Thursday, February 10, 2011

Healthier Banana, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Muffins

Having some very ripe apple bananas sitting around I wanted something baked and comforting but healthy too. I went to Mark Bittman's "The Food Matters Cookbook" and did a variation on his Sweet Potato Muffins. I wanted to cut down on some of the processed sugar and butter/oil in them to make them a bit more healthy and cutting down the sugar allowed me to add some mini-dark chocolate chips without guilt. I also wanted a little peanut butter taste so I added a half cup of it to the batter. The result are these Healthier Banana, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Muffins.

My changes to the recipe are in red below.

Banana Peanut Butter Muffins with Chocolate Chips
adapted from "The Food Matters Cookbook" by Mark Bittman
(Makes 12 Muffins)

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, preferably pastry flour (did use whole wheat pastry flour)
3/4 cup sugar (used 1/3 cup sucanat)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp.ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
(added 1/4 cup ground flax seeds)
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pans (used 1/4 cup melted Earth Balance vegan baking stick)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (used 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce)
1 cup mashed bananas (I used apple bananas because that's what I had)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk (used 1/2 cup coconut milk)
(added 1/2 cup natural peanut butter)
(added 1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips)

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 12 muffin cups or add liners. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sucanat, baking powder, cinnamon, soda, salt and flax seed. In another bowl. whisk together vegan butter stick, applesauce, peanut butter, banana, egg, and coconut milk. Fold wet mixture into dry mixture and stir until just combined. Add chocolate chips and stir gently.

Fill the muffin cups at least three-quarters full. Bake until the muffins are puffed and turning golden brown on top, 20 to 25 minutes. (FYI--I pulled mine out at 18 minutes and wished I had checked them at about 16-17 minutes instead.) Serve warm if possible.

Notes/Results: Good flavor, a heavier texture that Bittman's original recipe with the added peanut butter and the flax seed, so a hearty muffin, but quite tasty and still moist from the applesauce and coconut milk. I checked them at 18 minutes in the oven (cooking time was 20-25 minutes in the recipe) and I found them on the verge of becoming too done so next time I will check them a few minutes earlier. Overall, a great little breakfast muffin with staying power from the protein and fiber. I will make these again--this way and with other variation. (Note: I used apple bananas but any very ripe banana will work.)


These muffins are going to the monthly Tackling Bittman! recipe hop event founded by Alex at A Moderate Life, and co-hosted by a talented group of bloggers including my friend Sue from Couscous & Consciousness.


  1. Deb, these muffins look great. I love those flavors together.

  2. These look so healthy and good. But, what is an apple banana?? Is it a round banana? LOL

  3. Ann-thanks! ;-)

    Hi Kathy, An apple banana is a type of banana--it's smaller in length and still sweet but also slightly tangy. They get their name from a slight apple-like scent. I tend to buy them because I like them better and they are locally grown. But you can use any kind of banana in the muffins.
    Here's a link to more info:
    Thanks for stopping by! ;-)

  4. I made banana bread today and still have more banana to use up. This looks like just what I need to make with the rest. I love your cupcake cases too!

  5. It's like you know what I want before I want it! I love peanut butter infused treats but DON'T love that they stick to my thighs. These look ideal!

  6. Yes please!!! I can't wait to try these w p.b.!

  7. These muffins look great! I love how you put the original recipe with your changes right next to it. That's a good idea... I like to make recipes healthier also, so it's good to see the changes side by side.

  8. All recipes made healthier are welcomed by me! These sound so sinful though! WOW! Workin' on my Souper Sunday entry again! Stop by for my weekend get together if you have a chance. Aloha, Deb! Roz

  9. I think my son would like these.

    There's a Stylish Blogger award for you here:

  10. they look fantastic; there's no way I can get my hands on apple bananas over here :((.

  11. Felice-thanks! I love those liners too--fun bright colors. ;-) I have more bananas and may have to make some bread. lol

    Joanne: There are still some calories and fats but they are relatively healthy ones. ;-)

    Healthy Mama--thanks--hope you like them. ;-)

    Roxan--thanks! It helps me when I go back to remember what I changed and why. ;-)

    Roz--thanks! These may look sinful but they are pretty healthy calories and fats and lots of protein, fiber and omega-3's. ;-)

    Michelle--Thank you--that's very sweet!

    Something Good--No worries--as mentioned ANY ripe banana will work--I just buy apple bananas as they are local here. ;-)

  12. Deb, these muffins look wonderful - love all the healthy changes you've made to these. Perfect for a guilt-free treat. I've never before heard of apple bananas.

    Thanks so much for sharing these with Tackling Bittman - I hope you'll join in again :-)


  13. This combo of flavors is irresistible! And I like all of your healthy substitutions. I am learning to bake with whole wheat pastry flour - have had two cake fails so far!

  14. Trying to prepare for a 7:15 A.M. meeting next week with my staff. I promised them breakfast. I think these muffins will be on the agenda!

  15. OOhh!! My kids (and I!) love peanut butter muffins. They are always begging me to add the choc chips, but with the healthier ingredients in here I won't really mind. Love it! These are perfect for after school snack.

  16. Sue--thanks and thanks for hosting. Apple bananas are my addiction since moving to Hawaii. ;-)

    Reeni--it can be a challenge--I think muffins are easier than cakes though.

    Eliotseats--hope you enjoy them! ;-)

    Kim--Thanks! They are just a little more fun with the chocolate chips. ;-)

  17. will bookmark this one :) looks nice!

  18. These look like fantastic muffins, Deb. The combination of flavors are sure winners. Thanks for sharing these with us on Tackling Bittman. Hope you will join us in March.


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)