Overripe bananas shine in these Chunky Monkey Muffins. Despite the name, these are made with 100% whole wheat flour and only sweetened by bananas, so they’re even wholesome enough for breakfast!
If there’s one fruit I’m wary of buying, then it’s got to be bananas. When it’s time to restock the kitchen, you’re sure to find me contemplating them in the store, wearing a look of intense concentration. Some variation of this happens every time, without fail:
Yuuuuum, bananas! It’s been so long since I’ve had any, let’s get a bunch. Ugh, but wait, they’re already too yellow, never mind.
Think of how pretty they look on top of your siggi’s when you drown them in peanut butter, though, are you sure you want to pass on that?
Hey look, I found a bunch that are just starting to ripen! Clearly the universe is trying to tell me to buy bananas. Let me just break off a few, no one will know it was me….
Except this time was different. I was seriously craving banana bread, the kind of craving that sends you to the store specifically for overripe bananas. Let me tell you, that’s unheard of for me, since I like them best when they’re toeing the line between green and yellow. After searching through 3 different stores, I wound up back home with premature bananas and a few long days of waiting ahead of me.
I know they say a watched pot never boils, but concocting flavors to take my banana bread dreams to the next level really made the time fly. Besides, don’t they know you only need the pot’s contents to boil? We all know it’s what on the inside that counts. Especially when it comes to a fresh-from-the-oven batch of Chunky Monkey Muffins.
You probably know Chunky Monkey as the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor, or maybe you chanted it at camp (our team is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!). If you’re a kindred spirit, then you also typed it into Google and clicked over to Wikipedia to see if there’s more to the story. Hint– there is! “Chunky Monkey” is also a
- UK-based printing company
- cartoon character created by Pauline Comanor
- British film, released in 2001
- nickname that Urban Dictionary thinks you should use at your own risk.
You can try to guess which of these is my favorite, while I mix the batter for batch #3. They’re THAT good. Unlike their ice cream counterpart, these muffins have zero added sugar. That’s right, the bananas are really all you need to turn Chunky Monkey Muffins into a perfectly sweetened and wholesome part of your day. Which, if you think about it, totally explains why this recipe makes 7 muffins. Now you get to have one for every day of the week! Just looking out for your happiness and well-being.
Also, 7 is my lucky number.
Anyway, back to the good stuff, which taste amazing if you zap them in the microwave for 10 seconds and call them breakfast. Want to hear something absolutely bananas? Haha, yes, I really did just say that. I thought the main benefit of the fruit was its potassium content, but there’s even vitamin C and B6. It’s even a good source of magnesium, which is extremely helpful for digestion. Their fiber, a resistant starch, even helps control blood sugar and further improves your gut health.
Okay, last cool fact about bananas. They improve your mood, and not just because of all the funny things you can do with the peel. Along with all the other nutrients they have, bananas contain tryptophan, one of the nine essential amino acids. While this isn’t its only job, tryptophan plays an important role in producing serotonin, fondly known as the “happy hormone” because of its influence on our mood. Interestingly, in a study by the NIH, researchers found that generally when they decreased people’s tryptophan levels, their aggression increased. The higher their tryptophan before the study, the more pronounced the rise in aggression. Our bodies use serotonin to combat aggression and impulsivity, helping us reestablish a good mood.
We may as well call these happy muffins. Although I’m partial to Chunky Monkey Muffins, since it makes me laugh. See that? My mood is already improved! Go ahead, try to say Chunky Monkey Muffins five times fast without smiling. It’s like magic.
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment below, save it on Pinterest, or tag #lensesandlentils on Instagram so that I can see your creations!
Love and muffin tops, Sara
- 1 cup mashed banana (about 2½ bananas)
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 1 cup whole wheat flour*
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup chocolate chips
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or line 7 spots in a muffin tin.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Then pour the wet into the dry, stirring until just incorporated.
- Gently fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
- Fill each prepared space in the muffin tin about half to three-quarters of the way full with batter.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes.**
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or in the fridge for 1 week.
***After 14 minutes mine were done; pay attention because ovens vary.