Whole Wheat Muffins with Yogurt & Banana

I love making my own muffins, because I know what's in them. In this case, only wholesome ingredients and very few calories---160 each to be exact. This recipe, adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, is a real keeper. I am especially fond of the cherry gingerbread variation below.  The muffin's texture is perfection--slightly dense, but not dry because the banana and yogurt keep it moist. I always store overripe bananas in the freezer. They look like s---, literally, but their flavor is fabulous. (Did I really say that?! I'm coming to realize that there is a part of me that likes to shock. Life can be so dull otherwise.) But there is nothing dull about these muffins. Try them and leave a comment. Thanks. 

1½ cups whole-wheat flour (about 6 oz.)
¼ cup wheat germ or wheat bran
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup plain regular or Greek low-fat yogurt
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium ripe banana, mashed (about ½ cup)
1 large egg

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  In a medium bowl, whisk flour, wheat germ or bran, baking powder, baking soda and salt until blended.
  3. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium; cook 90 seconds or until browned and fragrant, swirling pan frequently.  In a small bowl, whisk butter, yogurt, sugar, vanilla, banana, and egg in a bowl. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Invert pan onto a wire rack; turn muffins right side up and cool completely.

To MAKE AHEAD: Store at room temperature for 2 days, refrigerate for 3 days or freeze. 

Stir ½ cup chopped dried cherries, 1/3 cup molasses, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger and ¼ tsp. ground allspice into the batter. 

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