Banana-Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins (That’s a Mouthful!)

At Thanksgiving, I like to make a pumpkin pie from scratch-as in, from a whole pumpkin-which leaves quite a bit of surplus pumpkin. I love pumpkin, and I was left wondering what to make with all of the extra. Well, it just so happens that I had a couple of nasty looking bananas hanging around, and I got the idea to make banana-pumpkin muffins. Except that I felt they also needed chocolate chips. I was not wrong, my friends. I searched the internet for a recipe and never came up with one for muffins, but I did find one for banana-pumpkin-chocolate chip bread. A few adjustments, and this recipe was born. I have made it 3 or 4 times since Thanksgiving, and since the recipe makes 24 muffins, that should tell you how much we like it. This is a great treat for the weekend….or really, any day!

You’ll need flour, pumpkin puree, blackened bananas, butter, brown sugar, eggs, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg.

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Start by creaming 3/4 cup of softened butter, 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, and three eggs together until well-mixed. The original recipe says “until fluffy”. Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to make something fluffy when the eggs have already been added, but it’s not happening. I guess I could cream together the butter and sugar then add the eggs, like a traditional cake recipe, but that would mean an extra step and this method works just fine.

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Now, add the pumpkin and the banana. This pumpkin was left over from the last time I made this recipe, and I just froze it. It wasn’t fresh, by the way. When pumpkin is the “star of the show”, as in a pie, I would recommend starting from step one, but in a recipe like this, canned is fine. Just be sure that you don’t get pumpkin pie filling, which already has the spices and binders mixed in. As for the bananas, trust me on this. The blacker, the better. I think I should just start keeping a couple of bananas rotting on the counter at all times. I know they’re ready when I start to smell them. I just kind of mush them up in their skins then scrape the fruit into the mixing bowl. Now, don’t trust the people that tell you that you can ripen a banana by putting it in the refrigerator or putting it in a bag with an apple. This will darken the skin, for sure, but it won’t ripen the flesh like leaving it on the counter. Believe it. Anyway….mix the pumpkin and banana into the butter-sugar-egg mixture for a minute or so.

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Now, three cups of flour (white whole wheat here, of course), 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. Have you ever ground fresh nutmeg? If not, I highly recommend it. Fresh nutmeg has made a believer out of my once nutmeg-hating husband. You can buy it at Whole Foods, Earth Fare, World Market, etc. It lasts forever. Mix this all up, then add in the chocolate chips. The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup, but where a little chocolate is good, more chocolate is better, right? So I use a full cup. Mix this just until blended, then divide between 24 muffin cups that have been sprayed with cooking spray. I love this scoop, which makes dividing the batter neat, quick, and easy. Bake for 12 minutes, then switch the positions of the pans in the oven and bake for another 11-12 minutes.

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And, if more chocolate is better, then even more must be best, right? So….Nutella it is! Mmmmm…..

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