Thursday, December 16, 2010

Whole Grain Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins (and a product review)

I was fortunate enough to receive a large package of NuNaturals baking products to try. To know me is to not only know that I love freebies, but to also know that I love to experiment in the kitchen. And it's a double whammy when I get to experiment with freebies because if the recipe turns out to be a flop, I'm not out a lot of dough. And that's cash baby, not dough in the culinary sense.

NuNaturals makes NuStevia, a complete line of natural sweeteners based on the herb Stevia, a plant widely grown for its sweet leaves. I'll admit to trying Stevia when it first hit my local grocery store years ago and found it difficult to work with because it is so concentrated and I also thought it had a bitter aftertaste. I think if I dug deep into my lazy susan I would probably find the remainder of the bottle that I bought.

I guess this would be a good time to explain why I'm constantly on the lookout for artificial sweeteners and why I typically only use regular sugar for sweets that I give away. You see, it's because I care about my own health, but not yours. (HEE!) Of course, I'm kidding. Hubby and I are both borderline pre-diabetics, which is the driving force behind my development of recipes that contain whole grains and as little sugar as possible. That's why you find so many Splenda recipes on my blog. At least up until today. These muffins that I made with NuStevia Baking Blend were out of this world! No bitter aftertaste and they were incredibly moist without the addition of a lot of fat. Upon reading the literature that accompanied my box of goodies, I discovered that the NuStevia actually binds with the fat in a recipe to create a product with better texture and taste. NuStevia Sweetener also contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which keeps life moving in a pleasant direction, as well as helping stabilize blood sugar. It's all good!

I'm excited to experiment with the rest of the products I was sent and to fill you in on my successes. The failures I always keep to myself though, remember. Success #1: Whole grain banana chocolate chip muffins.

Whole Grain Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup oat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg plus 1 egg white
1 cup plain yogurt
2 TBSP canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups mashed very ripe bananas (this was three medium sized bananas for me)
1 cup NuStevia Baking Blend (sugar, or Splenda would work here also)
1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray lightly with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl whisk together the egg, egg white, yogurt, oil, vanilla, bananas and sweetener.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until all is incorporated. Do not over mix. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Distribute batter between muffins cups. Bake for 23-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for a few minutes before removing from pan to cool completely on cooling rack.

*Disclaimer* Other than receiving the free products to try, I was not compensated in any way for this review. All opinions are my own.


SeattleDee said...

They sound delicious! and thanks, II appreciate another healthy solution to using up some spotty bananas. A girl gets tired of banana smoothies.

June said...

Another winner Mags. Banana and chocolate chip - you got my attention!

PlumpNotFat said...

I've been reading up on stevia products and have found many comments that this is the best manufacturer! Thanks for verifying that - I'm going to give them a try.

Barbara said...

Thank you a million times! The hubs is a Type 2 and I control his diabetes totally with diet. It is so difficult to come up with nice sweets that he can enjoy. I have been using Splenda in a few recipes but will look for NuStevia as well, as I haven't done any baking with a substitute yet. I'd love to see more baked goods using the new sweeteners!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Those muffins are looking pretty tasty! Interesting product, too.

Lyndsey said...

Thanks for the review...they sounds healthy and good!

Mary said...

Those sound wonderful! I'm not one to say no to a "healthy" muffin!!! How fab!

Mary xo

stephchows said...

hmmm guess that means I shouldn't use it since I never add oil or butter :) good to know though!

Design Wine and Dine said...

I will have to tell my in-laws about this product as they are also both prediabetic.

These muffins look delicious! I am a fan of baked goods that are NOT overly sweet so these are perfect for me!

Thanks for the review and the recipe!

briarrose said...

What a great, healthy muffin. Looks wonderful. It can be such a challenge to reduce the amount of sugar in the diet.

Moogie said...

Mags, your just full of wonderful recipes.

I love freebies also. Its a nice perk for all the hard work we do on our blogs.

Jane said...

I've been thinking about trying NuStevia in baked goods but now, based on your positive recommendation, I'm much more inclined to actually give it a go. These muffins look so good, Mags!

Elpi said...

I will definitely try this at home this Christmas for our family reunion.

Barbara said...

So glad I visited you today because I'm making banana chip muffins today! I like the idea of whole wheat flour. Also, I saw last night someone roasting bananas in the oven, in their skins, and thought I might try that as well! Can't help but deepen the flavor.