Whole Wheat Muffins with Yogurt & Banana

I love making my own muffins, because I know what's in them. In this case, only wholesome ingredients and very few calories---160 each to be exact. This recipe, adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, is a real keeper. I am especially fond of the cherry gingerbread variation below.  The muffin's texture is perfection--slightly dense, but not dry because the banana and yogurt keep it moist. Be sure to measure the flour lightly. as I’ve stated in the recipe. If you don’t, they can be dry. I always store overripe bananas in the freezer. They look like s---, literally, but their flavor is fabulous. (Did I really say that?! I'm coming to realize that there is a part of me that likes to shock. Life can be so dull otherwise.) But there is nothing dull about these muffins. Try them and leave a comment. Thanks. 

1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour (about 6 oz.)
¼ cup wheat germ or wheat bran
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup plain regular or Greek low-fat yogurt
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium ripe banana, mashed (about ½ cup)
1 large egg

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.

  2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, wheat germ or bran, baking powder, baking soda and salt until blended.

  3. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium; cook 90 seconds or until browned and fragrant, swirling pan frequently. In a medium bowl, whisk butter, yogurt, sugar, vanilla, banana, and egg in a bowl. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups filling almost to the top.

  4. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Invert pan onto a wire rack; turn muffins right side up and cool completely.

To MAKE AHEAD: Store at room temperature for 2 days, refrigerate for 3 days or freeze. 

Makes 12 muffins.

Stir ½ cup chopped dried cherries, 1/3 cup molasses, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger and ¼ tsp. ground allspice into the batter. 

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