Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Banana Muffins with Chocolate Hazelnut Crunchies

Adapted from 125 Best Vegan Recipes, these are moist and perfectly sweet muffins peppered with chocolate-hazelnut crispy bites instead of chocolate chips.

Banana Muffins with Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch

Bananas and chocolate are a match made in heaven - especially when that chocolate is dark and almost bitter and the bananas are almost caramelized in their over-ripe state. Add nuts in any form - the classic, of course, is walnuts, but anything really works - and you have a trifecta of deliciousness. 

My family tends to eat most of the bananas we buy - it is by and large my stepfather's favourite fruit, and one of the only ones my sister eats willingly - but occasionally we wind up finding out we overbought. Most of the time, the (then-spotty) bananas are peeled and stashed in my freezer, awaiting a fate of banana bread, but I wanted to try something a little different with a few on the counter. I had a copy of 125 Best Vegan Recipes kicking around with a banana- (and chocolate!) forward recipe, and since I had a freshly minted batch of Chocolate Hazelnut Crunchies on my hands I decided to use those in place of the chocolate chips called for. 

These muffins are the perfect mixture of "morning snack" and "dessert" - there is a delightful nuttiness from the spelt flour and almond milk that evokes the feeling of being healthy, but the sweetness of the fruit, agave and Crunchies definitely makes the decadence of these bites known. The crumb of these is moist and tender, without the gumminess that can sometimes occur when the phrases "whole grain", "vegan" and "banana" go together. They're not really things of beauty, to be sure - the relative wetness in this batter doesn't lend itself to super-inflation - but one bite and I guarantee you'll want another. 

Provided you like bananas and Nutella, that is - and who doesn't?

Banana Muffins with Chocolate Hazelnut Crunchies
Makes 12
¾ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
⅓ cup agave nectar
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup unsweetened apple juice
2 large, overripe bananas, mashed roughly
1 cup flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 ½ tbsp baking powder
½ tsp nutmeg
¾ tsp salt
¼ cup Chocolate Hazelnut Crunchies or miniature chocolate chips

  1. Heat the oven to 375F and line a muffin tin.
  2. In a bowl, beat together milk, agave, canola, apple juice and bananas.
  3. Stir in the flours, baking powder, nutmeg and salt until just combined.
  4. Fold in the Chocolate Hazelnut Crunchies*
  5. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until they test done.  
*This was the original recipe's directions, and what I did for the photo above. However, next time I'd sprinkle each muffin with them instead of folding them in.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 189.6
Total Fat: 6.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 158.8 mg
Total Carbs: 30.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.4 g
Protein: 3.3 g