Greek Yogurt Chocolate Banana Muffins

FullSizeRender_2.jpg

If banana bread doesn’t do it for you, these muffins will have you at hello. They are entirely healthy and delicious. And, who could say no to chocolate?

Soft, tender, with a subtle sweetness and loaded with chocolate flavor, these muffins have far less sugar than a typical bakery-style muffin.

Microwave already-baked muffins to make the chocolate chips warm and melty. Spread with peanut butter if desired! For a sweeter variation, substitute peanut butter chips for some or all of the chocolate chips.

Greek Yogurt Chocolate Banana Muffins (makes 12)

1 cup flour
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips (milk chocolate or semi-sweet)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (milk chocolate or semi-sweet)
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 large egg
1/2 cup vanilla or plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled (measured in melted state)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup very ripe bananas (2-3 bananas), mashed very well

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray (do not use liners, they will stick!).
2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and both types of chocolate chips.
3. In a separate medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and Greek yogurt. Stir in coconut oil, vanilla, brown sugar and bananas.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
5. With an ice cream scoop, distribute batter evenly into muffin cups.
6. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

 

 

Lemony Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

DSC_0001 DSC_0004

This recipe takes the well-known concept of the blueberry muffin to a whole new level. These muffins are extra special because they have a surprise inside: delicious, lemony cream cheese! They are great on their own, but the lemon cream cheese filling with the plump, juicy blueberries makes these muffins marvelous.

My son didn’t notice the cream cheese filling until the second bite when his “mmmm” escalated to “MMMM!” He loved the surprise filling.

A fresh blueberry muffin with lemony cheesecake flavors in the mix is the perfect way to start any morning. Surprise your loved ones with these muffins-they will love them (and you for baking them)!

DSC_0007 DSC_0015

Lemony Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins (makes 9)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg, large
1/3 cup whole or skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Cream Cheese Filling:

3 Tbsp cream cheese
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp sugar
turbinado sugar (for sprinkling on muffins before baking)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
3. In a small bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest. Rub sugar and zest together, until fragrant. Add to the flour mixture and whisk again.
4. In a separate medium bowl, mix canola oil, egg, milk, and vanilla.
5. Incorporate the wet ingredients into flour mixture. Add slowly and do not over mix. (The batter will be lumpy and thick.) Gently fold in the blueberries.
6. In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, lemon zest, and sugar until smooth.
7. Fill each muffin cup half way with batter. Next, add about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese filling to each muffin cup. Cover each cup with remaining batter so you can’t see the cream cheese filling. Sprinkle each muffin with turbinado sugar.
8. Bake muffins for 17-20 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
9. Let muffins cool on a cooking rack.

DSC_0014

 

Whole Wheat Spinach n’ Feta Muffins

FullSizeRender_7.jpg

Still warm and straight out of the oven, my 7 year-old grabbed one of these and said:
“Mom, this is like lunch and dinner in a muffin.” Bingo.
“It’s like a grilled cheese with spinach.” Right again.
“Mom, I’m amazed.”

These muffins, a complete balanced meal, not only satisfy salty cravings, but add fiber and smell divine. Everything works together: the carmelized onion, buttery spinach and pockets of creamy salted feta and cheddar.

These muffins will have you at first bite. Their crisp outside and soft inside make it impossible to stop.

FullSizeRender_2.jpg


Whole Wheat Spinach n’ Feta Muffins (makes 21)

1 1/2 cups onion, chopped (1 large onion)
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups spinach, chopped
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a skillet, cook onion and butter over medium heat until onions are tender.
3. Add spinach and cook until just wilted.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and baking soda.
5. Add onion and spinach mixture, cheddar, feta, eggs, milk, and cayenne pepper (optional). Combine and mix thoroughly.
6. Distribute batter evenly into muffin cups.
7. Bake for 35 minutes. Serve warm.

Cheese Meltin’ Muffins

FullSizeRender_3.jpg

Just out of the oven, these muffins on the counter, my 7-year-old took one bite and said, “I love how it all melts together.”  They are gloriously cheesy, just waiting to be pulled apart.

The recipe is beyond easy. Use any cheese you have on hand. I was planning to use Colby Jack, but after returning from a road trip I discovered it was moldy, so I improvised with goat, mozzarella, American and parmesan.

