Skinny Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

You know what’s the worst?

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Having to take NJ Transit whenever there is a snow storm. The wind can blow in the wrong direction and it’s like they throw their arms up in the air and surrender. My job throws me curve balls every now and again, but you know what? I adjust and don’t PREVENT PEOPLE FROM GETTING TO WORK.

I work at Montclair State University. The one train line that travels there does not run any trains on a weekend schedule. So here is what I deal with during the snow: Snow storm = weekend schedule. Weekend schedule = no trains to MSU. No trains to MSU = not able to get to work. Not able to get to work = having to unnecessarily waste a vacation/personal day.

Oh, but because it’s a major snow storm, MSU will close right? Ha! No. MSU is pretty notorious for not closing during severe weather. And coming from a private university where they closed at the sight of one snow flake, this has been an adjustment.

And it’s not like this weather is going anywhere anytime soon. We are supposed to have three storms this week. Three. Moving to Key West keeps sounding better and better.

I keep telling myself that as one day passes, we’re one day closer to warmer weather. But as I look at the forecast, warmer weather seems so far, far away.

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Not having a car in this weather does have its advantages, however. I don’t have to clean off my car when it snows. I don’t need to worry about finding a parking spot. I don’t have to worry about blocking off that parking spot once I leave. I don’t have to sit in the car for 30 minutes before it becomes warm enough. I don’t have to travel on slippery highways.

But there are times, like this, when NJ Transit becomes so difficult that I really miss having a car where I can just get from Point A to Point B without too much of a headache.

While I try and get through winter, at least I have these amazing peanut butter muffins to brighten my day. And have I mentioned they are SKINNY?! Oh yeah. That’s just Deanna math that proves you can have more than 1 and not feel guilty.

Peanut butter and banana. They’re such a fantastic partnership!

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Peanut butter is such a trigger food for me. As soon as I so much as smell it, I just want to eat all the things with it. I can’t stop. My favorite thing to do? Take a spoon of peanut butter and then put some jelly on the same spoon and BOOM! Instant peanut butter and jelly. However, when I start doing that, before I realize what’s going on, I’ve have like 7 spoon-fulls of peanut butter and jelly. Ehh. There’s no bread, so it’s basically diet friendly. Can’t stop won’t stop.

And you all know my love of bananas, so when I saw I had 2 bananas on the counter that were just screaming for me to make something with them, I took one look at my jar of peanut butter and knew muffins were in my future.

So what makes these muffins skinny? Well, first of all, there is no butter in the recipe. What the what? Yeah, I know. In place of the butter, Greek yogurt is used. It helps the muffins stay tender and moist without the added fat. Plus it adds a nice amount of protein. Minimal sugar is also used, with only 1/4 cup of brown sugar being added to the batter. To help add more sweetness without more sugar, honey is just the ticket! If you don’t want to use honey, maple syrup is a great substitute.

Also, instead of using whole milk, unsweetened almond milk is used. I used sweetened because that’s all I had, and they came out great. So use whatever is available to you.

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Another trick that lightens these muffins up? Using white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. This kind of ties in with my last post about whole grains. Whenever I can add whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, I do. It’s a little healthier and doesn’t weigh everything down.

Simple changes like these can help lighten up any recipe without sacrificing flavor. And speaking of flavor? While I made 12 muffins with this batter, I could have probably made 14. But I won’t comment on what happened with all that extra batter. Let’s just say that a friend of a friend could not stop eating it. That friend was quite embarrassing… ūüôā

Bake up these muffins, and store them in the freezer. After a quick zap in the microwave, you have another great breakfast that will not only cure your peanut butter craving, but will keep you full until lunch without feeling guilty. Or have them for lunch. Or dinner. Or dessert. I won’t tell anyone.

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Want to add chocolate chips to the muffins? First: YES. Second: well, we’ll just have to be best friends.

…..

Skinny Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

(Adapted recipe from¬†Sally’s Baking Addiction)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ripe large bananas, mashed with no chunks
  • 1/4 cup honey¬†(or pure maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup 0% Plain Chobani Greek Yogurt¬†(or regular yogurt, any flavor/fat content)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk¬†(or cow’s milk, soy milk, rice milk)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter¬†(non-oily natural style is OK)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 and 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour¬†(or an even mix of whole wheat + all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the mashed bananas, honey, brown sugar, yogurt, egg, and milk together until combined. ¬†Whisk in the peanut butter and vanilla extract until smooth and thick. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips together (if using). ¬†Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and lightly whisk until combined. ¬†Try not to overstir the muffin batter or your muffins will have a tough (not soft) texture. Stir as little as possible until no flour pockets remain.
  • Fill the muffin cups all the way to the top. Between 3/4 full and all the way full. ¬†Bake for 5 minutes at 425F degrees. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350F and continue to bake for 12 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. ¬†Muffins stay fresh at room temperature for 3 days. Muffins without peanut butter on top freeze well, up to 3 months.
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