Birthday Banana Muscle Muffins
One of my most favorite people in the world is my sister, Tracy. This crazy bitch can make me belly laugh harder than anyone I know over the most stupid stuff. We are the same and yet so very different.
For starters, she is LOUD! Trust me when I say I've been told to bring it down a notch or two but Tracy is loud! She can command the attention of any room no matter the audience. Tracy has no fear and would have made a great theatrical actress. Dramatic is another word to describe her.
She is also quick witted and good with an impersonation. Our mother would be so infuriated with us at bed time. Tracy would start her comedy routine and I would laugh until I cried. Being silly is our thing and we can alway be "in the moment" and just laugh. Younger versions of us would be in a car together and stopped at a red light, we would dance like fiends. I'm not sure how the people in cars around us felt about this but it made us laugh our butts off.
I am a moody little minx and she was a knack for getting me to alter my attitude. I can't tell you how many times she has licked my face! Yep, she is gross. This is how we are different. Bodily fluids don’t affect her like they affect me. This may be the reason a nurse or a doctor never registered on my list of potential career choices.
Let me go back to the "crazy bitch" comment from earlier and tell a couple little stories. When Tracy was about 15 years old, she played one of her many April Fools jokes on mom. She painted her lips blue and threw herself down the stairs. Mom was on the couch and heard the loud noise coming down the stairs. Mom was totally overwhelmed with fear while Tracy played into the “part” of being severely injured. Moments later the scene would end with "April Fools!”
When Tracy was 18 and a senior in high school, she got her whole class even the teacher to aid in her April Fools joke on mom. Keep in mind this was a time before cell phones and she had to use the teachers classroom phone. She called my mom, pretended she was at 7/11 and her friends were getting arrested for drug possession.
My final story involves tampons. If you are squeamish, skip the next paragraph or two or three.
Have you ever read the directions for how to use a tampon? Well, in silent protest my sister decided to have those directions taped to our bedroom door. Here is the why: It was Summer and that time of the month and Tracy wanted to go to the pool. This situation calls for something without wings. Our mother sent her across the street to our Aunts house to get a tampon.
To be clear this was her “first time” and she was handed the SUPER absorbent version. Tracy will tell you, “Back in those days the supers were the size of a soup can.” When she asked our Mother what to do with the “soup can,” it was a simple response, “Just go in the bathroom and put it in.” (Insert captain obvious face here.)
Mortified, Tracy never went through with it. Time went by and she mustered up the guts to try again. She read the directions and had success. Thus, bringing us to the silent protest for all the days she missed going to the pool. Unless you know Tracy, this may seem odd but really this was an opportunity for her to make that point while adding a little shock value. Tracy is good for shock value and a good amount of humor. If there is anything you need to know about Tracy, there are no limits to where she will go if it will get a laugh.
Back to why you are all reading this post, MUFFINS! I have been making her birthday treats for her to take to work for a few years now. In the past, she has picked a flavor cupcake for me to develop. This year she is a whole new person. Literally, Tracy has been working her ass off to lose 60 pounds and build some major muscle.
In October, Tracy and her husband became part of The Total War Challenge with a company calledRedCon1. They WON! They both dedicated 60 days to working out, eating healthy and using RedCon1 supplements.
This challenge did amazing things for both Tracy and Bob. In 60 days, she lost an additional 10 pounds and gained some major muscle! Just look at the before and after pictures of these meat heads!
Instead of a super sugary after lunch treat for her co-workers, she is going to celebrate her birthday with breakfast. We will make Birthday Banana Muscle Muffins. These muffins are chuck full of good stuff but also have just enough "bad" stuff to make them taste oh, so good!
BIRTHDAY BANANA MUSCLE MUFFINS (A mix of healthy and indulgence)
Makes 9 Large Muffins or 12 small muffins
1 cup coconut sugar
1 stick of softened unsalted butter
3.5 ounces of apple sauce
7 ounces of greek yogurt, non fat
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour, bobs red mill whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 servings of vanilla protein powder
4 tablespoons of flax seed ground
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake baking sheet with cupcake liners. I use liners that are lotus shaped. This allows me to make 9 large muffins with a crumbly topping. You can certainly use standard cupcake liners and make 12 smaller muffins. Smaller muffins equals a lower caloric intake!
In a mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until light and creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Scrap the sides of the bowl half way through.
In a separate bowl, smash the bananas, yogurt, apple sauce and cinnamon together. Set aside.
In another bowl, sift together the all purpose flour, wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, protein powder and flax seed. Set aside.
When the butter has been appropriately creamed, add in the banana mixture and beat with the butter and sugar until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl a few times during the process. Dump in the flour concoction and mix just until incorporated. Scrape the side of the bowl and give it another spin in the mixer for a few seconds.
Evenly distribute the batter amongst the cupcake liners.
Bake for 20-30 minutes. This depends on the size of your muffins. Stick a toothpick in the center of a few muffins. If the toothpick comes out clean, take them out of the oven and transfer each muffin to a cooling rack.
Store the muffins at room temperature in a tightly sealed container for 2-3 days.
VARIATION: The muffins pictured have been topped with a brown sugar pecan crumble. This crumble will enhance your muffin eating experience but be warned, this will also increase the calories, fat, carbs, and salt per serving.
BROWN SUGAR PECAN CRUMBLE:
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons of white sugar
3/4 cup of toasted pecans
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ginger
1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves
3 tablespoons of cake flour
3 tablespoons of butter
Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until the ingredients are combined. Don't puree the pecan sugar topping! You want to see chunks of pecans in the mix.
PREPARATION TIP: Freezing the baked muffins is an option. Tightly wrap the muffins in plastic wrap, store in a labeled freezer bag. Thaw the muffin on the counter for about an hour or on your way to work.
MUFFIN SERVING STATS:
Makes 9 large muffins/12 small muffins
Calories: 288g / 216g
Fat: 11g/ 8g
Protein: 6 g/5g
Sodium: 157mg/118 mg
Sugar: 29 g/22g
**A bakery cupcake would have twice the amount of calories, fat, and sugar that are in the large muffins. You would also be lucky to get 2 grams of protein in a bakery cupcakes.