Since I had three very ripe bananas sitting atop my fridge, I decided to jump right in on this request to make banana muffins healthier. Banana bread is one of my favorite breakfast treats and an extremely easy food to make healthier because the ripe bananas naturally provide moisture and sweetness to the recipe.
Upon first looking at the original recipe, I noticed a few things. First, it contained sour cream; great for adding moisture and flavor but not so hot nutritionally. Second, they were made with all-purpose flour. Not the end of the world but something that could benefit from a healthy face lift. There was also a full stick of butter in these muffins and a hefty dose of sugar.
So what's a girl to do? For starters, I stirred in vanilla yogurt for the sour cream to cut down on fat and calories and used a combination of whole wheat and all purpose flour for a dose of whole grains and fiber. I also cut back on the amount of sugar used, since I find most recipes are a little heavy on the sweetness. And I cut back on the butter by a few tablespoons and used a little unsweetened applesauce in its place.
The calorie comparison (calculated using sparkrecipes.com) between the original and my new, healthier version are pretty impressive:
Original Recipe: 205 calories, 11 g fat (6 g sat. fat), 60 mg chol., 25 g carb, 14 g sugar, 3 g protein.
New Recipe: 154 calories, 6 g fat (4 g sat. fat), 15 mg chol., 24 g carb., 12 g sugar, 2 g protein.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com
*1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*3/4 cup whole wheat flour
*1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*2 very ripe bananas, mashed
*6 ounces light vanilla yogurt (such as Dannon Light and Fit)
*1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*1/2 cup sugar
*6 tablespoons butter, softened
*2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
*1 large egg
*1 large egg yolk
*Preheat oven to 350°F.
*In a bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
*In a large bowl, combine mashed bananas, yogurt, vanilla extract, sugar, butter, applesauce and eggs until well combined. Add flour mixture to the wet mixture. Stir until just combined.
*Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking liners. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.