Buttery crisp on the outside and molten inside, these muffins make a great snack for kids. Served with milk, they make a protein-packed meal. And, mini or regular sized, they make a wonderful portable appetizer for your next cocktail party.

Even better, they make great egg sandwiches. Leftovers may be halved, popped into the toaster and spread with jam. Delicious as-is, or with a bowl of soup.

IMG_6483.JPG
Cheese Meltin’ Muffins (makes 12)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 heaping cups cheese (I used goat, mozzarella, American and parmesan)
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, melted
1 pat (1 tsp) butter (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in cheese.
3. In a separate medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and butter.
4. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir to combine.
5. With an ice cream scoop or spoon, distribute batter into each muffin cup.
5. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until muffin tops start to brown.
6. As the muffins come out of the oven, rub a small pat of butter over the tops.
7. Serve warm from the oven with a pat of butter or jam.

Chocolate Pecan Pie Muffins

IMG_0308

For die-hard pecan-pie fans, these muffins are a pie-brownie hybrid. Infused with chocolate, a sticky, bite-size pecan pie is not only gooey, sweet, buttery and energy-packed, but perfect for both chocoholics and brownie-lovers.

IMG_0298

Chocolate Pecan Pie Muffins (makes 18)

¾ cups light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light corn syrup
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 heaping cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1 ½ cups pecans, chopped

1. Prehead oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pans with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the light brown sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, eggs, vanilla, flour and salt until smooth.
3. Whisk in the butter and chocolate.
4. Fold in the pecans.
5. Use an ice cream scoop to distribute batter evenly into each muffin cup.
6. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes.
7. Let muffins cool in pan and then transfer to refrigerator to chill.
8. Use a sharp knife to run around the edges of the muffins to remove them from the pan.
9. Serve cold.

Chocolate Ricotta Muffins

DSC_0047   DSC_0004

These muffins are packed with protein and taste like smooth, creamy, cheesecake. Serve for breakfast, dessert, or after-school snack. My kids love the rich chocolate flavor, and I love the wholesomeness of the ricotta and milk.

Note: For best results, use whole milk ricotta, but lowfat also works well. You can substitute canola oil for some or all of the butter.

Chocolate Ricotta Muffins (makes 18)

1 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cup milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled OR 1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pans with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk ricotta cheese and then add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add milk, vanilla extract, and cooled and melted butter, mixing well. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
4. Add the ricotta mixture to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined and then fold in chocolate chips. (Do not over mix this batter or the muffins will be tough when baked.)
5. Divide the batter amongst the 18 muffin cups using two spoons or an ice cream scoop.
6. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
7. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

DSC_0045   DSC_0039

Flourless Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

DSC_0416 DSC_0415

For my readers who have requested gluten-free recipes, I consider it my duty to muffinize™ the crumbly, dry baked goods they are generally stuck with.

Moist, rich, and decadent, these muffins satisfy the chocolate-peanut butter craving. The recipe is dairy-free, oil-free, and contains no refined sugar. So how could the muffins be good? Believe.

With the help of a blender, the batter is transformed in minutes. No gluten means no risk of over-mixing the batter, which could create tough muffins.

Thanks to the banana and honey, the taste is sweet but not too sweet, the texture fudgy but still cakey and springy like muffins. The peanut butter is there, but does not overwhelm. The chocolate flavor is enhanced by the ever-presence of mini chips.

These muffins are a wonderful way to justify having chocolate for breakfast.

DSC_0431 DSC_0430 DSC_0429 DSC_0414

Flourless Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins (makes 6)

1 medium/large ripe banana, peeled
1 large egg
heaping ½ cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
3 tablespoons honey (agave, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup may be substituted)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
heaping 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (for sprinkling)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. To the canister of a blender, add banana, egg, peanut butter, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
3. Transfer batter to a mixing bowl. Fold in heaping 1/2 cup chocolate chips and stir.
4. Use an ice cream scoop to distribute batter into muffin cups to ¾ full.
5. Sprinkle each muffin with a generous pinch of chocolate chips.
6. Bake for 13 to 18 minutes*, or until the tops are set, domed, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
7. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 10 minutes until they’ve set.**

*Watch muffins closely and bake until done.
**These muffins will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.