A Healthy Indulgence: Whole Grain Banana Cardamom Muffins (with optional chocolate, of course)

I’ve been keeping a close eye on the banana situation recently.  We like bananas in our family, I usually keep the fruit bowl stocked with them, but, you know, sometimes there is disequalibrium between supply and demand.  And for those times there is banana bread.

After the first brown spots appeared on the bananas on my counter, I began to get hopeful.  I flipped through a few of my cookbooks, contemplating my banana bread options.  I saw a recipe for a banana cardamom cake and got excited.  Days went by.  The bananas were definitely going to be mine to bake with.  Really, it was time.  Seriously.

Then today this recipe popped up on my screen, and I was ready.  (Isn’t that a nice blog?  Go ahead, go click through to her website, check out that recipe, and vote for her for a Bloggie for Best Canadian Blog.  I’ll wait.)  You back?  So you saw why I didn’t just make that recipe: the coconut.  I know I’m in the minority here, but coconut isn’t my favorite.  What IS my favorite, you ask?  Chocolate, of course.  So I knew it was time for a recipe mashup.  One other consideration was that I wanted to make these healthy enough for my kids’ school lunches, which meant that starting with a stick of butter was out.

I went halfsies on this recipe and made some some of the muffins with cocoa and chocolate chips and the rest without.  You’ll like them either way.  Banana Cardamom Muffins start with 2-3 mashed bananas, of course, preferably sorry browning specimens that have been rejected by your family.  Mix the mashed bananas with 3/4 c. buttermilk, 1/2 c. brown sugar, an egg, and 2 Tb. melted butter.  Stir 1 c. oats into the wet ingredients.  In a separate bowl, combine 1 1/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour, 1 tsp. ground cardamom, and 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda.  (If you are making the chocolate version, now add 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder and a handful of chocolate chips to the dry ingredients and 1 tsp. vanilla to the wet ingredients.)  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry just to combine and scoop the batter into lined muffin tins.  Bake at 350 for 20-23 minutes, checking every minute after 20 minutes to avoid overbaking.


14 thoughts on “A Healthy Indulgence: Whole Grain Banana Cardamom Muffins (with optional chocolate, of course)

    1. emmycooks Post author

      Good call–you have a delicious weekend breakfast waiting! And speaking of the freezer, you can also freeze the baked muffins if you want to make a bigger batch than you’ll eat right away.

  1. baconbiscuit212

    I love the idea of banana and cardamom! There is something so right about this combination. I also like that you made one half with cocoa powder and one half without, as I like the idea of the pure marriage of bananas and spice.

    Did you end up liking one more than the other?

    1. emmycooks Post author

      Well, I might not be able to answer this question objectively, since I love chocolate so much. But you know what I found surprisingly delicious? The muffins I made with cocoa powder and vanilla but no chocolate chips. Those also, somehow, seem more appropriate for breakfast than the chocolate chip version. :)

    1. emmycooks Post author

      On the contrary, I’d love to have your recipe when you do! I’m not confident enough about vegan baking to attempt that kind of conversion myself–but if you want a great starting point, check out the second recipe I linked to in the post above (my inspiration was a vegan recipe!). Also, if you’re in the baking mood but don’t have any brown bananas at the moment, I do love these vegan chocolate cupcakes :) https://emmycooks.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/vegan-chocolate-cupcakes/

  2. k.m.

    I love cardamom, I feel like it’s underused in sweets. As for the chocolate…yum!

    We usually buy bananas and purposefully let them get brown; otherwise we’d never get banana bread.

  3. Pingback: Cinnamon Banana Oat Muffins (with Chocolate) « food-ventures

  4. JeCaThRe

    Yum! I usually don’t put flavorings beyond banana in my banana bread, but I love cardamom so I’ll have to give this a try (and with cocoa powder? Oh, be still my heart.)


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