Life is a seesaw at times, forcing us to exert great energy to get ourselves off the ground more often than not. In an effort to practice this delicate balance of seesawing my way through life, I’ve found myself repeating the mantra, “find your balance.” This mantra stems from my love of all things pilates, and having been a practicer/follower/participant for 5 years, my thought process has become closely aligned with the pilates principles.
Sometimes finding that optimal balance between the amount of force needed to push ourselves off of the ground, and the amount of weight we need to distribute in order to keep us from flying through the air is difficult, and sometimes finding that perfect balance, whether it relates to eating, exercise, family, politics, love, etc. can be damn near impossible.
I try to tell myself that balance is more accurately achieved through practice. In fact, most good things that happen in life are the result of practice and more practice. I consider this little blogging journey an exercise in practice (and patience with myself). Furthermore, this recipe is the true result of balance, as it includes both healthy and indulgent elements.
The balance between the richness of the olive oil and dark chocolate is offset by the use of whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat flour because it isn’t quite as dry as regular whole wheat flour). It’s a muffin that may look unassuming, but once tasted becomes way more than just a muffin.
Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Banana Muffins
*This was another snack taken from the SweetPeas Meals planning guide. They are delicious and definitely great to make for a sweet treat, or breakfast throughout the week. Remember: It’s all about balance.
Yield: 15 muffins
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 large egg
- 1⁄2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄3 cup olive oil
- 3 large bananas, mashed
- 2⁄3 cup milk
- 6 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
2. Mix the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices and set aside.
3. Mix the wet ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk the egg and brown sugar together until smooth and no lumps remain. Add in the vanilla extract, olive oil and bananas, whisking again until combined. Gradually add in dry ingredients from Step 2, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in the milk and mix until just combined – take care not to overmix! Gently fold in the chopped chocolate.
4. Fill each muffin liner 2⁄3 of the way full with batter – you can use a 1⁄4 cup measure to get equally- sized muffins. If you’d like, you can also place a very thinly slice of banana on top of the muffin before baking, but it needs to be very thinly sliced in order for the muffins to bake properly.
5. Bake the muffins for 15-17 minutes, or until the tops are no longer wet and become slightly golden. Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!