Tuesday, August 21

Banana - Squash Oat Bran Muffins

Hey there. Summer is on its way out and fall is almost here ~ so I have a special chocolatey treat or breakfast recipe that fits both. Its light, healthy, tastes great, and hello has chocolate! If your summer has been anything like mine with trips, fun, kids being home all day from school, vacation or people visiting you on their vacation.... you need some chocolate. Goes great with coffee - just sayin'. 


I haven't blogged in awhile. I have been just busy with life  kiddos, moving, house hunting, and medical stuff with our littlest smile. Our youngest has a complicated medical history. About a year ago we moved our family across the united states to experience a different life style, snow, and history on the east coast. It's hard to want to make new recipes when all you want to do is collapse into a pile of goo into bed as soon it seems late enough after the kids are asleep.  

I have this really great muffin recipe though - perfect for those beginning early back to school mornings that my friends are already having to deal with in Arizona & those upcoming here in New York. 

See you need this. Like I need to stop taking food pictures with my cell phone instead of my nice camera. Ugh. Sorry. I haven't blogged in awhile and it shows. At least the food is good. 

Getting kids ready for school is really hard. This will make it easier. Breakfast will be done. You can make them the night before and just throw it at them as they are grumbling their way to the bus stop or into the back seat. Goes great with yogurt or an apple. They can nibble it as they are "remembering" that form they were supposed to give you days ago crumbled from the bottom of their bag. Is that a boy thing or do all kids have this remembering problem? 


YOU have to try it. Seriously I know I have made a bran muffin before on this blog but this version is way better and since I am obsessed with yellow squash and zucchini it totally works for my family - ahem - especially since they don't know its in there? Trust me. Its good. The veg is clearly undetectable. 

But oat bran muffins you may ask? Why oat bran muffins? I know I know "bran muffins" have a certain unsexy vibe clinging them to them but healthy is the new cool. My husband hates it when I say "I know". Lol. So yeah. Just think of them as banana chocolate chip and you'll be fine. I just want those who are looking for a healthier approach to find it easily. 

Just incase you were wondering bran is actually pretty cool. It is the reason why brown rice is brown. Its the outside layer of the grain that is otherwise milled off - which also explains why brown rice takes so long to cook. More layers means more cooking time to soften and expand.




Banana - Squash Oat Muffins

adapted from my other recipe which you can find here.
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes 
Makes 8 - 10 muffins
INGREDIENTS:

2 large eggs 
1 cup / 2 medium very over ripe bananas (the darker the better - think black)
1 cup pureed squash* See note below
1 cup unprocessed wheat bran (do not substitute with bran cereal)
1 Tbs oil
1 Tbs vanilla bean paste or extract
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup whole wheat white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon heaping ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup chocolate chips (as many as you want) 
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbs milk if you think it needs more moisture 
Turbinado sugar (optional) sprinkle a pinch on each one for flare and fun


Note: To make squash puree its very easy. Wash and then cut a smaller summer yellow squash into 8-10 rounds. Put it in a glass or microwavable bowl with 1/4-1/2 cup of water and steam it in the microwave for approx 4 minutes. If its soft when you check it at 3 or 4 minutes then its done. Carefully pull the bowl out of the microwave using oven mitts and dump the entire thing in the blender. Blend until smooth and tahhh dahhh you have squash puree. Super easy. Super cheap. Super healthy. Super undetectable. And unlike its cousin the zucchini there isn't even green specks to give it away. It blends right in! Lol. Sorry bad joke. If you still want to do this and don't have a microwave you can do it in a small pan on the stove. Or if you want to skip this step and just buy a container of pureed squash from the baby food isle - its there and it will cost you about $1-1.50 and you'll need 2. 


DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray - with or without liners. I usually don't use liners unless I am baking for friends or the freezer. 
  3. In a large bowl or stand mixer whisk eggs and brown sugar until smooth. Add the bananas, squash puree, wheat bran, oil and vanilla paste. Whisk until it is homogeneous.
  4. Into the same bowl, measure & whisk in all remaining dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips) one at a time. Don't over mix. If you are using a stand mixer be careful. Grains will toughen if overworked. Tough dough = dry muffins. 
  5. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes. 
  6. Scoop or pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups until batter is gone. The muffin cups should be full. They make really good size muffins. 
  7. Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly, approximately 18-20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen edges with a small knife and turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.



Easy. Peasy. And now lets go enjoy whatever is left of summer! 
Thanks for stopping by.
Stephanie