Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
I have never considered myself to be an anxious person. My freshman year of college, I suddenly fell victim to a now-hilarious, but at-the-time terrifying and debilitating problem called "hyperhidrosis," which is a fancy (and scary) term for excessive sweating. (I know, lol.) I never really got over it, either; in fact, all I have to do is even remotely think about sweating, and my palms will sweat -- literally on command. And 5 years later, it doesn't bother me. But in college, it was really all I thought about, because I would constantly worry about all these things I couldn't do whilst sweating, like taking notes in class or taking a test in class or shaking hands with someone new at an event or an interview or at church OR, even wearing a pair of sandals. It sounds completely outrageous, but I came to the point where I was actually prescribed this topical aluminum spray that had to be applied to my hands and feet at night, and then I had to wrap my hands and feet in plastic wrap and then sleep in gloves and socks.
Thinking back on it now, I can't believe how self-conscious and ridiculous I was to become so consumed with these endless thoughts of "what's wrong with me?" and "what if this doesn't go away?" and then, the worst one, "why doesn't anyone else around me have this problem?"
It sounds so dramatic. And it was. I realize that now.
But it's happening again, and it's taken on a different form: a stubborn, antibiotic-induced rash, plus a swollen lymph node, plus strange bruising on my earlobe. Here come the thoughts again - and they have consumed me entirely. Of course, the internet isn't ever the smartest place to seek for comfort; immediately, I am convinced I have lymphoma or some other life-threatening disease, and the questions for my doctor are incessant -- but they always carry the same theme: "Is this normal?"
I have never considered myself to be an anxious person, but on second thought, I think I am.
So here I am with this rash that has been present for a week, a swollen lymph node that hasn't gone down in 3 weeks, and some bizarre bruising behind my ear that has worsened over the course of 4 days. I'm keeping a tally of my symptoms and a keen pulse on any changes anywhere on or inside my body, and all of it is honestly. just. exhausting. Blood tests are underway, and in the meantime, I am doing my absolute best to busy myself with thoughts I enjoy thinking.
Like thoughts of chocolate, for example. Chocolate banana muffins, to be exact. I've eaten 3 in the past 24 hours and I have no regrets, especially since they taste even better the morning after you make them.
Perfectly moist, perfectly chocolate-y and just the right hint of banana... these are everything you want in a muffin, and you can get away with eating one for breakfast because banana. (Duh.) PLUS, this recipe is insanely easy and it's all done in one bowl, which means less cleaning up for you which ultimately means less stress for you. And we could all use a little less of that today, now couldn't we?
Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
2 overripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or other neutral oil, canola works fine here)
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon whole milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons special dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for topping
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners and grease the liners.
In a large bowl, mash the bananas with the back of a fork until only small lumps remain. Add the vanilla and egg and whisk until combined. Add the oil, milk and sugars and stir again.
Using a rubber spatula, stir in the cocoa powder and espresso powder, mixing until smooth. Add baking soda, salt and flour, and gently fold until just combined and no flour pockets remain. Fold in the 1/3 cup of chocolate chips.
Scoop batter into the muffin cups, filling about 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips and bake for 17-20 minutes, until the muffins are well-risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.