Chocolate Banana Muffins

What to do with browning bananas? It’s the question that never stops needing to be answered. The other day I was about to make a batch of my Yogurt Banana Bread with some over ripe bananas, but I decided to change it up last minute. I added little cocoa powder and a handful of chocolate […] The post Chocolate Banana Muffins appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Chocolate Banana Muffins

What to do with browning bananas? It’s the question that never stops needing to be answered. The other day I was about to make a batch of my Yogurt Banana Bread with some over ripe bananas, but I decided to change it up last minute. I added little cocoa powder and a handful of chocolate chips to the batter, then scooped it into a muffin tin instead of a bread pan for easy portioning, and I got these tasty little Chocolate Banana Muffins. They’re the perfect not-too-sweet treat that I can keep in my freezer for days that I want a little something special to go with my morning coffee.

Use Ripe Bananas for the Best Flavor

I know chocolate banana muffins sound delicious, but have patience and wait until you have some brown, over ripe bananas to make this recipe. Over ripe bananas are sweeter and their banana flavor is more intense, which is what you want for the banana flavor to really come through in the muffins. Plus, they’re easier to mash when they’re soft and super ripe. ;)

How to Freeze Chocolate Banana Muffins

I love the fact that these banana muffins are already in single-serving portions, which makes them really great for freezing and thawing as-needed (or “as-wanted”?). To freeze the muffins, make sure they cool completely to room temperature, then place them in a gallon-sized zip top freezer bag and transfer to the freezer. To thaw, you can either let them sit for 15-30 minutes at room temperature, or microwave for about 30 seconds until they’re warm and the chocolate chips are melted. They’re sooooo good with a cup of coffee!

Other Muffin Add-in Ideas

Muffins like this are kind of fun because you can really play around with the add-ins (in addition to, or in place of the chocolate chips). Peanut butter chips would be really good in these muffins, as would something like shredded coconut. Walnuts are a classic with banana bread, but almonds would probably taste really nice with this banana-chocolate combo, too.

 
Chocolate Banana Muffins in a muffin tin, some turned on their side

Chocolate Banana Muffins

Chocolate Banana Muffins are a delicious freezer-friendly sweet treat, and a great way to use up brown bananas so they don't go to waste!
Total Cost $3.97 recipe / $0.33 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 232.86kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Equipment

  • Muffin Pan
  • Liquid Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Cups Spoons

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2-3 bananas) $0.42
  • 1 cup plain yogurt $0.67
  • 2 large eggs $0.46
  • 1/2 cup sugar $0.40
  • 4 Tbsp metled butter $0.52
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.30
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour $0.23
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder $0.21
  • 1 tsp baking powder $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips $0.70

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  • Mash the bananas well. You'll need one cup mashed bananas. If you have slightly less than one cup, you can use slightly more yogurt to make up for the banana. If you have slightly more than one cup, you can reduce the yogurt slightly to compensate for the extra banana.
  • Add the mashed banana to a large mixing bowl along with the yogurt, eggs, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Whisk the ingredients together well.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir just until they are combined. It's okay if the mixture is a little lumpy. Do not over stir. Finally, fold the chocolate chips into the batter.
  • Divide the batter between the 12 wells of the muffin tin (it will fill each well up to the top). Transfer the muffin tin to the preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes.
  • After baking, remove the muffins from the tin and allow them to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 232.86kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.8g | Protein: 4.37g | Fat: 8.02g | Sodium: 233.58mg | Fiber: 2.22g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up front view of the chocolate banana muffins in the tin

How to Make Chocolate Banana Muffins – Step by Step Photos

Mashed banana in a measuring cup with a fork

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a muffin tin with paper liners. Mash 2-3 bananas well with a fork. You’ll need 1 cup mashed bananas. If you have slightly less banana, you can add a little extra yogurt to make up for it. If you have a little more than 1 cup banana, you can reduce the yogurt a little to compensate for the extra banana.

Wet ingredients for the banana muffins in a bowl

Add the mashed banana to a large mixing bowl along with 1 cup plain yogurt, 2 large eggs, ½ cup sugar, 4 Tbsp melted butter, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Whisk these ingredients together well.

