Dark Cocoa Banana Muffins

Dark Cocoa Banana Muffins

Another great cupcake recipe I found in the April 2014 issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

The muffins came out perfectly, so soft and moist! Dark chocolate and banana is a great flavor combination. You can bake this recipe into a dessert bread as well. Just pour the batter into a 9-inch bread pan and enjoy.

Dark cocoa according to Health News Library (HNL) has great health benefits, like potassium, copper, magnesium, and iron in high concentrations. You know what that means, right? Dark Chocolate is great for your heart and lowering high blood pressure.

HNL states, “The copper and potassium help prevent against stroke and cardiovascular disease. The iron protects against anemia, and magnesium helps prevent type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease” (read more here: Dark Chocolate Helping with Health Concerns).

Now for the featured recipe: Dark Cocoa Banana Muffins and here is what you will need:

ingredients for Dark Cocoa Banana Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon instant coffee powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2/3 cup buttermilk (we forgot to add this to the cutting board)

½ cup sour cream

2 eggs

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 bananas, peeled

Honey for topping

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

 

Grease twelve 2 ½ -inch muffin cups; set aside.

Mixing dry and wet ingredients for Dark Cocoa Banana Muffins

 

In a large bowl stir together flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, coffee powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture; set aside.

In a 2-cup measure whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, eggs, and butter. Add all at once to flour mixture. Gently stir just until moistened.

 

bananas cut for topping Dark Cocoa Banana Muffins

Peel and trim ends from bananas and cut each into 6 pieces. You should do this before mixing dry ingredients in with the wet. Once the wet ingredients hits the dry portion, it activates the soda. As a rule of thumb, once you have mixed the wet and dry together, get it in the oven as soon as possible.

Next, spoon the batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full and press a banana piece into each prepared cupcake batter, but the banana should not be covered completely, only push in half way.

Now the next part says to drizzle with honey, then bake for 15 minutes. But it is not recommended to heat honey above 100 degrees, it kills the enzymes that benefit good health.

Ask A Scientist says, “Honey bees keep the temperature of their brood nest at just under 100 degrees. Many figure that honey should not be raised above this temperature to preserve many of its good qualities. If honey is heated above that, there is disagreement on what the temperature is at which the helpful enzymes are damaged. It is likely in the 120 to 140 range.”

They go on to say, “Honey distributed by large distributors and sold in larger stores is usually heated to 180 degrees.This is to dissolve even the smallest crystals that might act as “seeds” that promote crystallization. Although crystallization does not harm the honey in any way, it is considered less desirable (in the US but not necessarily abroad). The enzymes that are not visible are sacrificed for the sake of “good” looks.”

Here at Splendid Recipes and More, we use raw honey, in its whole form. To liquefy the honey: boil some water in a sauce pan. Place the amount of honey you want to liquefy into a small glass jar and dip the jar into the hot water. The honey will soften and become runny, but will not heat to above 100 degrees.

 

 

cooling Dark Cocoa Banana Muffins

Now bake the muffins for 15 minutes or until tops are firm, then remove and cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

 

 

Dark Cocoa Banana Muffins (end article)

 

Remove from muffin cups. Drizzle with honey and serve warm. Here we drizzled with raw honey. As a side note, 1/3 cup dark brown sugar dosen’t sweeten the muffins to well. But adding the honey will sweeten every bite. If you don’t wish to drizzle with honey, increase your dark brown sugar to add the sweetness you desire. Enjoy!!

 

What Others are Saying About Muffins with Bananas and Cocoa:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Mexican Marinated Steak Fajitas

Marinated Steak Fajitas

This flavorful Mexican fajita recipe is sure to become a family favorite. The following recipe will cook up best in a cast iron skillet. The recommended size, is about a 12 inch skillet. Fajitas can be made with beef or chicken, your choice.

To get that wonderful sizzle at home, serve on pre-heated individual cast iron fajita skillets. 

Here is what you will need:

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 pounds skirt steak

2 medium yellow onions, sliced lengthwise (not into rings)

2 green peppers, sliced lengthwise*

2 red peppers, sliced lengthwise*

8 – 10 flour tortillas

*opt for orange and yellow peppers

Marinade:

1 tablespoon fresh lime zest

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon onion powder

¼ cup fresh cilantro

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Combine all marinade ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Pour marinade into shallow glass dish and add meat. Turn meat to make sure it is coated on both sides.

Marinate at room temperature for 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator. Turn meat occasionally while marinating.

To cook:

Add 1½ tablespoons olive oil to cast iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat for a couple minutes. While pan is heating, remove meat from marinade and drain off excess moisture.

Place steak in hot skillet and cook for 2 or 3 minutes per side or until it reaches the desired level of doneness. Remove steak from skillet and let rest under an aluminum foil tent for 5 to 10 minutes.

While the steak is resting, add the remaining olive oil to the pan, and return heat to medium-high. Add sliced onion and peppers to the pan. Do not stir vegetables until they begin to brown, then stir and allow to brown on remaining sides. Do not overcook – the goal is to get a nice brown sear without burning.

To Serve:

For soft tortillas, place them in a tortilla warmer or wrap in aluminum foil and place in warm oven.

Slice steak into thin slices and serve with warm tortillas, the cooked vegetables and your choice of toppings.

We used red salsa, but you can also use green salsa. Some diced avocado, and lime wedges. Enjoy!!

What Others are Saying About Fajitas:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Indian Spiced Salmon

Indian Spiced Salmon on a dinner plater

This recipe is taken from an issue of Sunset magazine (April 2005). One extra spice was added to the recipe. We added culinary grade lavender. I say culinary grade to avoid pesticides or oils added to potpourri lavender.

I read first what spices you can mix lavender with and found that it goes well with the other spices in this recipe.

All the ingredients in this recipe are organic certified and purchased at our local Whole Foods Market.

The Salmon used was caught out of the Pacific Ocean and is a Coho Salmon. Which we really like because it does not have a fishy flavor, which most fish from the ocean have.

I hope you enjoy making Indian Spiced Salmon as much as we did.

Here is what you will need:

4 pieces boned salmon fillet (6 oz. each; about 1 in. thick)

1 large sweet onion, peeled and slivered

2 tablespoons butter, melted

3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds

1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon each ground cardamom, ground cumin, and salt

1/4 teaspoon each pepper, ground cloves, and ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon lavender (culinary grade)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 400° F.

sliced onions adding to baking dish with Salmon

Rinse salmon and pat dry. Line a 13 by 9 inch baking dish with foil and set salmon pieces, skin down, 1 inch apart. Scatter the slivered onions around salmon.

In a small bowl, mix together melted butter, brown sugar, coriander, fennel, cayenne, cardamom, cumin, salt, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and lavender. Stir in lemon juice. Spoon on mixture and rub evenly over tops of salmon pieces.

rubbing Indian spice mix over  Salmon

Bake in a oven for 15 minutes. Turn oven to broil and broil salmon 6 inches from heat 4 to 6 minutes or until top is bubbling and well browned and fish is opaque but still moist-looking in the center of the thickest part (cut to test).

broiling Indian Spiced Salmon 6-inches from heat for 4 to 6 minutes

Transfer salmon pieces to a serving dish, if possible without skin and place with onions around salmon pieces. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Plate and serve.

Indian Spiced Salmon

How Others are Cooking Up Salmon

Enhanced by Zemanta