Bananas.... the ultimate snack pack. The perfect pick me up on the go. The fruit that always has one or two left in the bowl that are too ripe to eat out of hand! Packed with potassium, B vitamins and fiber, the health benefits of these widely available fruits range from helping to regulate blood pressure (potassium) to reducing the risk of death from stroke to aiding with anemia (Iron). The peels have been said to reduce itching and swelling from mosquito bites in addition to curing warts. Amazing little powerhouses on their own, but when combined with heart healthy wheat bran and walnuts they pack an even bigger healthy punch!
Our submission to the LiveSTRONG with a Taste of Yellow 2010 - Heart Series is a Banana Bran Muffin adapted from Eating Well. We didn't actually follow all of the rules - a yellow food featuring a heart in the photo - but with heart healthy ingredients and Liv providing our heart we are submitting anyway!
Thankfully, I don't have a story to share with you about a cancer experience in our family, but we do have some heart issues. Both of my grandfathers had heart problems and my dad has experienced a quadruple bypass in addition to a couple of stents (we tease him that he has visited the cardiologist so often that he has his own parking space!). As such, heart health is high on our priority list. Ingredients like wheat bran and walnuts promote heart health with dietary fiber, protein, carbohydrates, omega fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. These nutritionally rich foods can lower cholesterol, maintain heart health, improve digestion and intestinal health (from LiveSTRONG.com). Remember though, nuts are high in fat and the key is moderation!
For our heart healthy recipe ripe, flavorful bananas mash into a batter tenderized with buttermilk and textured with wheat bran. Golden raisins and brown sugar lend sweetness, and the vanilla mixes with a touch of cinnamon to round out the flavors of this extraordinarily moist muffin. A sprinkle of chopped walnuts boost the omega 3 fatty acids giving not only a depth of flavor, but a nice little health boost.
October 2, 2010 has been named LiveSTRONG Day and Liv and I hope that you will Live Strong so that you may "Liv" Life!!
|Living Strong to Liv Life!!|
Banana Bran Muffins
adapted from Eating Well
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas, (2 medium)
- 1 cup buttermilk, (see Ingredient notes)
- 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran, (see Ingredient notes)
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in bananas, buttermilk, wheat bran, oil and vanilla.
Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Stir in golden raising. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups (they’ll be quite full). Sprinkle with walnuts, if using.