Yep. We overbought bananas. Again. I think my family is secretly trying to force me into baking sweets. Somehow we always have exactly three overdone bananas left — three is just enough for a banana bread.
Since we are on a low carb routine now, making sweets isn’t the best of ideas, especially cravables such as banana bread. But I just can’t bring myself to tossing those bananas into a compost bin. Don’t know what it is, maybe my soviet upbringing, where food was cleared off the plate no matter what, but I am up for some salvage work. I know banana bread is such a trivial recipe. Everyone made it at one point or another, but this blog isn’t about being original at all times. It’s about every day things we make. Especially the things that turn out really good. And things that are so good looking. Like these banana nut muffins.
I like muffins over banana bread for one simple reason — more crust. More of that sticky, slightly stretchy, golden brown surface with chewy caramelized dry fruit stuck in it. With a muffin you get five times more crust and also (to some degree) portion control. Because when you make twelve muffins, it’s a lot more obvious when you eat six of them, not that I would do that… (oh, who are you kidding here, Yuliya, you would totally do that if no one was looking), then it would be with unspecified number of crumbled banana bread slices. If you never tried salvaging over-ripened, splotchy, spotty, “leopardy” or downright brown all over bananas, give these muffins a try. There is hardly anything else in the food world that can be redeemed in such a sweet and glorious way (well, aside maybe from Tart Tatine).
Banana Muffins with Nuts & Raisins
Makes 12 medium size muffins
- 3 very ripe bananas, peeled
- 2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
- 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup oil (coconut oil or melted butter are best)
- 1/4 cup milk
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- whatever spices you like — cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup + some for sprinkling dried currants, cranberries, cherries, or raisins
Mix flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
Mash bananas, cream them with sugar and eggs, add oil.
Mix egg mix with flour mix together until creamy and uniform.
Work in lemon zest and spices.
Add milk to form thick batter, like for pancakes.
Add nuts and dried fruit at this point and mix until evenly distributed.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease the muffin tin with oil lightly. I dip paper towel in melted coconut oil and wipe the tin with that towel thoroughly.
Distribute the batter evenly between muffin wells. Sprinkle a few raisins on top of the batter.
Bake in the lower (not the lowest) third of the oven for 15 minutes, or until muffins are risen over the top of the tin. Reduce the temperature to 350°F and lift the muffin tin a bit higher, or put a baking sheet under it. Bake another 15 minutes, until muffins are nicely browned on top, and a matchstick or a wooden skewer comes out clean when you pierce the muffin with it.
Cool on rack. Slide a butter knife between the muffin and the tin and turn around to loosen the muffins and set them free.