Vanilla Chai Banana Muffins
I existed in a state of complete ignorance regarding National Pi Day on 3/14 and instead opted to make it a Muffin Monday. I replaced ‘Pi’ with ‘Chai’ because that is the natural nonconformist I just happen to be. The presence of two overripe bananas on the cusp of the compost pile inspired this fusion of spicy warmth with buttery fruit.
½ Cup Steeped Chai (see recipe below)
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 ¼ Cup All-Purpose Unbleached Flour (I Love King Arthur Flour)
2-3 Ripe Bananas
1 Tsp. Vanilla
I Stick Butter ( ½ Cup)
1 Cup Brown Sugar (I like to use Dark)
¼ Tsp. Cinnamon
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Kosher Salt
2 Eggs Room Temperature
I Single-Serve Container Non-Fat Greek Yogurt (Chobani, 5.3 oz)
Optional – Pecans, Chocolate Chops, Walnuts, etc.
Preheat Oven to 350°F
Line Mini Muffin Tins with paper cups or spray liberally with baking spray
You can also opt for regular sized muffins, or even make two loaves of banana bread; however, I have noticed that when bringing things to work, people are more likely to eat 2 or 3 mini muffins over 1 regular sized muffin. People just really like things in “mini” form.
To steep the chai, pour 1 Cup SODELICIOUS Coconut Milk Creamer into small sauce pan (Almond Milk, Milk, or other Milk Substitute acceptable)
Add 5 bags of chai tea, I used 3 bags of Bigelow Vanilla Chai and 2 bags of Celestial Teahouse Dirty Cha
Bring to a boil, then allow to steep for 5 minutes
Remove tea bags and leave just half a cup of the steeped mixture in the pan (store the rest for later in a fun jar in the fridge!)
Return the chai to a low heat on the stove
To the chai, add 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of dark brown sugar, whisking to dissolve until the butter and sugar are completely incorporated
Set aside to cool
Sift together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt
Mash the bananas and the vanilla in a bowl using a fork or other mashing object
In a large bowl with using either a handheld mixer, or in a stand-mixer, add the Greek yogurt and loosen just a bit before mixing in the cooled chai syrup
Mix in the eggs – If you forgot to take your eggs out early enough to allow them to reach room temperature, just run them under hot water for about 30 seconds and let them sit in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes
Gently incorporate sifted flour, being careful not to over mix
Fold in mashed bananas, ensuring anything on the bottom of the bowl is well mixed
I used a small cookie scoop to dish out half of these muffins before adding chopped pecans to the mixture. I generally prefer my muffins sans nuts; however, I know many (Ok my husband man person) who enjoy things more when they feature nuts and I enjoy obliging those preferences on occasion. You could also add chocolate chips to the batter… go ahead, give it a ‘Chai’!