Kid-Friendly Banana Oat Muffins

I’m on a muffin bender, and my toddler is VERY happy about it.  First was the classic blueberry sort, then I turned Deb’s famous double chocolate banana bread into muffins (holy Popes, Deb!) (Also friends, let me know if you want me to post that recipe here, I will gladly oblige), and then I made these muffins three Friday nights in a row.  (On a related note, I may have to get out more.)

I’ve convinced Calder that they’re a treat (chocolate chips help with this illusion, and the enthusiasm with which he asks for a “teat!” these days is both heart warming and slightly terrifying), but the truth is that these little cakes, packed with protein and whole grains (and only a small amount of processed sugar – fresh bananas and applesauce bring plenty of natural sweetness), feel perfectly appropriate for daily toddler consumption.

With my ever-growing mountain of muffins on hand (I find they do pretty well in the freezer, then either briefly microwaved or just left out at room temp to thaw), I’ve taken to doling them out as a post-Sunday-soccer practice “teat” (I have to say that I use the word “soccer” pretty loosely here — a bunch of 18-month-olds chasing bubbles around with orange cones might not fulfill the actual definition), as a welcome afternoon pick-me-up at the playground, or just as part of a “special” weekday breakfast.

If you have kids (or, you know, not) and are looking to get on the muffin train, look no further!  These have it all.  Bananas, applesauce, Greek yogurt!  Oats, whole wheat and buckwheat flours!  And some mini chocolate chips for good measure.  “Teats” for everyone!

Kid-Friendly Banana Oat Muffins

If you don’t have whole wheat or buckwheat flours, you can substitute all-purpose, if you like (all whole-wheat will work, too).

I’ve successfully added a (rough) cup of grated zucchini to these (I had some that needed to be used up) and am guessing you could add the same amount of grated butternut squash, pear or apple, too, if you’re feeling so inclined, but the muffins definitely don’t need the addition.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I like whole milk)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 1 cup rolled oats (old fashioned)
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour (can substitute all-purpose or more whole wheat flour if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips (optional – you can leave them out or add more than 2 tbsp, if you like)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan with baking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, applesauce, and yogurt until smooth.  Add the egg and vanilla and whisk to combine.  Whisk in the brown sugar until incorporated.

Add the oats, flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon all at once, and stir well until the batter comes together.  Stir in the coconut oil until smooth, then fold in the chocolate chips.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each well about 2/3 full.  Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on top (if you like) before baking the muffins for 18-25 minutes, or until they’re well browned and a skewer inserted into one of the middle muffins comes out clean.

Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning them out (a paring knife or small offset spatula can help pop them out of the pan) and letting them cool completely on a rack.

Muffins are best the day they’re made, but will keep (well-wrapped) at room temperature for about 3 days, or in the freezer for about 2 months.

Makes about 16 standard muffins.

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