I have been making what we affectionately call “monkey muffins” since my oldest daughter was 3 or so; she’s 9 now.  I’m not sure where the name came from and if I remember correctly the first muffins I heard of that were called monkey muffins had banana, chocolate, and walnuts.  Well, my three oldest children are allergic to peanuts and tree nuts (we don’t know about the 2-year old yet) so none of my recipes contain nuts!

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My husband and children love these muffins.  I feel good about sending them to school as snack because they are homemade; I know exactly what is in them and they do have lots of good stuff in there.  I actually have a monkey muffin ration of one per child per day, and two for my husband.  The recipe makes about 18 muffins, so they usually get us through the first few days of the week.  If it’s a good week, I’ll make a second batch on Wednesday to get us through to the weekend.

While I do find them tasty, too, I can resist them.  This is another plus for me.  I love baking, but it can be dangerous for me.  When I’m feeling great and having a fantastic day, I can make chocolate chip cookies and not eat a bite of raw dough…maybe not even a cookie.  But, on a cranky day, forget it!  And that’s not good.  These muffins, though?  I like them, but they don’t call to me like other baked goods.  I only have one or a taste of one every now and again.  And it makes me so happy to see my guys eat them:)

Monkey Muffins

(adapted from a Stonyfield Yogurt recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour (I use a mix of all-purpose flour and white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 TBSP wheat germ
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3-4 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 375 and line muffin tin with foil baking cups (or spray with cooking spray, or use reusable silicone muffin liners)
  • Combine first four ingredients in large bowl
  • Mash bananas in a separate bowl; when mashed pour into the flour mixture and toss gently
  • Combine eggs, yogurt, butter & vanilla in a separate bowl (I use the bowl from the banana mashing- one less thing to clean!)
  • Pour wet mixture into the flour/banana bowl and stir to combine
  • When mixed well, add chocolate chips
  • Pour into muffin tin until about 2/3 of the way filled
  • Bake for about 17 minutes

This recipe usually makes 18 muffins for me, but sometimes I’ll get 1 or 2 extra!  I guess it depends on the size of the bananas I’m using.

My recipe is adapted from one I found on the lid of a Stonyfield Yogurt container years ago.  I’m sure it could be adapted in many more ways!  I have been wanting to try using coconut oil instead of butter, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.  I’ll try that soon!  I also imagine you could use less sugar, or try a healthier way to sweeten these muffins.  I’d like to play around with that as well.  I’m sure you could sneak in some other good stuff, too, like I did with the wheat germ.  And you can play around a lot with the flour.  I have made them using all whole wheat flour and they went over pretty well.  They began to lose their appeal, though, to my 7-year old son, and I’d hate to see him stop eating them…so I went back to using about 1 cup of each.

Like I said earlier, these are a staple in our house.  They are not exactly “clean” but they are close enough for me right now.

 

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