Happy Monday! I made these muffins shortly after New Years when I desperately needed healthier snacks to have around the house. Ina Garten has a banana crunch muffin recipe that I love, but I decided to experiment with making her muffins a little lighter. I will admit that these do not have the same decadent buttery taste as the original recipe, but what can you expect when all of the butter is removed? These muffins are still delicious and now they are a great option for breakfast or a morning snack.
I used coconut oil and applesauce in place of ALL of the butter and skim milk instead of whole milk. The original recipe calls for a whopping TWO CUPS of sugar for 18 muffins. I am definitely not anti-sugar, but 2 cups seems excessive, especially in a baked good that is usually eaten in the morning. I used only a 1/2 cup of agave in place of the sugar because agave is sweeter than granulated sugar and I knew the applesauce would also add some sweetness. Additionally, bananas are naturally sweet on their own, so I wasn’t really worried that the muffins wouldn’t be sweet enough.
My favorite thing about these muffins is the granola and coconut. The granola adds the perfect crunch, which makes these a little different than most banana muffins. You can definitely leave the granola and/or coconut out, but I used low-fat granola and these turned out great.
The original recipe is definitely worth making every once in awhile, but if you feel like something healthier for more of an everyday snack, try my version. The muffins freeze really well, so you can make a big batch and just take a muffin out whenever a craving strikes!
Light Banana Crunch Muffins
Yield: 18-20 muffins
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup agave
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup skim milk
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)
1 cup medium diced ripe bananas (1 banana)
1 cup low-fat granola (optional)
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1 cup small diced walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper liners in muffin tins.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the melted coconut oil, applesauce and agave and blend. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla and mashed bananas and add them to the flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and blend well, but do not over mix.
Fold in the diced bananas and the granola, coconut and walnuts, if using. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling each one to the top. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.