These little choco-nana treats are airy, not overly sweet, and have a je ne sais quoi flavor (hint: it's the lemon zest). The whole wheat flour and wheat germ don't carry them to health food status, but they do add fiber and antioxidants from whole grains, and a signature nutty flavor that brings depth to traditional baked goods. Most banana bread recipes have a heavy, rich taste, but this one sidesteps the issue by incorporating lemon zest. The zest brightens the flavor, adding freshness without leaving any trace of lemon on your tastebuds.
If for nothing else, they're a fantastic way to get rid of those two black bananas sitting on your counter. Don't throw them away - the darker their skin gets, the better these muffins taste!
Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
(Adapted from the Joy of Cooking)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 stick butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 large eggs, beaten
2-3 mashed ripe bananas (about 1-1 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin.
2. Whisk together the flours, wheat germ and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, butter, and lemon zest at medium speed until creamy.
4. Beat the eggs and mashed bananas into the butter-sugar mixture.
5. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, beating until smooth after each addition.
6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
7. Scoop the batter into the muffin tin, filling each cup about 1/2-way. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for five minutes and then remove the muffins.