Written by: Natalie Faella, MS, RDN, LDN | August 9, 2021
I am a big fan of hearty breakfasts and snacks. Something that not only tastes good but will hold off my (perpetual) hunger for more than an hour or so. I started making these banana flax chocolate chip muffins a couple of years ago and found they did just that! I've tweaked the recipe a couple of times, but recently feel like I've perfected it by making these muffins so regularly for my sister.
My sister is a new mom to a sweet baby boy as of May 2021. As many moms know, finding time to feed yourself (or really, do anything for yourself) is tough, especially in those early months when you're constantly feeding your little one! When my sister first came home from the hospital, I made a batch of these muffins for her for a few reasons:
They are quick and easy to eat. Just microwave for about 30-45 seconds (if kept frozen), add some peanut butter on top, and enjoy! Added bonus, you'll only need one hand to eat them, so the other can be holding your iced coffee (in my case) or your little one (in my sister's case).
They are hearty. These muffins are packed with fiber from the whole wheat flour, oats, ground flaxseed and psyllium husk (optional ingredient). They also have some protein from the flour and yogurt. (I use the brand "noosa" for yogurt. Their honey flavor adds a nice sweetness!). The added peanut butter or nut butter of choice on top will add an extra boost of protein and fat to keep you fuller longer and make this meal/snack a satisfying balance of carb, protein, and fat.
They can help keep you regular. Like I said, these are a great source of fiber. Psyllium husk is mainly soluble fiber, while flaxseeds are mainly insoluble fiber. A diet that contains both types of fiber is helpful for regular bowel movements. Just remember to drink enough water so the fiber can do its thing! I recommend having a full glass of water with these muffins, especially if you opt for the psyllium husk.
They are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. This is one of the nutrients breastfeeding moms want to continue getting in their diets. Omega-3s, specifically DHA, are important in the early stages of infant life. Omega-3s also play a role in heart health, mental health/mood, and are helpful for healthy hair, skin, and nails.
They are versatile. Keep a batch on hand in the fridge or freezer for an easy snack, meal, part of a meal, dessert... whenever you want one, they seem to fit! Add peanut butter and a side of berries and Greek yogurt for breakfast, eat alone after lunch for dessert, or grab one on your way out the door for a snack on-the-go.
2023 Update: These are now a favorite of my nephew's! These muffins are a nutritious snack for little ones as they provide whole grains, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Even without the psyllium husk, they can help with more regular bowel movements. (Just note if you're feeding to little ones under 1 year old, skip the honey).
I hope you will enjoy them as much as me, my sister, and nephew do. (And my husband, who steals at least 1 muffin before I send a batch off to my sister!)
Here is the recipe:
3 Extra Ripe Bananas
8 oz Yogurt (I use noosa honey or vanilla bean flavored)
2 Tbsp Avocado Oil (or Olive Oil or melted Coconut Oil*)
3 Tbsp Almond Milk (or milk of choice)
1 Large Egg
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Rolled Oats
3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour (can use whole wheat pastry flour, too)
1/2 cup Ground Flaxseed (I usually use Spectrum brand from Whole Foods)
1/2 cup Psyllium Husk (Optional: for extra fiber - muffins will be more moist without)
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
2/3 cup Chocolate Chips
Generous Drizzles of Honey (Optional: extra sweetness!)
*If you use melted coconut oil, let yogurt and milk get to room temp before adding. (Adding heated/liquified coconut oil to the cold mixture will cause it to solidify back up again!)
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, combine wet ingredients: mashed bananas, yogurt, oil, milk, egg, and vanilla extract.
2. Add oats to wet mixture. Stir in until completely covered and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
3. In a separate bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients: flour, ground flax, psyllium, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
4. Combine wet and dry ingredients, stirring until it forms a batter.
5. Stir in drizzles of honey and chocolate chips to the batter.
6. Distribute batter evenly into greased muffin tin (I use canola oil spray to grease tin).
7. Bake at 400°F for 7 minutes.
8. Lower oven temp to 350°F and bake for 12-14 minutes (until edges slightly brown). Keep oven shut when lowering temp!
9. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring muffins to wire cooling rack.
10. Enjoy! I personally love them warm (microwave ~15 sec if keeping in fridge)
They're great with nut butter on top!
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