What’s that, you say? Part-whole-wheat-banana-wheat-germ-chocolate-chip-muffins? Yes, that’s right, I say. And they are delicious.
Here’s the thing: if you’re looking for a super-sweet and extra-light muffin recipe, this one’s not for you. I don’t mean to imply that these are weighty or heavy, but just that they are more like breakfast muffins than dessert muffins. Know what I mean?
This recipe came from a time when a friend was first experimenting with whole wheat. She doesn’t like to use a lot of sugar, and she was trying to add more whole wheat to her repertoire. Together we fiddled and fuddled around, until we came up with this. It’s a regular staple in my house. My daughter, who won’t even consider whole wheat bread, begs me to make these. I hope you like them, too.
When I make these, I nearly always make extra. I freeze the extra in two plastic bags. When we want to eat them, I take them out of the freezer, slice them in half, and toast them. A little margarine or butter on the toasted muffin makes them super-delish!
Before we get started, let me answer a few questions that often come up about this recipe.
Q. What is wheat germ?
A. Wheat germ is a tiny part of the wheat kernel.
Q. Why would I want to use wheat germ?
A. It tastes good! And it’s really good for you. Wheat germ has a slightly sweet, almost nutty flavor. It has a lot of fiber and a surprising amount of protein. It also has potassium, iron, and vitamins A, B1, B3, and E. Some people like to sprinkle it on yogurt or oatmeal. Me, I like to bake with it. For me, the main reason to use it is that it tastes good.
Q. Where can I buy wheat germ?
A. In the supermarket, probably near the oatmeal. At least, that’s where I’ve always found it.
Q. What’s the best way to mash the banana?
A. I don’t know if it’s the best way, but I just use a fork and I mash it on the cutting board. When I have extra bananas around that I fear will go bad before they are eaten, I mash them up and put them in a small plastic container in the freezer. Then, if I get the urge to bake, I always have bananas on hand.
OK? Now for the recipe:
Update: I’ve received several requests for a version of this recipe that’s more easily printable. Happy to oblige: Printable Version of the Banana-Chocolate Chip-Muffin Recipe.
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins with Wheat Germ
½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup flour (regular flour)
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup toasted wheat germ
½ cup milk
¹⁄3 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1½ cup mashed banana (about 3 bananas)
½ cup chocolate chips (optional) (oh, who am I kidding? I never make these without the chocolate chips!)
Preheat oven to 400°F, and generously grease a muffin tin.
Sift the cinnamon, flour, whole wheat flour, and baking powder together into a large bowl. Stir in the salt, brown sugar, and wheat germ using a fork.
In a separate (smaller) bowl, beat the two eggs. Add the milk, oil, vanilla, and mashed banana. Blend very well with a fork. Be sure these wet ingredients are very well combined, and then add them to the dry ingredients all at once.
Now I will let you in on a secret. For lighter muffins, do not overmix. The more you mix, the heavier your muffins will be. Instead, mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Then, fold the chocolate chips in gently, again being careful not to overmix.
Pour the batter into the greased muffin tin.
I made a double-batch of these the other day. Here’s a photo of the tins just before I put them in the oven:
Bake them for 20-25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes then remove them from the muffin tin. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Makes 12-14 muffins.