My son asked a few days ago what healthy snack could he bring to school? He was getting tired of the granola bars and wanted something more “substantial” (his words) to have with a piece of fruit. These banana and walnut muffins were an easy recipe to tackle in the evening as they were out of the oven and cooling on a rack in less than an hour.
The combination of sweet bananas and toasted nuts is enhanced by the warm accent of cinnamon and the fresh citrus flavor of orange zest. My original recipe called for three, medium-sized bananas, but since I only had two on hand, I substituted some applesauce for the third one. The result is very moist and tender muffins; I will keep the applesauce as the “secret” ingredient in this recipe from now on!
Muffins that are made with fruits and nuts are not only good for a snack, but they make the ultimate portable breakfast for those days that we are dashing out the door in the morning without time for breakfast. They keep fresh in a sealed container at room temperature for a few days and a whole week in the refrigerator. These muffins certainly filled the healthy school snack need for this week!
- ½ cup butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 medium bananas, ripe and mashed
- 1 sm. (4-oz.) container of applesauce
- 2 tsps. orange zest
- 3 TBSPS. warm water
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1¾ cup AP flour
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¾ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 1 TBSP. flax seeds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the paddle attachment, place the butter and the sugar. Cream the mixture until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, the vanilla extract, mashed bananas, applesauce and orange zest and mix well.
- Dissolve the baking soda in warm water.
- In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir the dissolved baking soda and water into the stand mixer bowl and then add the dry ingredients.
- Gently fold in the chopped walnuts and mix thoroughly.
- Line a muffin tin with paper cups. Divide the batter between the 12 paper cups. Place the pan into the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. The muffins are done when the tops look cracked and golden brown and when a toothpick inserted in the middle of one of the muffins comes out clean.