These healthy banana muffins have a hint of almond that blends perfectly with the sweetness of bananas. This healthy snack recipe also features Greek yogurt rather than butter and oil.
Healthy Banana Muffins
Americans eat more bananas than any other fruit, with an average of 26.2 lbs of bananas per year. This is more than apples & oranges combined!
Do you ever wonder why green bananas are so hard and unsweet, while brown bananas are soft and sugary? Let's take a look at why.
The sweetness comes down to the type of carbohydrate in the banana at its stage of ripeness. Bananas emit a plant hormone called ethylene. Ethylene increases the rate of the ripening enzymes responsible for its texture, flavor, and color.
Ripe bananas are sweeter and have more sugar, while green bananas have more starch.
Does this mean ripe bananas have more calories? Nope. Both sugars and starches are carbohydrates. All carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram. This means all medium bananas have the same calories whether they are tart or super sweet. For reference, a medium banana has around 105 calories.
Let's look at some banana facts from Chiquita:
- If you want it to ripen a banana faster, put it in a brown paper bag with an apple or tomato, then put the bag in a warm place with direct sunlight
- To slow the ripening process, put your bananas in a brown bag and keep at a cool temperature
- If you keep bananas in the refrigerator or freezer, the peel will discolor
I am the kind of person who likes a perfectly yellow banana. Unfortunately, they only last this way for a short time. My family will eat them a bit past this point, but then they draw the line.
Instead of tossing those overripe bananas into the garbage, try freezing them. I toss bananas into the freezer peel and all, but it is easier to use them if you peel the banana first. FYI: refer to point #3 above, the peel will turn black, but this is okay.
When using in recipes, thaw bananas in a sink of warm water, peel from the bottom and put them into a bowl to mash.
These thawed bananas do NOT look appetizing - so you are warned. They do make the best banana bread muffins around though. 🙂
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Ever wonder why some muffins have those nice peaked tops and others don't? I'll let you in on the secret:
It all comes down to the oven temperature.
Really. For any muffin recipe you have laying around, adjust the temperature up to 400 - 420 degrees and you will have peaked muffins.
Why? The higher oven temperature allows the outside to set fast and then allows the inside to keep rising as it bakes. Voila - peaked muffins!
Go ahead and give these banana bread muffins a chance.
Pro Tip: Double the recipe, freeze, and pop into lunch boxes or grab as a healthy after-school snack.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp. almond extract
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- 6 over-ripe bananas mashed
- 4 cups flour I like 1/2 whole wheat flour, 1/2 white
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar, and eggs in large bowl.
- Stir in almond extract, Greek yogurt, and bananas into wet ingredients.
- In medium sized bowl, stir together flour, flax seeds, baking soda, and salt.
- Slowly whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
- Line muffin tins with liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour muffin batter equally into muffin tins.
- Bake 20 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes, then remove muffins and let cool on wire baking rack.
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