These muffins could easily be thrown into a category I like to call ‘power muffins’. In the summer months, I find myself to be even more active than I am in the winter. My body recognizes that and naturally craves healthy, energizing fuel. I often forgo the Cliff bars and trail mix packages for homemade snacks.

This sturdy muffin, loaded with granola, banana, whole grains, and nuts is a nice reward at the top of a climb. If I wasn’t making these as an afterthought to use up the bananas ripening in my counter top fruit bowl, I probably would have played around with the flour ratios a little more. Perhaps add some oat or quinoa flour, maybe some flax seeds, and a handful of chia seeds.

For a sweeter treat, chocolate chips or espresso powder would be a delightful touch too.

I first started making these muffins back in my college days, when I was obsessed with Ina Garten, and this is a great banana muffin recipe. Not too heavy, full of banana flavor, and the right mix of crunch. I’m glad to have created an adaptable altitude variation so that my friends and I can still enjoy them during summer hikes to alpine lakes, on fly fishing excursions, or road trips further west.

The recipe makes a generous amount, so stick some in the freezer to have on hand for guests or to pull out the night before your next hike.

How to make this recipe:

Banana Crunch Muffins (adapted from The Barefoot Contessa by Ina Garten)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 mashed very ripe bananas
1 diced ripe banana
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup granola

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Pour the butter mixture over the dry ingredients and fold until almost combined. Add the bananas, walnuts, and granola, and fold gently until just mixed.

Portion into paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup to the top. Bake for about 20 minutes until the centers are set and the muffins are a light golden brown along the edges. Cool slightly and remove from the pan. When completely cooled, wrap the muffins to stick in your backpack!

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