Blueberry Banana Muffins and all about Dole

I adore muffins.

Yes, I like them sweet.  I think secretly, we all do.  It’s still breakfast food, but it’s dessert…without trying too hard.  And, because so many muffins include fruit (like blueberries, bananas, raspberries, peaches) – it feels like we are being healthy.

Oh, we are so cute, aren’t we?

Truth though, we could be worse.  Sure, a muffin isn’t the epitome of healthy.  But with the right combination of ingredients, it can be a great start to the day, a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, or a before bed belly pleaser.

I adore muffins.Blueberry Banana Muffins

I created this one, this Blueberry Banana Muffin, after a trip to Kaanapolis, North Carolina, courtesy of Dole.  Although I have lived only about 3 hours from there my entire life, I had no idea that there was a research facility of that caliber in my own back yard.  For two days, a select group of bloggers (how did I get there??) had the opportunity to see some of the state’s finest students and academics as they let us in on their research.  Everything from athletic performace testing to the incredible findings on bananas and recovery, we were privy to some amazing information.

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Dole, along with several of North Carolina’s top universities, share this campus and knowledge.  It is here, at the Dole Nutrition Institute that hours and hours of research is done on fruits and vegetables, and what makes them the powerful foods they are.  It seems to be a labor of love, more than anything, and the excitement in the voices of the scientists was so obvious.  They LOVE their jobs.  They like digging into the whats and whys of the foods we eat, and sharing what they find.

Like blueberry and banana research.

Did you know that by consuming a half cup of blueberries daily, you could be preserving your mind?  Potentially preventing degenerative brain diseases?  It’s possible.  More research needs to be done, but hello?  I love blueberries, and if it’s possible?  My mind needs all the delicious help it can get.

As for bananas, well, this has been proven now, and is causing quite the stir in the sports world.  Research now shows that consuming bananas during and post race, versus a sports drink, aids in recovery times and more?  Runner’s World published the article and scores of atheletes are taking to bananas.  Literally, going bananas.

So why would I NOT make a muffin using both blueberries AND bananas?

I had to.

And they are delicious.  Easy and easy to freeze if you so choose, making breakfast a breeze for as long as you have a batch to devour.  Give them a shot…I think you’ll like them!

blueberry banana muffin

Blueberry Bananas Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups blueberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare a muffin pan with cooking spray. Set aside. (Note, these make large muffins.)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until creamed. Add the sugars, beating until fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Add vanilla, beat for 2 minutes.  Finally, add in smashed bananas and beat for 1-2 minutes, until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 additions on low speed.  Mix until just combined. Add the blueberries and stir in with a spoon.

Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin.  Bake for 17-19 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges.  Keep stored in airtight container or freeze for up to 1 month.

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Disclaimer:  A huge thank you to Dole for the opportunity to visit and learn SO much. I am a proud Dole Ambassador.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.