Banana Carrot Muffins – Tasty and Healthy

Banana Carrot Muffins

Banana Carrot Muffins contain many healthy ingredients, such as bananas, carrots, whole wheat flour and chopped walnuts. They make a great light breakfast or a tasty snack. Banana Carrot Muffins is one of the recipes I really liked in Eater’s Choice.

A Little Background (skip if you want to get straight to the recipe)

This section is on nutrition information from the American Heart Association website.

Back in 1987, a book called Eater’s Choice by Dr. Ron Goor and Nancy Goor was very popular as it addressed how to lower cholesterol by diet. Their focus was on saturated fat, which is still appropriate today. Trans fat was not a term used in the 80’s – trans fat is another name for partially hydrogenated oils.


Trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. Trans fat are found in many fried and baked goods. Check out the Nutrition Facts label on food to see if trans fat or partially hydrogenated oil is listed.

Trans fats raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and lower your HDL (good) cholesterol levels – changes associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Many fast food chains and restaurant chains no longer use trans fat to fry or deep-fry food.

Let’s look briefly at the recommendations of the American Heart Association. The American Heart Association recommends that adults who would benefit from lowering LDL cholesterol reduce their intake of trans fat and limit their consumption of saturated fat to 5 to 6% of total calories. Here are some ways to achieve that:

  • Eat a dietary pattern that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish and nuts. Also limit red meat and sugary foods and beverages.
  • Use naturally occurring, unhydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower or olive oil most often.
  • Look for processed foods made with unhydrogenated oil rather than partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated vegetable oils or saturated fat.
  • Use soft margarine as a substitute for butter, and choose soft margarines (liquid or tub varieties) over harder stick forms. Look for ?0 g trans fat? on the Nutrition Facts label.
  • Doughnuts, cookies, crackers, muffins, pies and cakes are examples of foods that are high in trans fat. Don’t eat them often.
  • Limit commercially fried foods and baked goods made with shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Not only are these foods very high in fat, but that fat is also likely to be trans fat.
  • Limit fried fast food. Commercial shortening and deep-frying fats continue to be made by hydrogenation and contain saturated fat and trans fat.
 
For more information, check out the American Heart Association website or consult a registered dietitian/licensed nutritionist. Now let’s get back to the recipe for Banana Carrot muffins!

The Methodology

The first step to making Banana Carrot Muffins is to preheat the oven to 350°F. and grease the muffin tins or use pan spray, your choice.

The next step is to grate the carrots – a food processor does this most efficiently if you have one.

Place the bananas in a small bowl and mash them with a fork. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream the soft margarine and brown sugar until fluffy. Add an egg and beat well. Stir in the mashed bananas. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add flour mixture to banana mixture. Do not overmix. When mixing muffins, just mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until the dry ingredients are just moistened.

Add grated carrots, vanilla and nuts and combine carefully.

Fill muffin tins with batter, which will be thicker than some batters, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean.

“Before” baking“After” baking

The Recipe – Printable Version

Banana Carrot Muffins
Yields 12
A healthy and tasty muffin with whole wheat flour, bananas, carrots, and walnuts!
Write a review
Save Recipe
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 medium carrots
  2. 2 medium bananas
  3. 1/4 cup soft margarine
  4. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  5. 1 large egg
  6. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  7. 2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  11. 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or use pan spray on a 12-cup muffin pan.
  2. Grate carrots and set aside. (A food processor does this well.)
  3. Mash bananas with a fork and set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, cream the soft margarine and brown sugar until fluffy.
  5. Add egg and beat well.
  6. Stir in the mashed bananas.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  8. Add flour mixture to banana mixture. Do not overmix.
  9. Add grated carrots, vanilla and nuts and combine carefully.
  10. Fill muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Notes
  1. As an alternative, try substituting 1 cup oat bran + 1/2 cup wheat germ + 1/2 cup whole wheat flour for the 2 cups of whole wheat flour. Use only 2 tablespoons of soft margarine and 1/4 cup brown sugar.
SILVER FOODIE http://www.silverfoodie.com/

Parting Comments

I really didn’t mean to get into a lot of nutrition information in today’s post but it just happened! As a disclaimer, I was a registered dietitian for many years but I’m now retired. The information under “A Little Background” was directly from the American Heart Association website. It’s beyond the scope of this website to provide individualized nutrition information but if you have elevated cholesterol levels I hope this may have been helpful. As always, check with your doctor and/or registered dietitian for more information.

These muffins are delicious and delightful! Make some soon for those you love!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet

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Fast, Easy and Delicious Puma Bars

Puma Bars

What’s a Puma Bar? Puma Bars are high energy treats made with whole wheat flour, brown sugar, wheat germ, pecans and peanut butter chips. I first came across this recipe when I was learning about dehydrating foods. I checked out this book, Backpack Gourmet by LInda Frederick Yaffe, from my local library to search out recipes using dehydrated food and to discover methods for dehydrating food. It was an interesting book, even though I’ve never backpacked in my entire life!

I’ve shared two other recipes from Backpack Gourmet in a past post called “High Energy Treats – Addictive and Delicious.”  Click here if you would like to see the recipes for Sesame Oatmeal Cookies and Indian Heaven Treats. The recipes in this book are suitable for backpacking trips or for camping adventures as well as being delicious at home!

Puma is another name for cougar, a very large slender cat whose habitat includes places from an arid desert to a cold coniferous forest. Perhaps that means that these Puma Bars are great no matter where you eat them! (You may have heard of the NC version of pumas – the Carolina Panthers!)

The Recipe

Puma Bars
Yields 12
A delicious bar cookie made with whole wheat flour, wheat germ, pecans, brown sugar and peanut butter morsels
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Save Recipe
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Cook Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  2. 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  3. 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  7. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  8. 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  9. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  10. 1 cup peanut butter morsels
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8" x 11 1/2" x 2" baking pan.
  2. Heat oil and nuts in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat for 3 minutes or until light brown.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and beat well.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until just set.
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.
Notes
  1. Variations: Butterscotch or chocolate chips may be used in place of peanut butter morsels. Nuts other than pecans may be used, your choice.
Adapted from Backpack Gourmet by Linda Frederick Yaffe
Adapted from Backpack Gourmet by Linda Frederick Yaffe
SILVER FOODIE http://www.silverfoodie.com/

The Methodology


The preparation for Puma Bars is done in one large saucepan. No mixing bowl or mixer needed! First, chopped pecans and grapeseed oil are combined in the large saucepan and heated over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat to cool.

Add the brown sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, whole wheat flour, white flour, wheat germ, baking powder and peanut butter chips to the saucepan and stir until well-combined.

Pour batter into a greased 8″ x 11 1/2″ x 2″ pan.

Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until just set. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into bars.

I find the combination of the flavor of peanut butter and wheat germ really enhance a cookie. I posted a recipe for Peanut Butter Wheat Germ Crisps last June. If you’d like to see that recipe, Click here.  Peanut Butter Wheat Germ Crisps have a different texture from most peanut butter cookies that are soft. 

I made several adaptations in the original recipe and I would encourage you to vary the ingredients to suit your particular preferences. The original recipe called for butterscotch morsels but I thought peanut butter morsels sounded better, perhaps due to the fact that I liked the Peanut Butter Wheat Germ Crisps with that flavor combination.  Other chips could be used – chocolate, white chocolate or whatever you would like. I want to try the recipe next time with coconut oil in place of the original recipe’s canola oil. I find that coconut oil gives a nice flavor to just about any food to which it is added. So have fun with this recipe!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet

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