Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Banana Muffins

Do not despair, these muffins are another way to use up bananas that have gone to the dark side. Besides making these muffins soft and squishy, bananas bump up the nutritional factor of Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Banana Muffins. Peanut butter makes them more protein-dense, and Nutella adds that one-of-a-kind flavor. These beauties exit the oven perfectly domed, swirled, and once topped with Nutella drizzle, the muffins will disappear in minutes.


Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Banana Muffins (makes 12)

4 overripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup Nutella

*Optional: 1/4 cup Nutella to drizzle on top

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray muffin pan with non-stick baking spray.
2. With an electric mixer, beat together the bananas and peanut butter.
3. Mix in sugar, egg, and vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
5. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until a batter forms.
6. Scoop out 1 cup of the batter and set aside.
7. To the big bowl of batter, mix in the Nutella until the batter is uniformly brown (be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate all ingredients thoroughly).
8. Distribute brown batter into muffin cups evenly.
9. Add a dollop of the light brown batter set aside to each muffin cup, and swirl with a toothpick.
10. Bake for 20 minutes.
11. *Microwave Nutella for about 15 seconds and drizzle over muffins.

 

Spinach Ricotta Frittata Muffins

Just the act of baking Frittata Muffins makes you feel like you are hosting a lavish brunch, even if you aren’t (for now)…

This recipe involves minimal steps. Each Spinach Ricotta Frittata Muffin makes a no-mess meal that fits perfectly into school lunch boxes (note for future). Dense with protein from the ricotta/spinach duet, these muffins are dainty but strong and full of flavor. Although they do not contain butter, their golden edges are crisp and fried-like. They are delicious, right out of the oven, at room temperature, and even cold.

I recently learned the right way to crack an egg, thanks to Key Lime Lexi. Her technique was so much fun to practice for this batch. Lexi’s new cooking series highlights engaging projects, fun for families to do together at home. Her site provides a wealth of information, from delicious recipes to know-how tips in the kitchen.

These muffins bring memories of Sunday brunch and work well for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner.



Spinach Ricotta Frittata Muffins (makes 12)

4 large eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese (low far or full fat)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup (or one 10oz box) frozen chopped spinach
1/4 tsp salt
onion powder (to taste)
garlic powder (to taste)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. Thaw spinach in microwave and squeeze out extra juice.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and stir in ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses.
4. Stir in spinach, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.
5. Use an ice cream scoop to spoon mixture into muffin cups.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until muffins are set and golden on top.

 

 

Pasta Muffins

There’s something satisfying about squirreling away peanut butter and canned soups in a pantry. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has turned my house into a suburban bunker, my entire mentality toward wasting food has changed. However, ingredient recycling is not a new phenomenon. We’re familiar with French Toast as a method of resurrecting stale bread, Fried Rice a way to convert leftovers into meals, and Smoothies, a chic solution for overripe bananas.

Making Pasta Muffins is a great way to recycle leftover pasta! I stumbled on this recipe when I found myself this week with limited time and day-old pasta no one was excited about. This recipe is so easy – there’s no way to mess it up. Once cooled, place the muffins in plastic bags and freeze a stash for later. They can be warmed up in seconds.

Pasta Muffins (makes 12)

4 cups cooked pasta, tossed in cream, butter, or marinara sauce (if spaghetti, cut into about 2 inch strands)
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup cheese, shredded
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I like Italian seasoning)
1/4 – 1/2 cup cooked meat, finely diced (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, mix eggs, cheese, bread crumbs, and meat (optional).
3. Add mixture to pasta and toss.
4. Scoop pasta into muffin cups.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
6. Allow to cool.
7. Remove from tins, serve, and enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie Muffins

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Chicken Pot Pie is an especially comforting comfort food in the form of a muffin. Even to those who did not grow up with the pot pie as a staple, these muffins are reminiscent of the moist buttery biscuit that generations of Americans have loved.

