As I’ve mentioned in the past, I usually try to use Sunday afternoons as a time to cook and get ready for the next busy week ahead. I always feel much better about the start of the week when I know that I have a fridge full of prepared healthy foods…Since I shifted my work hours a half-hour earlier to accommodate my nighttime schedule of graduate classes, I’ve had very little time to sit down and eat breakfast in the morning. So this Sunday routine has started to include baking a stockpile of healthy muffins for the week.

This past weekend, I discovered a new exciting ingredient from the geniuses over at Trader Joes – peanut flour. I incorporated this high protein (16 grams of protein per ¼ cup), gluten-free flour into a batch of banana-peanut-chocolate chip whole wheat muffins. It was actually less peanut-y tasting than I had expected once the batter was baked, so I think the next time I make these I will swap more of the peanut flour in place of whole wheat. Regardless, the results were delicious. I included some frozen, overripe bananas that I had stored in the freezer about a month ago. I highly recommend saving bananas this way. They are great for blending into smoothies or defrosting for use in recipes like this one. Peel them first and freeze in a plastic container, though — I’ve stuck them in the freezer whole before, and had a hard time removing the peel when I wanted to use them later.

High-Protein Banana Chocolate Chip muffins

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

1 ½ cups peanut flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

2 cups applesauce

4 egg whites

3-4 very ripe bananas

1 cups chocolate chips (I like the mini ones if you can find them)

Preheat the over to 375 degrees. Combine flours and baking soda and powder in a large bowl. Mix applesauce, egg whites, and mashed bananas in a smaller bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry, then mix in chocolate chips. Bake in a coated, non-stick muffin pan for about 20 minutes or until cooked through.

This made about 15 muffins, which I’ll be eating this week for quick breakfasts and snacks. I also did a quick online search for more recipes with Trader Joe’s peanut flour and found all sorts of recommendations – apparently you can even add water to the flour and create your own low-fat peanut butter. Sounds like it would be great in smoothies, too. I will definitely be experimenting more with this new ingredient! Let me know if you have any ideas…

-Jean

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