Greek Yogurt Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted here–life took over for a bit. Don’t worry, I’ve still been cooking. In fact, I’ve written a few pieces for Daily Burn including my favorite White Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Crostini [recipe]:

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But for today, I’ll leave you with a fantastic muffin recipe that will knock your socks off. Thanks to my co-worker for the recipe suggestion, I made these Greek Yogurt Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins in an attempt to use up overripe bananas sitting in the freezer. Damn are these satisfying. The yogurt is a great binding ingredient, replacing much of the oil but retaining the moisture. I added some chocolate chips, because, well…everything is better with chocolate. You only live once, right?

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Makes 20 muffins, or 40 mini-muffins

Adapted from Averie Cooks

3 medium ripe bananas [frozen bananas work well, just make sure you let them thaw]

1 large egg

1 5.3oz container banana Greek yogurt

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

pinch salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour muffin pans. 

In a large bowl, mash banana. Add egg, yogurt, oil, sugar, vanilla and spices. Whisk well. Add the remaining dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into muffin tins until three-quarters full. Bake for 20-22 minutes (10-11 minutes for mini muffins). A toothpick should come out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan.

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Healthy Green Peanut Butter Smoothie

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I am a smoothie fiend. I have an arsenal of frozen bananas and yogurt in my kitchen at all times. I particularly like smoothies that kill two birds with one stone. Like this Green Peanut Butter Smoothie which boasts two heaping cups of spinach. Huzzah for vegetable consumption.

Along with the spinach, the protein from almond milk, plain Greek Yogurt, and peanut butter will keep you full for hours. This is a perfect breakfast smoothie or post-workout snack. You can change it up, as I normally do, replacing unsweetened almond milk with skim milk, or Greek yogurt with regular yogurt.

As far as the peanut butter goes, I’m all for it, except that I have no self control. PB2 is a great, lower calorie and lower fat alternative to regular peanut butter. A jar full of the dehydrated peanut butter is pricey, yet it works incredibly well in smoothies. I am in no way endorsed by PB2, and I will be the first to admit that I do not like it plain, however it gives this smoothie the familiar taste of peanut butter without weighing it down.

Green Peanut Butter Smoothie

Makes one tall glass

1 frozen banana

2 cups baby spinach

6 oz. yogurt [plain or vanilla]

1/2 cup milk or almond milk

1-2 tbs. peanut butter or PB2

Blend all ingredients together, adding ice if needed.

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Sunday Morning Blueberry Banana Muffins

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I am home for the weekend. It is snowing. I was hungry.

Solution? These Banana Blueberry Muffins with a Demerara sugar crunch topping. A one-bowl, dangerously good muffin, perfect for a last minute brunch or snow-day treat.

Adapted from Serious Eats, I used dark brown sugar for a deeper molasses flavor and added a half teaspoon of vanilla extract because…uh…everything is better with vanilla. I also sprinkled these muffins with a hefty topping of a Demerara sugar and cinnamon mixture. And unlike the original recipe’s yield of a dozen muffins, my batch perfectly made sixteen muffins.

Blueberry Banana Muffins

Adapted from Serious Eats

Makes 16 muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tin with butter or cooking spray. 

In medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Add eggs to mixture, then sugar–beat well to combine. Stir in vanilla, bananas, and oil. Gently fold in blueberries.

Pour batter into greased muffin tin, filling cups 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 

Banana Cream Pudding Cookies

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 Unexpected flavors, with the crunch of Nilla wafers, and the added sweetness of white chocolate pieces, these Banana Cream Pudding Cookies took me by surprise– in the best way possible.

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With the help of pudding mix, the cookies stay moist in the center, while still being sturdy. You could try using any type of chocolate chip in these cookies, and if Nilla wafers are not your thing, they can easily be omitted.

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Banana Cream Pudding Cookies

Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

Makes 3 dozen cookies

1 cup butter, unsalted

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1 pkg. banana cream instant pudding (3.4 oz)

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup chopped wafers

1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Stir in pudding, eggs, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add this dry mix to the wet mix. Stir until incorporated. Fold in chopped wafers and chocolate chips. 

Drop by the tablespoonful onto sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Let cool on sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire cooling rack.

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Banana Bread Cookies

Banana bread is not easy to transport. Banana Bread Cookies are easy to transport. They also allow you to try your masterpiece without cutting off a chunk of the bread. With what seemed like a million overripe bananas in my kitchen, and an impending trip to Miami, I figured I would be resourceful by making these treats.

Boy were people receptive to these cookies. Even after traveling nearly 1,500 miles, these cookies were still moist, intact, and reminiscent of homemade banana bread. And, they were gone in an instant.

Banana Bread Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Adapted from Simply Recipes

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup mashed banana (2 1/2 large)

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups flour

pinch salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat until fluffy. Stir in vanilla. In a separate bowl, mash bananas and baking soda. Let sit for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, combine flour, salt and spices in another bowl. Combine banana mix with butter mix, then add flour mix, stirring just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop on greased or parchment-lined tray and bake for 11-13 minutes.