Saturday, September 26, 2009

Healthy Hilltop Banana Nut Muffins

Last autumn after swimming at the resort pools I'd be famished. So, sometimes I'd treat myself to a giant muffin and cup of gourmet hot chocolate at Starbucks. This year, as we're on the recession recovery road, I've turned to homecooking like so many of us have done. And it's much wiser to make healthy muffins at home. I did just that last night. This morning I awoke to an anticipated treat: One cup of fresh brewed Italian Roast spiked with dark chocolate, a medium-sized muffin and a whole fresh banana...

During book tours which include hotels, I love to use room service and savor breakfast in bed in the early mornings. Ever since the experiences, I've spoiled myself and upon awakening each day I make a cup of gourmet coffee and bring breakfast to bed. Today, it was enjoyable because I knew exactly what ingredients were in that banana nut muffin. Ever look at the long list of ingredients in store bought muffins? Yikes! So many chemicals and preservatives. And the ones at popular coffee shops? Well, I'll bet you that they don't use olive oil or whole wheat flour...
Not so with homemade muffins. True, banana nut muffins do contain not so healthy sugar, but walnuts are healthful, and these muffins do boast some protein, fiber, and calcium. And teamed with a fresh banana you get plenty of heart healthy potassium--a good thing at any age. Note: While making these muffins yourself, make 'em smaller in size than bigger if you want to keep your weight in check.

Healthy Hilltop Banana Nut Muffins

1 cup all-natural 100% whole wheat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 large brown organic egg, beaten
1 1/2 bananas, ripe
1/2 cup 2% low-fat organic milk
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 -3/4 cup golden raisins

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, soda. Mix egg, peeled bananas and oil together till less lumpy, more smooth. (Note: I need a masher gadget.) Add other ingredients. Stir a bit but don't overdo it. Pour mixture into cupcake tins. Top each muffin with nuts. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes till golden brown. Makes 9-10 muffins. (Store in freezer and pop muffins in microwave to warm up. Repeat as needed.)
...This morning I awoke to the sound of an early telephone ring. First, I thought "earthquake" news from one of my Californian quake chasing pals. Nah, the Golden State is still in a seismic lull. To my surprise, it was the firewood man. At last, I scored a cord of wood! Next week as the temperatures are forecasted to drop, and it's back to the indoor pool and spa, I'll have big piles of logs outdoors against the fence. It's foreshadow to autumn fires in the living room--mornings and nights.
The best part: Yes, yes, yes. I can see the fireplace with a crackling fire from my bedroom. How warm 'n' cozy is that? Imagine: Enjoying a crisp fall day while munching on a moist healthier banana nut muffin with the crunch of nuts and chewiness of amber raisins paired with a piece of fresh fruit and steaming cup of java topped with dark chocolate shavings? Sweet autumn is here at last.


  1. Found this tonight on Twitter and Google. Very odd several days later. Hmmm. Hey, these muffins are good. Really! Much better for you than prepackaged stuff at the store.


    Here is the link...