Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Cute lil mini muffins filled with bananas and chocolate are perfect lunchbox treats!

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins | thepajamachef.comEven though it’s pumpkin season, I bet you still have some brown bananas hanging about, needing to become banana bread, right?!? Well, next time you do, you will have to try these adorable Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins! I have a million banana bread recipes on my blog, and I love every one of them. :) This one is no exception! Each muffin is full of mini chocolate chips and tons of banana flavor. You know how some banana recipes only call for one banana? That’s never enough, and this recipe knows it. That’s why it includes THREE bananas. Triple the banana love, folks!

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins2These muffins are extra moist and rich thanks to the double dose of butter and sour cream in the batter. Is it weird that the first thing that came in my mind while typing butter and sour cream is, “boy, I’d like a baked potato.” Wait–don’t answer that. I guess I’m hungry. :) While baked potatoes and banana muffins don’t go together, these muffins pair perfectly with a tall glass of milk or a cup of hot cocoa. Ben has become, can we say, a bit obsessed with chocolate milk recently, so he’d say you should serve the little guys with chocolate milk, but I say, drink whatever kind of milk suits your fancy. :)

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins | thepajamachef.comNormally I prefer our everyday lunch/snack muffins to be on the healthy side, but sometimes you gotta live it up and enjoy the chocolate! :) There’s plenty to go around!

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins | thepajamachef.comJust look at all those mini chips on top! That’s why I love mini chocolate chips…spreading the wealth! YUM!

one year ago: Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake with Nutella Frosting
three years ago: Roasted Vegetable Soup
four years ago: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

  • Servings: 36
  • Time: 30 minutes
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from The Lively Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana [about 3]
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini muffin pans with paper liners or grease with cooking spray.

With a mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one by one, mixing well in between. Beat in bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Slowly mix in flours and baking soda by hand until just combined, then fold in chocolate chips.

Spoon into prepared pans and bake for 10-13 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. These freeze well!

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Ultimate Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Waffles with Caramelized Bananas

Sweet and fluffy buttermilk waffles are topped with plenty of my favorite things…including caramelized bananas… to make my ultimate waffles!

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Waffles with Caramelized Bananas | thepajamachef.com

How about a yummy breakfast for Monday morning? These waffles are my ULTIMATE breakfast, you guys. Seriously. They’re light and fluffy and full of my favorite flavors: chocolate and coconut. But they don’t stop there. No, they’re topped with sweet brown sugar caramelized bananas, peanut butter, maple syrup, more chocolate chips, and creamy vanilla yogurt [though if you're a whipped cream fan, that would probably suit you better]. See? Yum!

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Waffles with Caramelized Bananas | thepajamachef.com

Before making these waffles, I had never caramelized bananas before, but now that I know how to do it, I probably will never stop. It’s crazy how something so easy can totally transform something I love into something I love even more! And it was super fast to do, too. I realize by saying that it means I probably didn’t use the right technique, but they tasted good… so, oh well! :) Breakfast of champions, right here! Enjoy your day. :)

one year ago: Creamy Shells and Yogurt
two years ago: Strawberry Muffins
three years ago: Watermelon Coolers
four years ago: Brown Sugar Bacon Twists

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Waffles with Caramelized Bananas

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Time: 30 mins
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Ingredients:

for waffles [adapted from allrecipes.com]

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour [can use white whole wheat or more all-purpose flour]
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk [can use 1 tablespoon lemon juice/vinegar + enough milk to fill 1 cup]
  • 1/4 cup milk [can use half and half or heavy cream]
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract [can use vanilla or almond extract]
  • mini chocolate chips
  • peanut butter, vanilla yogurt, maple syrup, additional mini chocolate chips

for bananas [from Food.com]

  • 2 teaspoons butter or oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 bananas, sliced into coins [bananas shouldn't be too soft/ripe to begin with]
  • cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat waffle iron.

In a large bowl, stir together flours, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. In a smaller bowl, whisk together milks, butter, eggs, and coconut extract. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients gradually, carefully whisking together.

Spoon batter into hot waffle iron. About 1/3 cup is right for my waffle iron. Top batter with about a tablespoon of mini chocolate chips, then cook until steam isn’t coming out of the waffle iron and the waffle is golden brown.