This recipe is full of nutrients in the form of chicken, cheese and vegetables. The possibilities of vegetables are endless. Go heavy on the peas if your kids love peas. At first, my kids questioned the blatant vegetables on top, but the buttery flavor of the muffins won them over and I’m not sure they even realized the muffin was made of…chicken.

As these muffins come right out of the oven, rub a small pat of butter over the tops. Serve these muffins warm from the oven with a pat of butter. Store leftovers in the refrigerator or freeze.

Enjoy!

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Chicken Pot Pie Muffins (makes 12)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 cup rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper.
3. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and butter.
4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
5. Fold in cheese, chicken, and vegetables (reserve about a tablespoon of vegetables for sprinkling on muffin tops). Do not over-mix batter or muffins will become hard.
6. Distribute chicken mixture into the muffin-pan cups.
7. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of vegetables on tops of batter.
8. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Cheeseburger Muffins

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I grew up eating McDonald’s, so I consider it a supreme culinary accomplishment to recreate the perfect nuances of the McDonald’s cheeseburger in a compact, succulent muffin.

This is the pinnacle. This muffin brings together the perfect combination of ketchup, mustard, cheddar, and a buttery-meat taste of what we all crave in a cheeseburger. You can substitute turkey for hamburger meat. Serve warm with a side of sliced pickles for a healthy version of a fast food childhood memory.

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Cheeseburger Muffins (makes 18)

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp mustard
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large frying pan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the ketchup, milk, butter, eggs, and mustard; stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened.
5. Fold in beef mixture and cheese.
6. Distribute cheeseburger mixture into the muffin-pan cups, ¾ full.
7. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
8. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

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Thai Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

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My husband requested a more adult muffin for a sophisticated evening with friends (sans kids). Not that there’s anything unsophisticated about peanut butter and jelly muffins…

Here is something else to do with ground turkey that is oh so flavorful! These healthy muffins are super moist and have a special Thai kick. TheThai flavors are delicious and the muffins are perfect for reheating at lunchtime.

Although my kids were doubtful at first, after the first bites, they approved. My husband had seconds and asked for a “doggy bag” to bring to work the next day.
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Thai Turkey Meatloaf Muffins (makes 12)
1.25 Lb ground turkey (preferably  a mix of half dark meat and half light meat)
3/4 cup rice, cooked
1/4 tsp cilantro
1/4 tsp lemon grass
1/4 tsp scallions
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp basil
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup Thai peanut sauce
2 tsp sesame oil (or peanut oil)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat 12 muffin-pan cups with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Combine turkey, rice, seasoning, coconut milk, peanut sauce, and sesame oil, and mix thoroughly with hands.
3. Distribute turkey mixture into the muffin-pan cups and press into mixture with back of spoon.
4. Bake for 30 minutes.
5. Serve with peanut sauce.

French Toast Muffins

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French toast is the ultimate comfort food. I craved it, and ate it, throughout my entire pregnancy. No wonder my kids have been fans of French Toast ever since they started solid food. These “cakes” taste exactly like my favorite French toast but with a finer texture. They are super portable – can be toted to the office or packed for a morning playdate or Sunday picnic.

Both toppings below are equally delicious. The first is a cinnamon and sugar glaze, and the second combines the traditional tastes associated with French Toast: drizzled maple syrup and powdered sugar. As on French toast, apply the topping by drizzling. Or, dip each muffin into a puddle of maple syrup and a mound of powdered sugar or cinnamon-sugar mixture.

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French Toast Muffins (makes 10)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper muffin liners.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together egg, milk, and melted butter.
4. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir until just moistened (batter may be lumpy).
5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
7. Top each muffin with one of the two coatings (recipes below) and serve warm.

Topping 1: Cinnamon Sugar Coating

1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

1. In a bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar.
2. In a separate bowl, melt butter.
3. Dip tops of finished muffins in the melted butter, and then in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Topping 2: Maple Sugar Coating

maple syrup (good quality)
confectioners’ sugar for dusting

1. With a toothpick, poke a few holes in muffin tops.
2. Use a spoon to drizzle syrup over muffin tops.
3. Sprinkle powdered sugar on tops.