I’ve been reading a blog, Mackenzie’s Clean Eats, from a local Austin author for a few months now. Along with sharing her impressive weight loss journey and success from eating clean and working out, she likes to clean up recipes like burritos or pad thai and make them a healthier guiltless meal.
There was a bunch of overripe bananas sitting on my counter neglected by one of my roommates. Around Christmas I used to make my famous banana chocolate chip bread and give it away as gifts. This stuff is heaven in your mouth, let me tell you. I couldn’t let those sad overripe bananas be tossed away, but I also didn’t want to be burdened with eating an entire loaf of banana bread on my own (seriously, I could eat the whole thing in about 3 days). I decided to clean up the recipe, a la Mackenzie, and see what happens.
I tried two variations.
Batch 1: I simply reduced the sugar by half, butter by half, and substituted some unsweetened applesauce for the missing butter. I used dark chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet. These turned out pretty darn tasty, I didn’t even notice the missing sugar.
Batch 2: I halved the sugar again (so we’re down to 1/4 of what the recipe called for), did the half and half butter applesauce combo, but I added a scoop of whey protein and ground up 1/4 cup of flax seeds to throw in.
I wasn’t sure how the protein/flax muffins would taste. Have you ever smelled freshly ground flax seed? I gotta be honest, it’s weird. The batter was a lot gummier too and I was worried they would be really dense. But, lo and behold, they came out great and though I did notice these being less sweet and slightly grittier due to the flax, they were still stupid good.
Ok, enough of the blabber, you’re thinking, but are they good for you? Well, I don’t know if I would go that far, but at least they’re less bad…by quite a bit. Unfortunately, not paleo friendly since I used standard white flour and sugar but I’m sure there are paleo adaptions for a similar treat. Oh, look, here’s one!
Check out the original recipe nutrient profile vs. the protein/flax variation:
Cals: 260 169
Carbs (g): 40 25
Protein (g): 4 5
Fat (g): 9 6
Sugar (g): 22 10
Not so bad, eh? To further discourage my mindless nibbling of tasty treats such as these, I put them all in the freezer so when I pull one out I have to patiently wait 15 minutes or so before I can eat. Basically, I have to plan my intention to eat one. I think it helps.
Banana Chocolate Chip Power Muffins (Because adding “power” to any recipe makes it sound cool)
3 medium overripe bananas (mashed)
1 1/2 C flour
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C butter (softened or melted)
1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp baking soda
1 scoop protein powder (I use Jay Robb’s Vanilla Whey)
1/4 C whole flax seed
1/3 C dark chocolate chips (I chopped mine into smaller pieces)
Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together eggs, butter, sugar, and applesauce. Add in the mashed banana. Stir in flour, baking soda, protein powder and ground flax seed (I used a coffee grinder). Chop up your chocolate chips and stir those in. Spoon into muffin cups, bake for 15-20 min. Should be golden brown on top and a toothpick will come out clean. Serves 12.