I live in a house of banana bread lovers. Rarely does a week go by when I don’t make a loaf or three, sometimes studded with berries, spiked with ginger or layered with Nutella. It’s useful for breakfast, in lunch boxes and as an afternoon snack, and I admit to my occasional addiction to toasted banana bread slathered with peanut butter and served with hot coffee. But once in awhile I just don’t want to make banana bread. On those days I make banana muffins.
They are, of course, every bit as versatile as banana bread – add anything you like to them. When bananas have passed their prime but you’re not ready to bake, throw them into the freezer, right in their skins. When you want to make a loaf or muffins, let them thaw in a bowl at room temperature (they’ll get a bit drippy) or in a bowl of warm water, if you’re in a hurry. Open one end as you usually would, and squeeze the thawed banana directly into your mixing bowl.
Banana Bread Muffins
3 very ripe bananas
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola or other vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour (I usually use half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
a handful of raisins or berries (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, mash the bananas, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla with a potato masher don’t worry about getting all the lumps out. It will look sort of cottage-cheesy.
Add the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and stir until almost combined; add raisins or berries and stir just until blended. Divide among muffin tins that have been lined with paper liners, filling them almost full, and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and springy to the touch.
Makes about 1 dozen muffins.
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