Monday, May 12, 2014

Whole wheat banana wheat germ muffins with chocolate chips

A month or two ago, I bought a fresh bag of wheat germ to make these blueberry-banana muffins for my husband.  He really enjoys a good breakfast muffin every so often!  I won't say I was left holding the bag but I did wonder what else I could do with all the leftover wheat germ since I hate to waste and always have this burning desire to make use of everything (at least, before their expiration date). I got lucky and spotted this whole wheat banana wheat germ muffin recipe that really caught my eye.
These muffins are made with whole wheat flour and wheat germ, sweetened with honey.  Chocolate chips (somewhat) optional.
It helped that the muffins I spotted were beautiful (with puffy domed tops that I was not able to achieve likely due to my over-zealousness when it comes to adding bananas) and had a Nutella swirl on top to boot (as you can see, I opted for miniature chocolate chips).  The other major selling point was how wholesome these muffins are...dare I say these actually qualify as healthy muffins?

When I say "healthy", I mean they are made with whole wheat flour (I like to use white whole wheat) and wheat germ.  That's it - no other flours.  Aside from the bananas, they are simply sweetened with honey.  There's a bit of canola oil involved, and I opted to include some chocolate chips just to make sure I wasn't being too virtuous.
I can be a little too generous with my banana measurement...my muffins were super moist
I was a little skeptical about the whole wheat flour-wheat germ combo going in but I couldn't resist such a potentially great use of my bag of wheat germ.  And you know what?  These are some good muffins!  They turned out flavorful and very moist - all the more so since I was a little heavy-handed with the mashed bananas.  Though that meant I ended up with rather sunken muffin tops, you won't find us complaining about too much moisture in a muffin!

My husband enjoyed these and even the picky 8-year old was a fan, and he can be rather picky about his banana muffins!  I'm glad he liked these because they are far less sweet and much healthier than his favorite banana muffins.  I would be happy to make these often and feel good about having them for a quick breakfast.  I hope you give it a try if you're a fan of muffins or if, like me, you find yourself with some wheat germ on hand that you need a good use for!

Just fyi, I used raw, or untoasted, wheat germ.  That, plus white whole wheat flour, makes up the bulk of the dry ingredients.  It's nice to discover recipes that don't include white flour at all and still tastes great.
I made a half recipe, or six muffins, in my first go-round.  As I said, I used a bit more mashed bananas than I needed.  The muffins turned out super moist but the tops were a bit sunken with the weight and moisture of the bananas.  I love a firm puffy domed top but having some extra-moist muffins to eat wasn't exactly a big sacrifice.  
I added about 1/4 cup of miniature chocolate chips for my batch of half-dozen muffins.  I like to set aside a few of those chips to stud the tops with before baking so that the chocolate chips are front and center.  Feel free to leave out the chocolate chips (though I really recommend it) or opt for other mix-ins such as chopped nuts.  I would add nuts to just about everything but the little one doesn't share my enthusiasm on that front.
Quick, easy, and tasty, these muffins have earned a place in my regular muffin-making rotation.


Recipe:

Whole Wheat Banana Wheat Germ Muffins with Chocolate Chips
Adapted from Once Upon a Recipe, who adapted her nutella-swirl version from weelicious

- Makes 12 muffins -

1 cup whole wheat flour (I use white whole wheat flour)
1 cup wheat germ (I use raw wheat germ)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
3 very ripe medium-size bananas, mashed
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a standard-size 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in the min chocolate chips (if desired, reserve a rounded tablespoon of chocolate chips to stud the top of the muffins with later).

In another bowl, stir together the mashed bananas, honey, canola oil, vanilla, and egg.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry.  Gently mix together with a rubber spatula until just incorporated.

Divide batter among the 12 muffin cups.  If you've reserved some chocolate chips, stud the top of the muffins with them.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, approximately 20 minutes.  Let muffins cool in the pan a few minutes, then remove them from the tin and let cool completely on a wire rack.  Muffins can be stored in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 3 days. 





54 comments:

  1. Yum, those look great! Love how healthy they are, even with chocolate chips. :)

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    1. I was surprised by how good they are given how healthy they are muffin-speaking.

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  2. OMG!
    These look incredibly delicious especially as I sip my morning coffee!

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    1. Thank you for the muffin love, Asmita! : )

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  3. These muffins look so moist and delicious! I would definitely enjoy one this morning.

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    1. They were crazy moist - I went a little overboard on those bananas.

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  4. Hi Monica, these muffins look wonderful, love that they are sweetened with honey.

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    1. Would you believe I actually prefer white/brown sugar over honey in most baked goods. I eat a ton of honey with oatmeal but I don't know...my husband is a big fan of honey in muffins and I have to say I liked it too.

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  5. These look great, Monica. With lots of banana in it! Once you start "playing with flours", it's hard to go back... :)
    ela@GrayApron

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    1. It's good to have options, I agree!

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  6. These look pretty darn good! I like that they don't have white flour and use honey - which makes them perfect for breakfast! And with a little chocolate, that makes breakfast even better! : ) Hope you had a wonderful weekend!!

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    1. Yeah..it's hard to go all full-on non-white flour and these are really tasty. I had such an amazing weekend, Ashley! Thanks for asking!

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  7. Ain't banana and chocolate the best friends? These muffins look fabulous, Monica.

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  8. We are living parallel lives Monica! I found a bag of wheat germ in my garage refrigerator. This is a lovely muffin and the bananas and honey are perfect. Good one!

