Hold on, I’m eating one of these as I type this (crumbs on the keyboard).
I’ve found myself sitting down every night with a bulk jar of chocolate chips in my lap, snacking until my sweet tooth is satisfied (clearly the baby’s fault). It’s been a few weeks since I’ve put my mediocre baking skills to the test, so I decided a chocolate muffin would satisfy both desires. Oh, and it did!
My mom is partially to blame for this happening and the rest of the blame falls on our inability to eat all of the bananas we bought last week. First, my mom.
My parents traveled over to the west side of the state a little over a week ago to help out with baby projects (here’s a taste of what we’re working on). As always, my wonderful mom came prepared with sewing machine, salad fixin’s, yellow dog (their big golden lab, AKA Kelli, AKA yellow dog) and the ever-present loaf of banana bread in hand. This isn’t just any banana bread, this is the banana bread of the gods, so moist and heavy and full of secrets only a handful of people know. You’ll find this loaf of golden heaven at every brunch, fishing trip, church event, celebration, camping adventure, road trip and moving day within our family. Sometimes it just appears in your bag without you knowing how it got there. It’s magic and it’s what made me want more baked banana-y goods around my house once this loaf was devoured.
That, and the half bunch of spotty brown bananas in our fruit bowl.
To my surprise, the only thing I needed to run to the store for to make these were some more chocolate chips. Apparently I’ve been eating them at an unhealthy rate over the last week because I could’ve sworn I just filled a jar full of them. Oops. Not to worry, your local grocery store keep a nice stock of chocolate chips in their bulk section ready for you to grab and go!
Note: Be sure to grab the semi-sweet kind, not the milk chocolate. The bitterness of the semi-sweet helps balance out the sugar in the batter.
Another confession outside of my chocolate chip binge eating is our new obsession with the HGTV show Fixer Upper. If you sit at home day dreaming about how much you want to change/renovate/repurpose/redo your entire home, then prepare to be extremely jealous, inspired and a little angry. The show is based in Texas where apparently everything costs $1. The stuff they do and how amazing the worst houses look at the end for, no joke, $100,000, is unreal. You can’t do that in Seattle. We could build a fence here for the cost of an entire kitchen renovation there. The couple is also adorable and pretty fun to watch.
So go grab a muffin and watch in awe and wonder.
I mention this below in the recipe, but I didn’t need to spray, grease or line my muffin pan before spooning the batter in and I had no stickage issues when taking them out. As you can see I don’t have a fancy, magical muffin pan either, so if you’re feeling risky, just pour the batter in! You’ll save some waste too if you normally use paper or aluminum baking cups. Plus it’s one less step from getting that muffin into your mouth.
What to Bring to the Store
In order to reduce your packaging waste, bring the following reusables with you to the store:
- 1-4 reusable bulk bags for chocolate chips, flour and/or sugars
For the rest you shouldn’t need any other bags, just look for items that come in the most commonly accepted recyclable packaging; cardboard and aluminum. Try to avoid flimsy plastics. And as always, bring your reusable grocery bags!
Waste Meter – 4!
This recipe gets a 4 out of 5 on the waste meter because most of the leftover packaging can be recycled and nothing goes in the trash. Here’s what to do:
Recycle: milk carton and egg carton
Compost: banana peels and egg shell (eat any fallen chocolate chips, duh!)
The rest of your ingredients should last you through many more recipes to come!
- 3 medium bananas, over-ripe
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp (packed) light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1-1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1-2/3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup (plus extra for topping) semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a masher or the back of a fork until only small lumps remain. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and stir well to combine.
- Add the milk and olive oil, stir well. Slowly stir in the granulated and brown sugar until combined. With a spatula, stir in the cocoa powder until no lumps remain. Add the salt and baking soda, then fold in the flower. Mix well.
- Fold in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Grab a 12 slot muffin pan and grease or line with paper muffin liners (I didn't need to do either). Spoon about two heaping spoonfuls into each slot, filling halfway. Sprinkle each with chocolate chips.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow 10 minutes to cool before removing from pan.
- You can substitute coconut oil for the olive oil for an added health boost.