Recipe by: Kellie Shallal MPH RD

These healthy banana cherry muffins are made with whole wheat pastry flour for a light, fluffy banana muffin bursting with sweet cherries in every bite!

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Line muffin tin with paper or silicone muffin liners.
  • Combine bananas, coconut oil, milk, and egg until smooth.
  • Add in whole wheat pastry flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Combine but do not over mix. Fold in cherries.
  • Add batter to muffin tin and bake for 20-24 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

In case you missed those other posts, Chelan Fresh, delicious sweet red cherries are grown in central Washington where the weather lends itself to the best tasting cherries you’ll ever have. They are sweet, plump, and juicy! Perfect for snacking on plain, baking with, or freezing for later.

Today’s recipe is all about the kiddos. Raise your hand if you have a picky eater! I’m not sure if my son is going through the picky toddler phase or if he is going to be truly picky, only time will tell.  What I do know is the new foods are not currently readily accepted. However, if I can serve a new food in a familiar form like a muffin, he is all about it! (I gave him frozen cherries in his mesh teether all the time last summer, but he doesn’t remember, so he thinks they are new.)

I’m glad he loves these muffins, though, because cherries are a superfood for kids.  They are packed with fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, nutrients critical to a growing body. Fiber helps regulate the digestive system by maintaining a healthy gut microbiome and promoting regularity. And never did I care about another person’s regularity as much as I do now that I’m a parent. As I’m sure, you know, Vitamin C is essential for the immune system, and potassium performs many critical functions such as muscle contraction and nerve function.

If you’ve been following along with this year’s produce guides, you know I’m all about buying produce in season this year. That doesn’t mean that I ONLY buy produce that’s in season, but I do try to include more in-season produce in my cart during that month. That’s because produce that’s in season tends to be at its peak nutrient density, flavor, and ripeness. It is also often less expensive when it’s in season.  Washington Cherries begin to ripen in late May and are at the peak of their season June – August.

Cherries provide 90 calories, 2 grams of protein, and 25 grams of carbohydrates per 1 cup. Kids need carbohydrates to fuel their incredibly fast growth, high activity levels, and brain development. Cherries have the added benefits of providing a plethora of antioxidants along with energy. Anthocyanins, a pigment that gives cherries their bright color are heavily researched for their high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers.  (You can read more about the latest research in pain relief, arthritis, and gout here.) Antioxidants like anthocyanins help rid the body of toxins such as free radicals, which is important for everyone, both young and old.

HOW TO MAKE BANANA CHERRY MUFFINS

This is your classic one bowl recipe! It’s super easy, so don’t blink or you might miss it.  First, smash your bananas.

Next, add all your wet ingredients, mix those up, and then add in all your dry ingredients.

Pit your cherries, I use this cherry pitter and cut them up.  How small you cut them is really a preference thing, the smaller the cherry pieces, the smaller bites of cherry you’ll have in your muffins.

Fill up your muffins tins and bake! That’s it, super easy.  Freezer friendly and all that jazz, perfect for the kiddos, or for a healthy snack whenever you want one!  KJ has been eating this every morning on our walks and loves them!

 

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