Kid’s gotta eat, amiright? With such busy schedules, many times it’s a grab-and-go situation and they are eating in the car en route to practice or lessons or study group. Easy on-the-run bites are usually things like a banana, string cheese, a granola bar. But…have you ever looked at the ingredients of a granola bar? Even the most “healthy” ones still pack a walloping amount of sugar and very little fiber, let alone anything truly filling and substantial. If you get the uber-healthy ones, though, you get crunchy cardboard.
So I set out to create the Power Muffin — a grab-it snack that was as healthy as I could make it, but also kid-approved. I found many recipes on Pinterest that were just too rich or buttery or heavy. So I did what I usually do, and tinkered around with several recipes. I added in whole oats and whole wheat flour. I cut the butter in half by using buttermilk, and soaking the oats in it so they soften up a bit before baking. After many experiments, this is finally The One.
My kids really love these! My next goal is to figure out a Power carrot muffin.
Power Muffins: Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup whole oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 bananas, mashed
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
Place whole oats in a bowl, pour in buttermilk, and mix. Let stand for 10-15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, making sure rack is in the center. Line two muffin pans with baking cups.
In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer, beat mashed bananas, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until well mixed and sugars have dissolved. Slowly trickle in the melted butter while mixer is on the lowest setting.
Add dry ingredients and oatmeal/buttermilk to the wet mix and beat until just blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl once to make sure everything is equally incorporated.
Using a small ladle or scooper, fill each baking cup about 2/3 full of batter. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the batter.
Bake 20-22 minutes, just until the tops are golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove from oven. Using a fork, carefully tip out each muffin and place on a cooling rack. Let cool completely.
Keep in an airtight container for up to a week (if they last that long).
Most people don’t keep buttermilk as a staple. I make my own! Put one or two tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar in a liquid measuring cup, then pour milk up to the desired amount. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Buttermilk. It’s an excellent baking ingredient for a moist texture; you can’t sub out all the butter, just some.
I also like using the larger dark chocolate chips by Nestle, as seen in the photo above. Or amp it up even more and rough-chop a giant slab of Valrhona or Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate; although with that, it makes these almost too good for kids!