Good Morning all you wonderful people out there in blog-reading land!
It is a gorgeous Fall morning here in Broadstairs. The sun is shining, the leaves are falling from the trees, it’s cool and crisp…and a bit breezy. The kitties have all had their breakfast and they’re snoozing in their favorite spots: Alfie is curled up on the back of the living room chair…
and (Princess) Crystal…
are on the bed. But enough about my children… 😉
At night, after we’ve eaten dinner and cleaned up the dishes and I’m finally settling in for the evening, I like to enjoy a little something sweet while I’m plopped in front of the boob tube. Sometimes I have a piece of fruit and sometimes I grab a square or two of dark chocolate with a small glass of milk.
Then there are times that I want something a bit more substantial, like a cookie or a muffin (I’d really like a carton of Ben&Jerry’s!) but as I’m trying to behave, I don’t normally have those in the house. If I want them, I’ll make them; at least I know what goes into them.
In the past few weeks, I’ve made the SBD peanut butter cookies and wholesome muffins, but wanted something different so I pulled out my desserts binder and flipped through until I came to my Banana Muffin recipe.
As you can see, it’s a pretty simple recipe, (and absolutely DELICIOUS!), but sets off a few alarms for me, mainly the flour, sugar and butter…the three main characters when it comes to most baking.
Such a dilemma!
How do I make these a bit healthier so that I can indulge without feeling guilty? The flour is easy; just switch it to whole wheat flour, no problem.
One down, two to go.
The sugar…I’ve used agave nectar in my peanut butter cookies so why not try it in these?
As agave is sweeter than sugar, I used only 1/3 cup…done.
The butter was a bigger problem. What could I use to replace it? Apple sauce? Didn’t have any and didn’t feel like making it either, not just for 1/3 cup. Veggie oil? Nah, as I stay away from that…olive oil is better, but not for baking!
I have two ‘margarine’ type spreads: Pro-Active (for helping to lower my cholesterol) which is not suitable for baking. The other one is called Pure, made with soya beans (got this to help with the old hormone problems that happen to us ‘ladies of a certain age’). I thought it too, wasn’t suitable for baking, but I double checked the label and low and behold! It’s suitable for baking, cooking, frying, etc. Woo Hoo! So my problem was solved. Banana muffins, here I come!
(PLEASE NOTE: If you are not able to find a soya based spread or similar in your area, then aim for a trans-fat free spread…make sure it’s suitable for baking)
You can try the original recipe above, which, did I mention is absolutely DELICIOUS! Oh yeah, I did.
Or you can try it my healthier way, it’s up to you. The only changes are to the main character of flour, sugar and butter. The mixing and baking times and temps remain the same.
1 1/2 C flour (white or whole wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 C sugar OR 1/3 C agave nectar
1/3 C butter OR soya-based spread or other trans-fat free spread, melted
1/2 C chocolate chips or chopped nuts or a mix of both (optional) (I used walnuts)
Preheat oven to 350f/180c. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper cases or silicone cases (I use the silicone cases – love these!)
(Cooks Hint: The butter/spread needs to be melted – I put mine into the oven while it was heating up in a glass Pyrex measuring cup – saves energy by not using the microwave)
Sift all the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, mix the remaining ingredients using an electric hand mixer. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry using a spatula or wooden spoon.
Spoon evenly into muffin cases. Bake for 20 minutes.
Let cool in tin about 5 minutes then remove to rack.
These freeze well should you desire to do so.
Tell me which recipe you made and what you thought of them!
The original recipe is absolutely DELICIOUS……. 😉