
Add the remaining ingredients and blend until a smooth batter is formed.
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, evenly filling all 12 cups.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the tops of the muffins spring back when pressed lightly.  For me, it only took 15 minutes, so make sure to test them at the minimum baking mark - don't let them overbake and get tough!  Serve warm and enjoy - add candles if you're feeling celebratory :)

No comments:

Post a Comment