Banana-Nutella Muffins… But Healthy


I’m on my own this week, Mark is in Australia filming a series of Verizon commercials. Lately we’ve been going through our freezer and pantry, trying to use up a lot of stuff that’s been in there a while. Between what we had on hand and some cupcake inspiration from my pal over at Snooky Doodle Cakes, I came up with these tasty little muffins.

Snooky’s yummy cupcakes are banana-chocolate chip, which sounded delightful to me. But since I don’t like things too sweet in the morning, and I’m trying to be extra-super-duper healthy while I’m knocked up, I thought I’d do a muffin version instead.

With just a touch of vegetable oil (I used organic grapeseed from Trader Joe’s), low-fat buttermilk and, of course, bananas, they’re really moist, and the whole-wheat flour, oats and nuts give them heartiness and fiber. The Nutella? Well, man (and pregnant woman!) can’t live by healthiness alone…

Enjoy! And I hope you’re all having a wonderful, not-too-hectic holiday season!

Nutella-Swirled Banana-Oat Muffins
Makes 12

1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 1/3 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup low-fat buttermilk (shake well before pouring), at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten, at room temperature
4 Tbsp. Nutella

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners.

2. Pulse oats and nuts briefly in food processor to chop finely. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together bananas, buttermilk, sugar, oil, vanilla and egg. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture until just combined (do not overmix). Divide batter among muffin cups. Place a teaspoon of Nutella on each and use a toothpick to gently swirl Nutella through batter.

3. Bake muffins for 16 to 18 minutes, or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Let muffins cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from pan to rack to cool completely.

Beth Lipton combines her backgrounds in journalism and culinary arts as the food editor of All You magazine, published by Time Inc. Her first cookbook, “You Made That Dessert?”, is coming out in fall 2009. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, Mark — and will become a first-time mom in March.


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