It’s undeniably summer here in the Philippines right now. The heat these past few weeks has been nothing short of sweltering. Spending any amount of time outdoors (at least in the city) will lead to nothing but sweat and dirt on any exposed part of your body. Showering in cold water has never been more pleasurable. But swimming at the beach can be equal parts fun and aggravating– aggravating because of possible sunburn, plus I hate getting dark. Still, when it’s summer everybody wants to go swimming anyway like it’s a requirement.
Which is where the dilemma starts.
Most people who like to go to the beach start obsessing over getting that bikini body as soon as Christmas feasting comes to an end. A lot of my beach-bum friends typically try to slim down before April or May arrives. A bunch of them are in fact heading over to Boracay this coming Labor Day “weekend” thanks to the multitude of Laboracay events being held there this year. Though I’m not really one for crowded places like Boracay, I do still like to go to those less-frequented island beaches. And I want to look good in that swimsuit. What can I say? It’s human nature!
But craving is human nature too.
I think dieting until you’re eating practically nothing is pretty darn hard. I don’t know how some people do it! All that juicing stuff is so much harder than working out everyday, especially for me since I love keeping active. I make it a point to workout intensely at least thrice a week. I watch what I eat and portion my food just so I can eat a little bit of the things I love that aren’t necessarily figure-friendly. I’ve noticed that sometimes the more we hold back, the more violent our cravings can become. So when a muffin craving hits and everyone’s too guilty to have an actual muffin until bikini season is over, I thank the baking gods for allowing me to come across a yummy healthified muffin recipe like this one. 😉
Whoever discovered the beautiful banana and peanut butter combination should receive an award. In recent years it has become one of my favourites. Give me warm toast with crunchy peanut butter and slices of banana on it and I’ll be a happy kid for the rest of the day. Looking back it’s weird that I used to hate peanut butter, but now I discover peanut butter goes well with so many things!
What I like best about this particular recipe, aside from the fact that it’s yummy and isn’t at all dry for a “healthy version”, is that it’s not finicky. Muffins aren’t particularly finicky to begin with, but this one has ingredients that can be interchanged depending on the kind of diet you’re going for. Ingredients can also be substituted out of convenience and availability. But of course, as with any muffin, to get that characteristic lovely bump on top you have to avoid over-mixing the batter. Oh, and for best flavour, use overripe bananas and your favourite peanut butter brand.
- 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (or mix of whole wheat + all-purpose)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup mini dark chocolate chips, optional
- 2 ripe large bananas, mashed with no chunks
- ¼ cup honey (or pure maple syrup)
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup 0% plain Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt in any flavour/fat content)
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk (or cow's milk, soy milk, rice milk)
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter (non-oily natural-style is okay)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter, melted in the microwave
- 1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- 2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips,if using. Set aside.
- 3. In a medium bowl, whisk the mashed bananas, honey, brown sugar, yogurt, egg, and milk together until combined. Whisk in the peanut butter and vanilla extract until smooth and thick.
- 3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and lightly whisk until combined. Try not to overstir the muffin batter or your muffins will have a tough texture. Stir from the bottom of the bowl and with as few strokes as possible until no flour pockets remain.
- 4. Fill the muffin cups practically all the way to the top, between 3/4 and all the way full. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F (220°C), then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and continue to bake for 12 more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- 5. Drizzle muffins with melted peanut butter, if desired. Or simply spread some softened peanut butter on top of the muffins
- Storage: Muffins stay fresh at room temperature for 3 days. Muffins without peanut butter on top freeze well, up to 3 months.
Anyway, I’m really hoping my fellow PB&B-fans love this as much as I do. And to those going off to Boracay in the coming days, have a fun Laboracay weekend! 🙂