Chocolate Banana Nut Swirl Muffins

There are more bananas in my house at this moment than I know what to do with. As a result I’ve been baking banana breads and making nana ice cream like it’s my full time job.


Fun fact: I cannot stomach bananas. Eating the fruit raw makes me feel sick to my stomach. But give me nana ice-cream, banana pancakes or banana bread and you’ll make me a happy gal. I guess my stomach can only take it when the taste is masked by a ton of sugar and chocolate?


That is the subject of today’s recipe: these soft, yummy muffins. These are best made in a batch on a Sunday afternoon and eaten all through the week as a power snack. Score!

Chocolate Banana Nut Swirl Muffins                                             makes 12 muffins
Ingredients

  • ¾ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (may sub buttermilk)
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans and/or chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease 9 spaces in your muffin tin and line with wrappers.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Crack in the eggs and mix well to combine. Add the mashed bananas, vanilla essence and Greek yogurt and whisk until incorporated.
  3. Sieve in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet, being careful not to overmix. Add the chocolate chips and pecans and gently stir to distribute. Remove half of the batter to a small bowl.
  4. Add the cocoa powder to half of the muffin batter and stir until incorporated. Add a tablespoon of the yellow batter followed by a tablespoon of the chocolate batter to the lined tins, filling them ¾ of the way to the top. Gently use a toothpick or the tip of a knife to gently swirl the yellow batter into the chocolate batter. Top with chocolate chips or pecans if desired.
  5. Bake in the preheat oven for 17-20 minutes to until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before devouring. Will keep in a sealed container for 5 days, or frozen for up to a month. Eat as an easy breakfast on the go!
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Apricot Almond Chia Granola Bars with Yogurt Drizzle

Confession Time: I have loathed peanut butter since I was 7 years old.

Before I was 7, I loved peanut butter and put it on virtually everything I ate. From crackers to sandwiches to rice (it’s a Zimbabwean delicacy along with kale and peanut butter) I could not get enough of the stuff. Until one unfortunate occasion when my peanut butter addiction punished me with an upset stomach. From that day onward, peanut butter was my mortal enemy. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups stopped being enjoyable, my PB & J sandwiches were PB deficient and Heaven knows what I would do when presented with a stir fry drizzled with peanut sauce.


I was perfectly happy to condemn myself to a nut butter-less life until I came across the most wonderful granola bars ever. And the worst part is: they were peanut butter flavoured. You can only imagine how confused my taste buds were. All the work I had put into disliking peanut butter in the previous 10 years had gone to waste. Feeling guilty, I decided to give it another chance.


And that opportunity led itself to where we are today, with these wonder-bars. With an apricot jam filling, every bite is jam-packed (haha) with that sweet fruity flavour and you don’t have to feel guilty because there is NO SUGAR in these bars. Bonus: they’re also paleo, vegan and full of everything that could ever be good for you on Planet Earth. We got almonds, we got chia seeds, we got oats, these bars will make your tummy so happy. The bars are the perfect balance of chewy and crunchy, so your teeth won’t break when you bite into them, but your jaw won’t get tired from chewing them. Have I got your attention yet?


Apricot Almond Chia Granola Bars with Yogurt Drizzle                                        makes 8 bars

Ingredients

Granola Bars:

2 cups oats

1 cup almonds, sliced or whole is fine, you could use pecans if desired

1 cup dried apricots, any other kind of dried fruit is okay

¼ cup chia seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ginger

½ tsp nutmeg

½ cup peanut butter

½ cup honey

1 tsp vanilla essence

½ cup apricot jam (optional)

Greek Yogurt Drizzle: 

½ cup Greek yogurt

2 cups icing sugar

1 tbsp honey

Method

For the granola bars:

  1. Grease an 8×8 baking pan and line with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the granola bars and stir until well combined. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat together the peanut butter and honey, stirring often until blended together. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla essence. Pour the peanut butter and honey mixture into the dry oat mixture and mix well until fully coated. You’re welcome to use your hands to make sure to really incorporate the wet ingredients.
  3. Press half of the granola bar mixture into the greased baking pan. Make sure that the base is fully covered. Press down to make sure you have an even layer. Microwave the apricot jam on high for 30 seconds to make sure it’s pourable. Pour the hot jam over the first layer of the granola bars and use a butter knife to make sure it’s spread evenly. Cover with the remaining granola bar mixture and press down to make sure you have an even layer. Freeze for 2 hours, then slice into 8 bars and return to freezer.

For the Greek Yogurt Drizzle:

  1. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the Greek Yogurt Drizzle and mix until combined. After cutting the bars, drizzle the drizzle (fo’ shizzle) over the bars and freeze for 30 minutes or until set. If desired, you could dip the bars into the drizzle and let set, drizzle side up. Store these bars in the refrigerator for up to a month.


This recipe was adapted from these Blueberry Vanilla Greek Yogurt Granola Bars by Half Baked Harvest.