Thursday, June 7, 2012

whole wheat strawberry banana muffins

I like to take my blog photos in the morning before work. Wait--scratch that. I'd like to take my blog photos in the early afternoon after waking from ten hours of sleep, going to the gym, and feasting on a breakfast of tropical fruits, but in that scenario I also live on a desert island, have Diane Keaton's kitchen from It's Complicated, and spend my nights snuggled up watching Friday Night Lights, which is still on the air. (My desert island has cable. Obviously.) 

Back in my real life, I like to take my blog photos in the mornings because that's when the lighting is best. If I wake up to find that it's cloudy or raining, I go back to bed and take the photos the next day instead. But last week, after two-three-four days of rain, I realized it was time to throw in the towel and photograph these muffins under less than ideal lighting conditions. Otherwise, you might have had to wait weeks for this recipe, which would have been a shame. It's prime strawberry season, and I strongly advise that once you've spent enough time shoveling ripe, raw berries into your mouth to have had your fill, you bake the rest into muffins.

For this recipe, I used my favorite whole wheat muffins as a base, but made some tweaks, including replacing some of the yogurt with mashed banana, and adding chocolate chips to half the batch. Whole wheat muffins make for a healthy but still delicious breakfast. Add a copious amount of chocolate chips, and you have a sweet snack or hearty dessert. You could also add nuts to these muffins, or replace the strawberries with any other type of fruit. The possibilities are endless, and they'll definitely get your morning off to the right start. Even if you don't wake up in fantasy land.

Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Muffins

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used Fage 0%)

1/2 cup very ripe banana, mashed
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 heaping cups fresh sliced strawberries, rinsed, hulled and quartered

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450 and line a muffin tin with paper liners. Combine the strawberries with the granulated sugar and let set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 

Beat the butter and the brown sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and beat until just incorporated. Add the yogurt and banana, and beat until well blended. Stir together the dry ingredients and add half to the batter. Beat until just incorporated, then mix in the remainder. Add the strawberries along with any juices that have collected in the bowl, and stir briefly to distribute them throughout the batter. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using. 

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling tins to the top. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 400 and bake for another 5-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes in tins before removing to cooling racks.

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