Well, it’s the notorious muffin. It comes in many flavors and varieties; bran, blueberry, raspberry, so on, so forth. It’s also one of the most fattening and unhealthy choices you can choose during the most important meal of the day – breakfast. So, how’d you like to makeover that unhealthy delectable treat? It is possible and this is how you do it.

You see, it’s all about what’s in the muffin itself. Usually people flock to the grocery store or to Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or where ever and just buy something pre-made. Do you have any idea what’s in that muffin? Probably not. I’ll make an educated guess what that muffin contains. Probably a trace amount of the fruit or main ingredient, enriched wheat flour, tons of sugar, eggs, hydrogenated oils, butter … basically, a combination of crap that’s going to make you feel sick, bloated and sluggish all day long. Someone once said that a muffin is nothing more than an excuse to have cake at breakfast, and it’s true! You might as well just sit down to some bacon, eggs, milk and a plate of chocolate cake if you’re going to chow down on a muffin. So the first step in giving this naughty treat a proper makeover is simply to make it yourself. Groan and whine all you want but this is the only way you’re ever going to be sure of how much sugar and other ingredients the muffin has.

I love banana muffins. I used to eat the ones that came in a convenient bag in the grocery store. It’d say ‘just add water!’ and presto, muffins! Well, I started to make my own muffins. My problem with the mixes you buy in the store and muffins you buy already made in coffee shops and other like places is that usually the muffin just SMELLS like or sort of looks like it has the fruit it claims to have. Well, banana muffins are a great and easy thing to make. You don’t need to be a Rachel Ray, Rocco Dispirito or Paula Deen to whip up a tasty and nutritious version of the muffin. Basically you could fix this as you’re getting ready for work, pop it in the oven, brew your coffee, get dressed and it’ll be done by the time you’re heading out the door. This recipe is vegan, but don’t let that scare you away. Vegan food tastes just like regular food but it’s healthier for you because it doesn’t contain fattening (and unnecessary) dairy ingredients.

‘Going Bananas’ Muffins (Vegan/Vegetarian)
2-3 Ripe Bananas
1/4 cup (or less) of Smart Balance butter (or vegan margarine or even olive oil)
1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar
1-2 packets of sugar substitute (I use Truvia but you can use Sweet-N-Low, Equal, Splenda)
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of baking soda
1/4 (or more) cup of dry oats
1/4 cup of Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Hot Cereal (dry) (optional)
Chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl, mash peeled ripe bananas. Mix in the remaining ingredients and blend well. Mixture should be slightly stiff, wet,  but not watery. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or check with toothpick if done (when you stick the toothpick in it should come out clean).

Yep, it’s that simple. You’re getting potassium with the REAL bananas, an added boost of fiber with the whole wheat flour, dry oats and grains and some ‘brain boosting’ omega-3 fat with the walnuts (and olive oil if you use that). Yes, it still has sugar in it but by not using the typical white table sugar you’re saving on the fat and calories. This comes out super moist, tastes just as sweet as the pre-made mixes. The extra boost of fiber will help with digestion and will keep you feeling fuller through the day; the potassium and nuts will help give your brain a much needed boost of energy and whole wheat helps with weight control.

Follow me on Twitter @decaptain

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