(*Disclaimer: The recipe that follows still has some sugar in it, but no oils or butters of any kind — that has to be a healthy-ish muffin, right?)
Don’t you love it when you discover a baking secret? One of my favorite the last few years has been the substitution of applesauce for oil in quick bread recipes. Since then, I’ve often used applesauce (or pumpkin!) to cut out some lingering calories and up the nutrition of our quick breads and muffins.
A few weeks ago, I was thinking about oats in muffins and had an idea. What if I used cooked oatmeal instead?
The cogs in my brain began to turn furiously. I had to be on to something! I had some blueberries to use up, so I created some banana blueberry muffins trying this new substitution.
I confess, they were a little dry, and not quite scrumptious. And my children were not enthused about real blueberries in their muffins. Scandalous, I know.
It just wasn’t worth it if the kids weren’t going to gobble up all the hidden nutrition. So, I went back to the drawing board, or kitchen, as it were.
This time, I went for chocolate. At our house, you can’t go wrong with chocolate… at least, that’s what I was hoping. 🙂 I tweaked some measurements and added an extra banana and some pudding mix for extra moisture. (I often keep some vanilla pudding mix in my cabinet to use little by little. It’s amazing sprinkled on fruit salad, or even blended into smoothies.)
The result was these chocolate banana oatmeal muffins. I’m happy to report that they are definitely scrumptious. All three kids asked for seconds at breakfast, and I’ve eaten three myself. 🙂
Here are the step-by-step photos. You can find the full recipe below.
Start by boiling some water (I heat mine in the microwave for a couple minutes). Then, pour it over dry (quick-cooking) oats.
Let the oats sit and soak up the water for the right texture.
While the oats are cooking, get your dry ingredients measured and in a bowl together. You’ll need all purpose flour, wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla pudding mix. Mix well.
Throw the cooked oats into a medium bowl with a couple eggs. Mix well.
Then add your sugar and mix again. (You could add the sugar directly with the eggs and oatmeal… apparently, I was excited about extra steps today.)
Next, toss in some mashed (overripe) bananas and a splash of vanilla.
Now add in the dry ingredients.
And stir… nom nom…
Be careful not to over-mix the batter. I’ve heard it does awful things to muffins…
Add in some chocolate chips for moisture, texture, and happiness. 🙂
Fill lined and/or greased muffin cups with batter (about 2/3 full each). I used to try to pour directly out of the bowl. This meant trying in vain to stop the batter flow and cleaning up the inevitable drippage all over the pan. Now, I use an ice cream scoop. It has changed my muffin-baking world.
This recipe makes about 16-17 standard sized muffins. My muffin pan only holds 12 muffins, so I used this lovely baking dish to make a mini-loaf. It was gifted to me filled with banana bread for Christmas one year, and I’ve used it for extra muffin batter ever since.
Bake the muffins at 375 degrees for 14-18 minutes. (Mine were perfect at 14 minutes, but our oven runs a little warm.) You can bake the mini-loaf right along with the muffins. Just leave it in a little longer. I ended up turning my temperature down to keep the edges from burning.
These were exceptional still warm from the oven, but they were still delicious at room temperature when I got back from taking the kids to school. 🙂
Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Muffins
(makes 16-17 standard sized muffins)
- 1/4 cup quick 1 minute oats
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup boiling water
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (mine was extra dark)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 TBSP instant vanilla pudding mix (just the powder)
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 medium overripe bananas, mashed
- 1/4-1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line or grease a standard muffin pan.
- In a cereal (or similar) bowl, add boiling water to dry oats and mix well. Let sit 2-3 minutes until fully cooked and water is absorbed.
- Mix all dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the cooked oatmeal, eggs, and sugar.
- Whisk the mashed bananas and vanilla into the egg mixture.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture just until combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chips, again, just until combined.
- Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 14-18 minutes. Repeat this step for remaining batter in additional muffin cups. Or, if desired, use the remaining batter to fill a greased mini-loaf pan. Bake in the same oven (starting at 375 degrees) for 28-32 minutes. Halfway through baking, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees.
- Munch on the scrumptious healthy-ish muffins you just made. 🙂
- For best results, store any leftovers wrapped in plastic wrap and in the refrigerator.
Enjoy something scrumptious today!