Continue cooking until batter is gone; this should be about 6 waffles.

While waffles are cooking, prepare bananas. Heat butter in a small skillet set over medium heat. Sprinkle sugar on a small plate or bowl and roll bananas in sugar until coated. Place bananas in hot skillet and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cook for a minute or so until golden brown. Flip and sprinkle other side with cinnamon, then cook for another minute and remove from heat.

Top waffles with peanut butter, vanilla yogurt, bananas, and mini chocolate chips or other toppings as desired.

Strawberry Yogurt

Ben and I are yogurt-a-holics. Seriously, at any given time we have about half a shelf of our fridge full of yogurt. Tubs of plain or vanilla. Individual cartons of sundry flavors. It is insane! For awhile, I even made our own yogurt in the crockpot, then strained it out to make homemade Greek yogurt. While that stuff was good, it was time consuming and I fell out of the habit. But our other habit [buying a bazillion flavors at the store] is expensive. What’s a girl to do? Make my own toppings, of course!

Strawberry Yogurt | thepajamachef.com

Back in the days of homemade yogurt I purchased multiple flavors of jam to stir into homemade yogurt. That was easy, but pricy, and took up tons of valuable fridge space. This time, I had some frozen fruit for smoothies and made up a quick strawberry puree with just a bit of sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Hardly a recipe, yobut this sauce is a perfect addition to those store bought tubs of plain yogurt and I thought some of you may enjoy it too! Lately I’ve been prepping mason jars of strawberry yogurt on the weekend and enjoying them at work all week long. For an extra treat, add some homemade granola or a few mini chocolate chips! Yum!

one year ago: Cumin-Scented Cabbage Salad
two years ago: Extraordinary Grilled Cheese
three years ago: The Best Egg Salad I’ve Ever Had

Strawberry Yogurt
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 32 ounces plain yogurt [regular or greek]

Directions:

In a nonreactive saucepan, combine strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon. Let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to let berries defrost, then set over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar melts and berries begin to break down. Gently break larger berries apart with a wooden spoon. Pour into a small bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, divide yogurt between 6 containers [1 cup/8 ounces each]. When strawberry sauce has cooled, top yogurt with 2-3 tablespoons strawberry sauce. You may have a little sauce leftover. Cover and refrigerate until ready to enjoy.

Time: 60 minutes [10 minutes active].
Yield: 6 servings yogurt, approximately 1 cup strawberry sauce.

Skinny Southwest Chicken Dip

love dip. I am made for dip. In my younger years, if I wasn’t ordering chicken fingers at a restaurant, it was some kind of dip. Instant high school/college dinner! Yes! While I don’t do that very often anymore, I do love me some dips for group appetizers. Snacky foods just bring people together because they’re always coming back for more! I made this Skinny Southwest Chicken Dip for the last big church event Ben and I went to in Bloomington, soon before moving to Nashville. This dip was a big hit with everyone, and I can see it being perfect for football parties this fall too!

skinny southwest chicken dip | thepajamachef.com

When I told people the name of the dip, I intentionally didn’t emphasize the “skinny” bit. See, people tend to equate skinny with not flavorful, boring, or blah. This dip is anything BUT! The skinny bit comes from the dip’s greek yogurt base, replacing the usual suspects like mayo or sour cream. I love greek yogurt for what it is–yogurt. I could eat yogurt [greek or not] day in and day out without complaint. I love the stuff! But subbing greek yogurt for mayo or sour cream in dips and such really freaks me out. I love those other creamy things for their unique flavors and plain greek yogurt is NOT the same. But in some things, when there’s lots of other stuff going on… use the healthy, creamy, protein-packed alternative without fear. </rant> :)

skinny southwest chicken dip | thepajamachef.com

The seasoning for this creamy chicken, bean, and veggie dip was originally a flavorful blend of chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder. But since I was making this for a crowd–and using the church’s dollar–I didn’t want to buy three new jars of spices. So I just bought one–an amped up Southwest Mrs. Dash. Seasoning blends can get a bad rap, but for dishes like this they are a fabulous bargain. [P.S. I also like to add those blends to roasted potatoes, hot rice, or even a wrap/grilled cheese.] Taco seasoning would be an equally great alternative, or you could go back to the original recipe and use the suggested blend, plus some cayenne for a ‘lil kick. However you season this dip, the Southwest/Mexican seasonings pair amazingly well with the chicken, black beans, and veggies. Be sure to make this dip ahead of time so the flavors have time to marry in the fridge before being scooped up with a salty tortilla chip. I liked it best on day number 2! Enjoy!

