Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bananas and Muffins

I don’t know what it is about muffins for breakfast, but I love them. What I don’t love are the processed flavors some of them have. 

Personally, I like a good, hearty muffin that will fill me up rather than an oily one that leaves me wanting more within an hour. So off to the kitchen I went to search through the cupboards and see what was available to me. Immediately the rapidly ripening banana situation I had going on in the fruit bowl informed me that they were quite ready to be mashed and baked into something delicious. And since I do like my muffins filling, oats and whole wheat flour would add extra protein and fiber to do the trick. I also don’t like them too sweet, so I knew I’d be using about half as much sugar as for, say, a cupcake. Now, after looking online and in my plethora of cookbooks, I decided that I’m confident enough to just make up a recipe without fear of it being, well, a failure. So I started writing down my ingredients and measurements then went into the kitchen to bake up a batch. 

Cory’s Banana Oat Nut Muffins

½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1½ cups old fashion oats
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey
1/3 cup canola oil
½ cup buttermilk
2 eggs
½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Scatter the walnuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove walnuts when the oven tells you it is up to temperature and allow to cool slightly before chopping. Combine the first 7 ingredients and set aside. Mix the sugar, honey, oil and eggs together then add buttermilk and bananas until blended. Add flour and oat mixture until completely incorporated and then add the walnuts. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or grease liberally. Evenly distribute mixture between cups and bake for 18-24 minutes. For a little added interest, top with a little brown sugar, butter, oats and chopped walnuts mixed together with your fingers either before baking or halfway through baking. Makes 1 dozen.

If you do like your muffins sweet, simply double the brown sugar and honey. I am also planning on varying the recipe to try different types of muffins. Instead of walnuts and bananas, I’m going to make a batch using almonds and dried cranberries for which I might double the honey but leave the brown sugar the same. These would also be great with a half a cup of chocolate chips either with or without the bananas. As always, have fun in the kitchen! Don’t limit yourself to your ingredients. Sometimes thinking outside the box will yield amazing results.

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