I suddenly realized late last night that I had made NO plan for viewing the eclipse. No glasses, no research about time, viewing. No special meal or treat.
And, while rearranging the freezer to accommodate all our freshly roasted Hatch chiles, I found more than a couple brown, frozen bananas. Inspiration struck. It was 230 AM but you know, my muse does not play nice.
My thoughts were:
- bananas - gotta use 'em
- oats - protein, heart-healthy
- soy yogurt - protein, should encourage a moist crumb
- whole grain flour - delicious and tempered by the cocoa
- Cocoa, super dark cocoa - rich, heart healthy, antioxidant cocoa is a relatively healthy way to satisfy a chocolate craving
Developing recipes just took another turn around here. We're dealing with dairy allergy, almond & hazelnut allergy, rising A1C and trying to eat heart-healthy and brain-healthy diets. It's a lot of accommodating and a lot of tinkering. With baking this can be disastrous. Change one variable and you can wreck a cake.
I scoured the internet, all my cookbooks in a couple easy searches (thanks EatYourBooks!) I came up with exactly zero recipes that met our criteria. When has lack of resources, crazy work schedule, impending travel, and janky newsletter interface ever stopped me? NEVER. What was I gonna do - sleep? Pshaw.
I tinkered in my head mulling over the risks of so many variables. Dutch vs Natural cocoa, white vs wheat flour, all wheat flour vs some oats, yogurt vs buttermilk, etc. Start with a banana base...
Happy to report these lovely muffins are so delicious that the husband refers to them as "cupcakes". That is the Doc Seal of Approval.
- 2 medium bananas, overripe (I toss bananas that are too ripe to enjoy eating into the freezer, as they thaw the skins peel off easily, perfect for quick bread and muffi-er, cupcakes)
- 3/4 C plain Greek style yogurt (I used my homemade soy yogurt, strained)
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 C Canola oil
- 1/4 C canned coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2/3 C coconut sugar or regular granulated
- 1 TBSP packed, light brown sugar
- 2 TBSP Hershey's Special Dark cocoa (an extra dark blend of natural and Dutched) or Hershey's Natural cocoa
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp Local Spicery "Dark" blend (optional)
- 1 2/3 C flour (I use 1/2 C whole wheat pastry, 1/2 C AP, 2/3 C oat flour - buzz your rolled oats in the blender until it's flour consistency*)
- 1/4 C chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- Pearl sugar, optional
- Preheat oven to 375, line standard muffin tin with paper liners
- In a medium mixing bowl, mash peeled bananas with a fork. Mash longer than I had patience for (see blob of banana in the crumb shot?)
- To the finely mashed banana, add oil, coconut milk, yogurt, egg vanilla.
- In a separate medium bowl, add the dry ingredients, whisking until no lumps remain. Make a well and add the wet ingredients.
- Mix just until wet and dry are combined, add chocolate chips or chunks. Over-mixing makes for heavy muffins. Light hands, light muffins.
- Fill muffin cups nearly to the top of standard paper liners. I use a small ladle. Sprinkle some pearl sugar, clear sprinkles, or sanding sugar on top. (Sanding sugar mixed with the dark blend would be excellent, I think.)
- Bake 20-25 minutes until pick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin at least ten minutes. Then ENJOY.
*You may swap out up to 1/3 of your AP flour for oat flour in your muffins, quick breads. Use rolled oats and buzz to a fine powdery consistency. Adds protein and moistness.
Crumb shot: mash those bananas well