Thank you to California Walnuts for sponsoring this post!
Anyone else out there scraping the bottom of the idea barrel when it comes to kid activities these days? We had a rainy day recently and I was feeling the crunch under the weight of all that indoor time. 
Thankfully, my babes love baking and the world has taken on banana bread as the go-to at-home recipe du jour, so we jumped on the bandwagon. We bake enough that I know what steps in the process are ideal for my two year old to tackle, what steps my five year old will love and what parts of the process only Mom can handle. 
This recipe for Walnut Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins is super simple, doesn’t require any tricky ingredients and features delicious California walnuts.

Did ya’ll know that walnuts are the only nut with a significant amount of Omega-3 ALA?

 Omega-3s are essential fatty acids perfect for growing bodies and complementing banana muffins. They also happen to have protein and fiber, and we all know I struggle with picky eaters, so any chance to pop nutrients into them is a win for me.

The kids and I got the batter whipped up together and let them bake over quiet rest. They made a perfect post-rest, pre-running all over the house snack. As a heads up, this recipe will make your home smell amazing! 
Let’s make them!
For a quick view of the recipe and method, scroll down to the printable recipe card! 
1/2 cup California Walnuts, smashed
1 handful smashed walnuts reserved for topping
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 handful chocolate chips reserved for topping
3 ripe or over-ripe bananas
1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1 lid full of vanilla extract 
Non-stick baking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place California Walnuts in a large Ziploc bag and have kids smash the walnuts into very small pieces (we prefer almost completely crushed into dust). A metal or plastic measuring cup is a perfect tool to smash with!
Place ripe bananas in a large mixing bowl, allow kids to mush bananas with a fork.
If you don’t have over-ripe bananas on hand, here’s a trick! Pop the un-peeled bananas onto a baking sheet and then into the oven at 350 degrees. Leave in the oven until the banana skin is dark. Let cool for a moment, peel and use for banana muffins!
Add in softened butter, smush some more, kiddos!
Add in two eggs, combine all three together with whisk. 
Once combined, add in one lid full of vanilla extract (use the lid of the bottle, fill and dump into bowl)
Add in baking soda, sugar, flour 
Fold in crushed walnuts and whole milk chocolate baking chips, making sure to reserve a handful of each for toppings. This step is a perfect toddler task!
Spray the inside of muffin tins with baking spray
Fill each muffin tin with batter. Tins will be on the full side!
Top the muffin batter with a sprinkling of crushed walnuts and chocolate chips. I let the littles do this and then just wipe off the excess before popping it in the oven.
Bake for 25-27 minutes at 350 degrees
(oven times and temps may vary)
Remove from oven, allow to cool for a minute or two and then remove from tins. Place on cooling rack and allow to cool fully. 
Yields 12 large muffins.