I’ve spent the last year plagued with a foot injury, one that is pretty determined to keep me from doing, well, anything. Just when I start to think I’m on the mend, it flares up again. Just when I think I’m healed, I go on a short hike and it sets me back a few months.
There’s no other way to put it: being injured SUCKS. Couldn’t I have injured something other than my foot? Having a foot injury impacts everything. Walking the dog. Driving (yes, or course it’s my driving foot). Doing dishes. Basically any and all tasks require the use of my foot.
Perhaps I’d heal up just fine if I laid on the couch for two whole months, but that’s just not possible with work, a dog, and other responsibilities to keep me on my feet.
Usually when I get in a funk I exercise to relieve stress. With this injury, though, exercising is… difficult. No running. No hiking. Not a lot of walking. No gym time. None of the things I love! Even yoga – so incredibly low-impact – can irritate my foot. Needless to say, I’m going a bit stir crazy. Since I can’t exercise… I eat.
It’s my other vice.
Standing in the kitchen for too long puts a strain on my foot, so I tend to veer towards shorter, easier recipes. Popsicles that freeze overnight. Quesadillas for dinner. Baked goods that spend the majority of their cooking time baking in the oven.
These banana bread muffins are just that: easy, simple, with minimal hands-on time. Not to mention they’re oh-so delicious. I’ve based the muffins on my all-time favourite banana bread recipe, but made them in a more convenient, grab-and-go snack size. Oh, and I stuffed them with peanut butter, because why not?
- Freeze the PB! This sounds weird, but it helps. Scoop teaspoon-sized bits of PB and transfer to a plate lined with wax paper. Freeze the PB for about 20 minutes, until firm. The solid PB is easier to insert it into the banana bread batter.
- Insert the frozen PB chunks aaaaaall the way inside the muffin cups, then use the back of a spoon (or your finger) to spread the batter over the PB. It’s best to have the PB completely covered with batter, otherwise it will ooze up and out of the muffin cups as they bake and you’ll end up with a bit of a mess. Trust me.
Whipping up the ingredients will take about 15 minutes, and the rest of the time is spent baking away in the oven. Your house will smell amazing! Feel free to take a rest on the couch as you wait for these muffins to bake, whether you have an injury, a new baby (Finn!), or just a busy day ahead, sometimes a little break is just what’s needed.
|Peanut Butter-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins|| |
- 12 tsp peanut butter
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ¾ stick of butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed*
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¾ cup chocolate chips
- Scoop 12 teaspoon-sized scoops of peanut butter and transfer to a wax paper-lined plate. Freeze until firm, about 20 minutes. Freezing the peanut butter like this will keep it solid when you place it inside the muffin batter.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tray; set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together sugar and butter until fluffy. Add in eggs, bananas and vanilla, beating until smooth.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in 3 parts, mixing until smooth after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Divide batter evenly into muffin cups. Drop each frozen dollop of peanut butter in the centre of each muffin cup. Use your finger to push the peanut butter deep inside the muffin, and gently spread the batter over top. Try to cover the peanut butter completely to prevent it from seeping up through the tops when baking.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, aside from any peanut butter. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.