Have you ever left a bunch of fruit like bananas or pears sitting around your house until the bananas are black and you can't pick up the pears without putting your thumb through the skin? No? Because that's pretty much a weekly occurence in this house. It's a terrible habit I've taken with me into the beginning of my life away from home, much to Anders' shagrin, I'm sure. In any event, in true Gulewitsch-Broadley-Malott household fashion, we left three bananas and three pears in our kitchen for about a week. Mum was going to make banana bread with them, because that's what we usually do when we find almost-black bananas in our kitchen. This time, though, I decided to look up something different. We let bananas go bad so often and I can only eat so much damned banana bread.
What I found was honey banana muffins. It looked good to me because it has no added fat (like oil or butter), no sugar (only honey, which I somehow consider healthier) and applesauce. Of course, I didn't actually have applesauce, but I did have really soft pears and a food processor. And, naturally, I strayed from the original recipe quite a lot. I really see recipes as guidelines. Sort of like the pirates' code.
I started by pulling out the lovely Kitchenaid mini food processor that has never been used.
Then, pulsed them until they were fairly smooth, but with some solid bits remaining:
Then, I roughly mashed up the three bananas and mixed that and the pears with two eggs and some honey:
The dry ingredients simply consisted of flour (supposed to be partly whole wheat, but I was sad to discover we were out), baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon.
I omitted the salt because it's bad for your brain!
And then I let the wet and the dry meet and they had a grand ol' time getting to know each other:
It went very smoothly, if you know what I mean.
I decided to go with the suggestion in the recipe (shock, awe!) and grease the muffin tin rather than line it. With no oil in the batter, I bet these would have stuck like crazy and we would have had to eat the paper to get all the muffiny goodness.
After 18 minutes in a 375°F oven, they were lightly golden and passed the toothpick test. I let them cool in the pan for a few minutes (another suggestion in the recipe!) while I did some dishes, then popped them out and set them on a wire rack to cool completely.
I love how baked banana things get these big bumps on them. They're like banana camels.
At this point, I wished you could photograph scents because daaaamn, these smelled fine.
And then I waited impatiently for this morning when I could eat one for breakfast as I ran out the door to work.
Literally, I took a bite, took a photo, threw it in a Ziploc bag and ran out the door. And then I finished it at my desk.
Okay, so here's my new way of doing this:
+ really simple recipe;
+ no refined sugar;
+ no added fat;
+ no salt;
+ extremely moist;
+ not too dense or heavy, like other banana baking can be;
+ a good way to use up fruit you wouldn't otherwise eat.
- a little short on flavour.
I think next time, I'll use another banana and more apple/pear sauce, plus some more cinnamon and a bit more honey. The idea, I guess, is to keep the muffins healthy but punch up the flavour. These still made a really great breakfast, even if you do eat it running out the door.
This is the recipe I used for these muffins, not the recipe I plan to use in the future.
Honey Banana Muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup unsweetened pear sauce
3 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a muffin tin. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, banana, applesauce and honey and mix into the dry ingredients, just until moistened. Fill muffin cups to two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan to wire racks.
Seriously, can you believe how simple that is?!