Banana *Chocolate* Walnut Quick Bread Muffins

Woke up to a rainy Monday morning in Georgia and off to work I went. Tired of the granola-and-yogurt breakfast I apathetically consumed just before heading out the door, I eyed the three rapidly ripening bananas lying in the fruit bowl on the counter top and told myself “You can do better for breakfast.”

Its true! I can do better! If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then why is it the meal that we put our least expectations and efforts into? We all need a nutritious meal before we head out to get smacked in the face with another Monday. Hmmm. Maybe times need to start changing around here.
Nutrition. Definitely. But that doesn’t mean breakfast can’t be delicious, too.
That’s where the chocolate comes in. Bittersweet chocolate, so its not overpoweringly sugary, and a little more sophisticated than regular semisweet. The walnuts and the lemon juice add just the right amount of bite to offset the sweet. This is not a bread that rises greatly in the middle, its no cover girl among fancy bakery sweets. But you won’t care once you take your first bite and it melts in your mouth. Beauty, after all, is in the eye (or mouth) of the beholder.
Banana Chocolate Walnut Muffins (makes 18)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
1.75 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick of butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup mashed overripe bananas
1/2 c chopped walnuts
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Mix first 4 ingredients together in large bowl and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together in a mixer on high speed. Reduce speed to medium and mix in eggs, one at a time until well incorporated. Stir in mashed banana, vanilla, and lemon juice. Stir in chocolate and walnuts.
Measure out 1/3 cups of batter into greased muffin cups or use muffin pan liners. My recipe made about 18 muffins, yours may make more or less. Bake about 15 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of muffins is removed cleanly. Allow to cool, and then store or freeze as desired.
Now I have breakfast (and dessert) for the rest of the week!

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