Strawberry, Banana & Nutella Muffins

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If you like Nutella, here’s a delicious fusion of the chocolate-hazelnut spread with strawberries and banana.

The spread was invented during the 1940s when cocoa was in short supply. An Italian pastry baker used hazelnuts to enhance the chocolate he had in his bakery. Mixed with hazelnut, a family could use a jar of spreadable chocolate for many weeks. Nutella owner, Michele Ferrero, sometimes referred to as a real-life Willy Wonka, died last Saturday (yes, Valentine’s Day) at the age of 89.

These crumbly muffins are a muffinized™ version of the crepe filled with chocolate, sliced banana, and fresh-cut strawberries.

The bananas and strawberries add vitamins and fiber to the classic Nutella sandwich on white bread, which kids in Holland and Israel love to eat for lunch.

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Strawberry, Banana & Nutella Muffins (makes 18-20)

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
½ cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, pour 1 Tbsp of vinegar into a measuring cup, add 1 cup of milk and let sit for 5 minutes.)
1½ cups fresh strawberries, chopped/diced
2 ripe (but not mushy) bananas, sliced thin
½ cup (more or less) Nutella

Topping:
1 Tbsp turbinado sugar
1 Tbsp Nutella

1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, eggs and vanilla.
4. Gently fold in the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk. NOTE: DO NOT overmix! Mix only until all the flour has been incorporated and the majority of lumps are gone.
5. Gently fold in the strawberries.
6. Spoon some batter into each cup, about 2 tablespoons.
7. Place two banana slices at the bottom of each liner.
8. Spoon or pipe ½ Tbsp or so of Nutella over the banana slices. NOTE: You may put Nutella in a ziploc sandwich bag, cut the tip and squeeze it over the banana (much easier than spooning).
9. Fill each muffin cup with the remaining batter to ⅔ full, making sure to get strawberries in each cup.
10. Top each muffin with a generous sprinkling of sugar and drizzle some Nutella on top.
11. Bake muffins for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
12. Let cool in pan for 4-5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

NOTE: If you want to eat these warm, you can, but I suggest letting the muffins cool for at least 30 minutes so the Nutella has time to set.

 

 

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

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OK gluten-free lovers, here’s to satisfying your sweet tooth!

These are the fluffiest, most moist baked products on the global gluten-free menu. The texture is reminiscent of peanut butter fudge. They are more cakey than the usual muffin. The peanut butter does not overwhelm, and the banana flavor is barely detected, albeit the riper the banana the sweeter the muffin. The melty chocolate chips complement the peanut butter in every bite.

Let’s talk all the things these muffins are not. They are gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free, oil-free, and refined sugar-free. So how could they be good?

Trust, but verify.

With the help of a blender, the batter is transformed in minutes into the best excuse for eating chocolate for breakfast.

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Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins (makes 12)

2 medium ripe bananas, peeled
2 large eggs
1 heaping cup creamy peanut butter
6 Tbsp honey (or agave or maple syrup)
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 heaping cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (for sprinkling)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. To the canister of a blender, add bananas, eggs, peanut butter, 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 cup of chocolate chips and stir.
4. Use an ice cream scoop to distribute batter into muffin cups to ¾ full.
5. Sprinkle each muffin cup with mini 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.

 

 

 

 

Green Monster Smoothie Muffins

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My kids won’t touch spinach, but in a muffin, anything goes. I personally never got into the smoothie rage. I don’t like drinking my food and my kids are scared of monsters.

These super green muffins are sweet-like-cake and packed with protein and vegetables. Plus, calling anything “monster” piques a child’s interest.

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Green Monster Smoothie Muffins (makes 12)

3 ripe bananas
2 cups baby spinach
1 6oz container greek yogurt
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp honey
¾ cups flour
6 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
1/8 cup canola oil
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a blender, puree the bananas, spinach, yogurt, peanut butter and honey.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, egg, oil, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
4. Pour the smoothie mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
7. Allow muffins to cool before removing them from the pan.