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Seasonal Baking: Banana Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

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My husband and I met over blueberry muffins.

Banana, blueberry, chocolate chip muffins to be exact, which means I always have a soft spot in my heart for baking with fresh blueberries at this time of year. If you’re curious about the full story, I was the barista (not that that term was widely used two decades ago) at a downtown coffee shop and he was the almost-ten-years-older-than-me professional who popped in for coffee two or three times a day. The rest, as they say, is history. It’s a sweet story for sure, and one that’s still going strong, and I can’t even bear to count how many dozens of muffins I’ve made in the years since.

The youngest of our three sons is really bananas for berries of all kinds, so this year, in honour of a BIG wedding anniversary and kids who can’t seem to ever grow tired of eating, I’ve been baking up batches of blueberry banana chocolate chip muffins almost daily.

The combination of flavours might strike you as a little odd (blueberries and chocolate?), but I assure you it works. I personally think it tastes even better if you swap the semi-sweet chocolate for the white kind. I’m really partial to a topping on my muffins so I’ll give you three different variations in the recipe below, and you can decide if you want something oaty, something crumbly or something crunchy to complement your sweet treat. You can skip the chocolate altogether, use some whole wheat or spelt flour in place of the all-purpose and swap grated lemon zest for the cinnamon if that’s more your speed.

Think of this one recipe as a road map. There are many routes you can take to reach the final destination, you just have to decide which one is best for you. Kind of like dating and marriage, don’t you think?

P.S. If you’re looking for another seasonal baking recipe these scones are the very best! Feel free to use blueberries (or better yet a mix of berries) in place of the strawberries. You won’t be disappointed.

Banana Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

 

For the muffins:

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

¾ cup blueberries

½ cup granulated or cane sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 egg white

¼ cup plain yogurt

¼ cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium)

½ cup chocolate chips

 

For the topping:

Oat topping:

4 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats

2 tablespoon wheat germ

2 tablespoons brown sugar

 

Crumb topping:

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

Pinch of salt

4 tablespoons butter, melted

 

Crunchy topping:

4 tablespoons coarse sugar

 

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease the surface of a muffin tin. Line with paper liners and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder cinnamon, and salt. Add the blueberries and toss to combine. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugars, egg, egg white, yogurt, oil, and vanilla. Stir in the bananas. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until almost combined. Pour in the chocolate chips and stir until just mixed.

4. Decide which topping you’d like to use and stir together the ingredients in a small mixing bowl, if required.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups and sprinkle with the desired topping. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean (blueberry juice and melted chocolate are okay, though!).

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