Skinny Southwest Chicken Dip [adapted from Yellow Bliss Road]
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Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning [or taco seasoning, or chili powder + garlic powder + onion powder + cayenne]
  • 1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 15 ounce bag frozen corn
  • 1 cup fresh sweet peppers, diced
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together yogurt, Southwest Chipotle seasoning, chicken, corn, and peppers. Then slowly stir in black beans and tomatoes. Refrigerate for one hour or more [overnight is best] prior to serving with tortilla chips.

Time: 10 minutes.

Yield: 5-6 cups.

Creamy Shells and Yogurt

A few years ago, I made Avocado Soup. It was a cold, gazpacho-esque soup made with yogurt, avocados, and seasonings. Hardly any liquid and served cold, it has gone down in history as one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever served for dinner. Nowadays I would have revamped it as a dip or a sauce, but four years ago it just went in the trash. And with it, my desire to use yogurt as anything more than something to eat with granola or occasionally in baking.

Creamy Shells and Yogurt | thepajamachef.com

With that history of yogurt as a dinner ingredient, it came as a surprise to me when I saw this Creamy Shells and Yogurt recipe online and decided to make it. I know warm yogurt sounds weird, but hear me out. This is totally not what you think. Here, Greek yogurt makes a surprisingly delicious rich pasta sauce when combined with eggs and cheese.

Creamy Shells and Yogurt | thepajamachef.com

As the sauce comes together, it is almost reminiscent of a rich macaroni and cheese. It is truly one of those dishes that you just have to taste to truly understand.

Creamy Shells and Yogurt | thepajamachef.com

The eggs, cheese, and yogurt come together to make a tangy sauce that tastes rich while being actually pretty light, but the true star of the sauce are fresh herbs and lots of lemon zest. I used lemon thyme and mint for my herbs, but you could use whatever you have on hand. I think parsley, basil, oregano, or any of the usual suspects would work perfectly–but do try the minty lemon combo if you can. It is divine! For a little extra something-something I added some kale to the mix. You know how I love my kale!

Creamy Shells and Yogurt | thepajamachef.com

Everything about this dish screams summer, and even though I only made this pasta a couple weeks ago, I’m craving it so badly now and am wondering if I can justify dirtying up the {clean} kitchen at 10:30 pm just for a small bedtime snack. Of yogurt pasta. And this after making Pumpkin Soup for dinner and telling Ben how I just cannot WAIT for apple picking, apple cider, pumpkin chocolate chip mini muffins, and all the joys of fall [which do NOT include football, thankyouverymuch. That's Ben's department.]. I am so seasonally confused. I want it all, summer and fall. But most of all, I want a big bowl of Creamy Shells and Yogurt. It is totally a bright and cheery summer comfort food. I am sooo glad to have tried this pasta–hope you will too!

a year ago… Oatmeal Buttermilk Bread
two years ago… Chorizo and Potato Tacos
three years ago… Taco Casserole

Creamy Shells and Yogurt [adapted from Big Girls Small Kitchen]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces shell pasta
  • 8 ounces plain Greek yogurt [whole or 2%]
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup mint, chopped + more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon lemon thyme, chopped
  • 3 green onions
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 1 ounce Mozzarella, shredded or cubed + more for serving
  • 1 large handful kale [~1.5 cups]
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • crushed red pepper
  • salt

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to boil, then add shells and cook to al dente.

Meanwhile, whisk together yogurt, eggs, mint, lemon thyme, green onions, lemon zest, and Mozzarella. Wash kale, remove thick stems, and tear into small pieces.

When pasta is ready, drain and reserve ~ 1/2 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot and stir in kale. Then add 6 tablespoons water to yogurt sauce and whisk well to temper egg. Pour yogurt sauce over pasta and kale and stir vigorously to coat. Keep stirring until Mozzarella melts, then season to taste with peppers and salt as desired. Serve with additional mint and cheese as desired.

Time: 20 minutes.

Yield: 3-4 servings.

Linked up with: What’s Cookin’ Wednesday.