Dry ingredients for muffins in a bowl

In a separate bowl, stir together 1.5 cups all-purpose flour, ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp salt. Stir until the dry ingredients are very well combined.

wet and dry ingredients being stirred together with a spatula

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until everything is moistened. The mixture will be lumpy, but try not to over stir (the photo shows the mixture half stirred, check the next photo for the appearance of the fully stirred batter).

Chocolate chips being added to the batter

Finally, fold a ½ cup chocolate chips into the batter, again taking care not to over stir.

Muffin batter in the muffin tin, unbaked.

Divide the batter between 12 wells of a muffin tin. The batter will fill each well all the way up to the top. Transfer the muffin tin to the preheated 350ºF oven.

Baked chocolate banana muffins in the muffin tin

Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove the baked muffins from the tin to cool before serving.

Chocolate banana muffins in the muffin tin, on a cooling rack, and on a cutting board

Enjoy!

The post Chocolate Banana Muffins appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna is a low-carb, gluten free twist on your favorite Italian comfort food. This is an absolutely scrumptious way to use all that zucchini from your garden. Round out this satisfying family Zucchini Lasagna with a nice salad and tasty bread. Try these excellent choices: Miracle No Knead Bread, Focaccia Bread, Mouthwatering Strawberry Spinach…

Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna is a low-carb, gluten free twist on your favorite Italian comfort food. This is an absolutely scrumptious way to use all that zucchini from your garden.

Round out this satisfying family Zucchini Lasagna with a nice salad and tasty bread. Try these excellent choices: Miracle No Knead Bread, Focaccia Bread, Mouthwatering Strawberry Spinach Salad, or this refreshing Greek Salad with the Best Dressing.

Zucchini lasagna in a white casserole dish.

Homemade Zucchini Lasagna

Everyone loves lasagna and this Zucchini Lasagna will be no different. With the same satisfying taste and even texture of regular lasagna, this soon to be new family favorite will have them coming back for seconds and even thirds. Just like regular lasagna, you can make this ahead of time. Make it the night before and pop it into the oven when ready. Or even better make and freeze for up to 2 months for a busy day when you need a good quick homemade meal.

Comfort food that is soul satisfying and low-carb, gluten free and keto friendly is like a dream come true. You’ll never miss the pasta with this gratifying dish. Delicately sliced zucchini is layered between hearty zesty Italian sauce. It’s a perfect blend of spices and meat in a vibrant tomato sauce. Smothered in with an indulgent ricotta and parmesan cheese layer and smooth mozzarella it’s a feast everyone will LOVE!

Zucchini Lasagna Ingredients:

Don’t let these ingredients scare you! This is a perfect combination of deliciousness that your family is going to love.

  • Olive Oil: I like to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for it’s flavor
  • Onion: Dice well,  you don’t want large chunks of onion
  • Ground Beef: You could substitute ground turkey or ground chicken
  • Italian Sausage: This will give it the meal it’s zest, if you like spicy for Hot Italian Sausage.
  • Crushed Tomatoes: Gives the recipe some texture with out the lumps
  • Tomato Sauce: Use low sodium to make it just heart healthier.
  • Tomato Paste: Gives richness and body without extra water.
  • Italian Seasoning: Don’t skimp on the seasoning. Zucchini will take on the flavor
  • Sugar: Cuts the acidity in the tomato sauce so don’t leave out.
  • Fresh Basil: Can use dried basil, just half as much.
  • Ricotta Cheese: Low fat works great if you want.
  • Parmesan: Make sure it’s finely grated to make sure it melts well.
  • Egg: Adding an egg to the ricotta helps bind the cheese together and makes it rich and creamy.
  • Zucchini: Keep the zucchini the same length for even “noodles”
  • Mozzarella Cheese: Buy pre-shredded mozzarella for faster prep.

