Unquestionably one of my all-time favorite combinations of flavors, and a healthy trifecta of wholesome ingredients when you use antioxidant-rich unsweetened cocoa powder and protein-rich peanut flour.
Although the entire batch calls for only 1/2 cup of unrefined sugar, the muffins are quite sweet thanks to the inherent sweetness of overripe bananas.
The muffins are also perfectly moist, despite the lack of both oil and butter. Applesauce never fails to impress me as a replacement for fat in muffins and quick breads.
While on the topic of healthy substitutions, I am becoming increasingly dependent on peanut flour in baking. No need to fret about the discontinued Trader Joe’s brand… there is a wide array of peanut flours available for purchase online, and I absolutely think it is worth the shipping charges! Low in fat, high in protein, and similar in calories to regular flour, the peanut variety contributes fantastic flavor to baked goods.
And what better flavor to accompany peanut butter than chocolate, right?!
The rich chocolate flavor of these muffins is heightened by espresso powder and grain-sweetened chocolate chips, which have also become a baking staple in my pantry. Sweetened only with whole grain malted barley and corn, [unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, soy lecithin (a non-GMO emulsifier), and pure natural vanilla are the remaining ingredients], these morsels are the perfect way to healthfully satisfy a chocolate craving.
fairly typical unfailingly routine for me when I make baked goods, I dove right into a still-warm muffin this morning and fully enjoyed it alongside a cup of cocoa-brewed decaf coffee (just add a spoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder to the coffee granules before brewing).
Certainly healthy enough for breakfast, these muffins are also decadent-tasting enough to serve for dessert. Pop one into the toaster or microwave for that fresh-from-the-oven gooeyness, and serve with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream and I promise you it will taste like a brownie sundae ;).
I’m also envisioning a trifle with alternating layers of crumbled leftover muffins, Greek yogurt, and all-fruit raspberry jam.
That just might be breakfast tomorrow morning!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
adapted from Chocolate Banana Muffins from Handle the Heat, originally from Hot Polka Dot
- 3 large overripe (with almost black peels) bananas
- 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
- 1 large egg, lightly whisked
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup peanut flour
- 1/2 cup good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips, such as Sunspire
- 1/4 cup all-natural smooth peanut butter, well-stirred (I used organic unsweetened & unsalted peanut butter from Trader Joe’s)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
- In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork (I like to leave the banana puree a bit lumpy). Stir in the evaporated cane juice, egg, and applesauce.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the pastry flour, peanut flour, cocoa powder, salt, espresso powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Whisk in the chocolate chips.
- Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet just until combined. The batter will be lumpy.
- Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop or a large spoon, fill each muffin cup about half full of the batter. Spoon 1 tsp of peanut butter into the middle of each cup. Evenly divide the remaining batter on top. Smooth the batter with a spoon.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean (peanut butter on the toothpick is fine, but not raw batter).
- Run a butter knife around the outside of each muffin, and carefully pop them out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for a few days, in the refrigerator for about a week, or freeze tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in a zip-top freezer safe bag for about a month.