the itch to bake

I woke up several times throughout the night to a thunderstorm — much-needed rain! However, this Sunday afternoon clearly has “lazy” written all over it: damp ground, surprisingly cool weather, and wide-open windows. This type of weather always stirs that naughty beast inside me — the one who wants to make Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake with about six times the amount of chocolate the recipe calls for.

Having recently started another bout of Weight Watchers to shed the additional ten pounds that I’d like to see evaporate before a tropical vacation this fall, I went on an online scavenger hunt for healthy-minded baked goodies. After several detours (Caramel Corn Bars or Red Velvet Brownies, anyone?), I settled on making some type of muffin. Originally, I planned to make Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Muffins, but then I stared at my checking account and realized that, despite the ease of the multi-purpose ingredients, there’s no way I was adding buttermilk or buying yogurt that I wouldn’t finish throughout the week. Sure, there were different varieties out there, but they all called for several ingredients that I didn’t readily have. Somewhere between “Hmm, I bet buttermilk would taste really great!” and “Ugh, chocolate chips!,” I settled on Gina’s Low Fat Peanut Butter Banana Muffins that I’m now affectionately referring to Skinny Elvis Muffins.

Note: the recipe calls for Better’n Peanut Butter. I had never heard of this product before, so after a quick look around, the common consensus was that I’d have to drive 25 minutes to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods to find it. Wrong! I found this at my local Target for just under $6. Yes, yes… I know what you’re thinking! $6 for peanut butter that isn’t even real peanut butter and is just a giant faker? There’s no way that tastes remotely good. Wrong again! While it doesn’t taste exactly like the peanut butter I’ve grown to love, it’s surprisingly close with a lot less fat per serving. When baked, I couldn’t tell the difference at all.

They started out looking a bit sad, so I quickly dashed (clearly, I should have sprinkled) cinnamon to half of the batch. Ignore the silly store-bought muffin tins. I haven’t bothered to buy more than one muffin tin after I threw away the 157 year-old tins that my grandmother gave me and I wanted these puppies to bake at the same time.

They came out moist and delicious — I love the little bit of peanut butter in the middle, too. It feels like a treat but, at 161 calories per muffin with a great source of protein, they’re good for you, too. I’ll likely be eating one for breakfast each day this week.

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins (Skinny Elvis Muffins!) from Skinny Taste
(Click here for cooking directions and nutritional information)

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe medium bananas
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 tbsp Better’n peanut butter (divided into 8 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons)
  • Cinnamon (optional)
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