Saturday, June 14, 2014

Banana Muffins for Everyone

So many of my weekend brunch recipes contain banana. This is largely due to the fact that bananas have only a brief time in the zone of perfection and then they become way too ripe overnight. I buy them fairly regularly and wind up with brown mushy bananas pretty often. So what to do?

Banana pancakes are good for when you only have 1-2 ripe bananas and not much time, banana muffins are good for when you have 3 to 4 and more time, and banana bread is for when you have 3-4 and plenty of time. Smoothies are also a good option, if you're feeling like not turning on the oven at all! You can peel and slice the bananas, then stick them in a bag and put them in the freezer for later use in smoothies, too, if you're not in a banana mood.

So nutty! Just right for me, perfectly repulsive to the rest of my household!

Today, I made banana muffins for everyone. Why are they muffins for everyone? Because you can pick the toppings at the end to customize for your own preferences! I live in a house full of nut haters, but I LOVE banana bread with walnuts or pecans, so I can sprinkle nuts on top and have it my way. My boyfriend and my daughter are really into chocolate with everything, so I add chips to the tops of theirs. I usually make a few Switzerland muffins with no toppings so everyone can enjoy them! 

2 tablespoons flax meal + 6 tablespoons water, mixed together in a small bowl and set aside
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups well-mashed bananas (about 3 or 4 bananas)
1/2 cup applesauce (you can add a 1:1 ratio to make up 1/4 cup of the banana if you don't quite have enough)
1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

Grab another mixing bowl and mash the banana in it. I used to use a fork, but it's easier to use a potato masher if you have one. If you can't get it to a pureed sort of state, you'll want to get a fork and make it so.  Add in the flax stuff (should be thick), apple sauce, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla, stirring well.

Pour  the liquid ingredients into the bowl with the flour and mix until totally incorporated (don't over-mix!)

Grease a muffin tin - you don't want to use the paper liners for this one.

Then place a little more than 1/4 cup of batter in each (this fills my medium muffin cups to the top).

Top with walnuts, pecans, or chocolate chips (if desired), then put into the oven for about 20 minutes (start checking around 17 minutes, especially if your oven runs hot). They're done when a knife stuck into the middle of the tallest muffin comes out clean and they're very slightly browned on top. Let them sit for a few minutes so they don't fall apart when you try to get them out of the muffin tin.

Nutrition (not so healthy, but hey, it's brunch and 2 will definitely fill a person up!)
Per 12th of the recipe without optional toppings:
167 calories
6.3 g fat
25.8 g carbohydrates
2 g fiber
7 g sugar
3.5 g protein
6% vitamin C
1% calcium
5% iron

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