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    1. Time to get baking then, Tricia. Thanks and hope you had a great Mother's Day weekend.

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  9. Oh, these look wonderfully wholesome and delicious Monica! For sure you need plenty of banana and chocolate chips. Lovely pics too :-)

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    1. That's just it - wholesome and delicious. Thanks so much, Jo!

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  10. Oh my goodness, I am drooling after having found your site!! Thanks for stopping by my site so that I could find yours. Love your cooking and photography style. =)

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    1. You are too kind, Bonnie! I feel lucky I stopped by your site today. It's so unique and as a tea lover, I totally get it! : ) Thanks for the kind words again. :)

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  11. One can never have enough of banana muffin recipes. They are one of those base recipes that can allow for so many flavour, ingredient and texture variations. I am excited to have found a healthy one here that looks equally delicious. These pictures are so inviting...like you can grab one off the screen:-)

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    1. I agree with you. I can't believe I didn't know about banana baked goods for so long - until I was well into adulthood since I didn't grow up eating it. : ) I was trying to make my sunken muffins look as attractive as possible so thank you for the sweet words about the pics.

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  12. Excellent, I can't resist a good whole wheat muffins with chocolate chips, and these look wonderful!

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  13. I love these muffins - they look super moist!! Which is a MUST when it comes to muffins :)

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    1. They were super moist - thanks, Ashley.

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  14. I need to go hunting for a bag of wheatgerm just so I can make these delicious muffins for breakfast tomorrow! They look SOOOO good! And they are healthy! Not even an ounce of guilt when eating these! What more could anyone ask for! <3 *-*

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    1. Appreciate it! Grab some wheat germ. : )

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  15. These sound lovely, Monica! Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!!!

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    1. It was sensational - thank you, Marie!

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  16. Ooh these muffins really do look beautiful and so tasty!! It's a natural choice to make a banana version of the wheat germ muffins after having made the blueberry banana ones!

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    1. Thanks, Monica. I'm happy to have a good use for wheat germ. :)

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  17. These muffins look delicious! I love using whole white wheat flour. All the benefits of a whole grain with a lighter texture and flavor.

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    1. Same here. Once I tried it, I was amazed so I use it all the time.

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  18. These muffins look fabulous, Monica! I would have been skeptical too about the whole wheat flour/wheat germ mix, but they look so great you've convinced me to give it a try! I love finding healthy, quick breakfasts that are actually tasty.

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    1. I was definitely skeptical but it really is good - my son didn't notice any difference and it was really moist and flavorful. It's definitely great to find healthier alternatives.

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  19. Hi Monica! I love anything with little mini chocolate chips in them. I know it might sound crazy but just love the tiny bits of sweet. I bet your little boy was just thrilled to have these as a snack and you felt pretty good about it knowing they are healthy too. I do not have wheat germ but I have a boatload of ground flax seeds in my refrigerator so hoping I can modify your recipe and give it a go. Take Care, BAM

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    1. I've really taken to using mini choc chips in muffins and cupcakes these days. : ) I'd love to know if this works with ground flax seeds. Thanks!

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  20. I think I've had a bag of wheat germ in the fridge since 2009. Yikes. Might be time to use it or lose it. I see many batches of these muffins in my future! Love how healthy they are!

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    1. I can totally relate. I hate having bits and bobs left in the fridge and when I go to use it, second guess whether I should or can. These do qualify as healthy, I think. : )

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  21. I would say the chocolate chips should be mandatory :)
    I seriously love a chocolate chip muffin and I have a jar of wheat germ that's been in the refrigerator forever!

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    1. So true...a little goes a long way and just makes it. Everything's about balance, right! : ) I love finding a good use for ingredients I already have on hand.

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  22. These muffin look delicious. This is a keeper for sure.

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    1. Thanks - it turns out nice and moist. I agree it's a keeper.

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  23. I have never used wheat germ and my curiosity antenna is up. I'd feel so much better eating healthier muffins like this, instead of totally avoiding muffins in general (that's what I've been doing...).

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    1. This is such a good guilt-free muffin option, Nami! Hope you try it one day...

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  24. I recently tried making healthy banana muffins too but yours look way better. This would be a great way to start the day, especially with the chocolate chips.

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    1. Thanks, Tiffany. I'm sure your muffins were excellent. These definitely qualify for healthy status, I think!

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  25. These muffins look super tasty, Monica! What a great way to use up the rest of your wheat germ. I love it when I can find new ways to use up odds and ends and these muffins are such a great idea! I'll never say no to chocolate and banana muffins for breakfast - especially since they are healthy too :)

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    1. Exactly! I love having lots of uses for one ingredient. I'll be making these again for sure. So many things to make and eat but so little time and space! :(

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  26. They are looking yummy, can I replace egg with something else.

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    1. Hi - I've never tried substituting other things for eggs but I have heard of people using everything from applesauce to ground flax seeds. In other cases, I know mashed bananas themselves are used as a substitute. Wish I knew...

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  27. There used to be a muffin store near our summer house growing up and I would always get the banana chocolate chip muffin...this totally reminds me of them :) I would be skeptical that the wheat germ and whole wheat flour would yield a dry muffin but if you say they're moist then I will def give them a shot!

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    1. It was almost *too* moist if you can imagine it, Amy! I went overboard with my bananas though so that could account for some of it. These were definitely not dry.

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