How to Make Lasagna:

A rich zesty meat sauce is layered with a cheesy, creamy ricotta and thinly sliced zucchini that has been cooked to perfection. All of it is topped with ooey, gooey Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

  1. Saute: In a large skillet saute the onions in olive oil till tender.
  2. Cook: To the onions add the beef and sausage and cook and crumble till brown and cooked through
  3. Add: Next stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, sugar and basil. Let it simmer on low heat.
  4. Mix: In a separate bowl mix the ricotta cheese, parmesan and egg together thoroughly.
  5. Layer: In a 9×13 well oiled pan begin to layer the lasagna starting with 1 cup of the meat sauce then the zucchini, followed by the ricotta mix  and then some mozzarella cheese. You’ll repeat the layers and end with ooey gooey mozzarella on top.
  6. Bake: Cover with a aluminium foil and bake in 375 degree oven for 20 min. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes till heated through.
  7. Cool: Cool for at least 10 min to help the lasagna set before cutting.

Steps to making zucchini lasagna, onions, tomato sauce and cheese.

Tips And Tricks for the BEST Zucchini Lasagna: 

Zucchini has a lot water in it naturally, use some of these tips to make sure your BEST Zucchini Lasagna isn’t soggy.

  • Slice: To slice the zucchini thinly use a mandoline to get even 1/8″ slices.
  • Salt: Salt the zucchini to draw out the water and let it sit for 15 minutes, then pat thoroughly dry. If you use kosher salt it’ll be easier to wipe it off.
  • Dry: Broil or grill your zucchini slices to dry out even further and give it a little extra flavor as well.
  • Thicken: Make sure your sauce is good and thick, if you need to thicken it take 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch mixed in 2 Tablespoons of cold water and stir into your sauce bringing it to a boil. Having a thick sauce will help absorb any water released from the zucchini.
  • Sneaky: If all else fails you can layer uncooked lasagna noodles on the very bottom of your pan. It won’t be completely gluten free but the uncooked noodles will soak up any liquid. You can always remove that bottom layer to make it low-carb before eating.

The process of layering zucchini lasagna.

Variations and Storing Lasagna:

This Zucchini Lasagna is so adaptable and stores nicely for leftovers, if you have them.

  • Vegetables: Swap out the zucchini for eggplant or thinly sliced sweet potatoes. Add a layer of chopped vegetables, like cooked spinach, or saute peppers, mushrooms, or asparagus.
  • Protein:  You can use ground chuck, ground turkey or Italian chicken sausage instead of regular sausage.
  • Sauce: Make a whole new flavor by using Alfredo sauce instead of a tomato based sauce.
  • Store: Lasagna can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, cooked lasagna for up to 2 months.

A photo of zucchini lasagna having a piece taken out of the casserole dish.

More Zucchini Dinner Ideas:

  • Zucchini Pizza
  • Shrimp Zucchini Boats
  • Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats
  • Buttery Garlic Herb Chicken with Zucchini
  • Thai Zucchini Noodles Salad
Print

Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna is a low-carb, gluten free twist on your favorite Italian comfort food. This is an absolutely scrumptious way to use all that zucchini from your garden.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword zucchini lasagna
Servings 12 Slices
Calories 436kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 28 Ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 6.5 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
  • 16 ounce ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan finely grated
  • 1 egg
  • 4 medium sized zucchini thinly sliced
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded

Instructions

  • In a large skillet over medium high heat add the olive oil and onion. Sauté until tender and add the ground beef and sausage. Cook and crumble until brown and cooked throughout. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, sugar, and basil. Let simmer on low heat.
  • In medium sized bowl add the ricotta cheese, parmesan, and egg. Mix until incorporated.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9x13 inch pan with non stick spray and set aside.
  • To make the lasagna start by spreading 1 cup of the meat sauce on the bottom. Arrange the zucchini slices in a single layer over the meat sauce. Spread 1/2 cup of the ricotta cheese, on top of the zucchini followed by shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers and top with cheese.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake and additional 20-25 minutes or until it is heated throughout and cheese is bubbly. Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 436kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 788mg | Potassium: 881mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 954IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 245mg | Iron: 4mg
Source : The Recipe Critic More   

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