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Banana-nana Muffins

February 8, 2012

What makes some banana breads and muffins stand out more than others? Easy – more banana!

This is an incredibly quick, no-fuss recipe… best of all – one bowl only!

forgot the egg for the shoot, not the recipe

OK everyone, time for a pop quiz. I’m one of those odd ones who enjoyed a good pop quiz in school, especially in spelling and math. So sharpen your pencils. No, no, we’re in the digital age, put the pencils away.

Which of the following bananas would you use to make banana bread?




d) a & b

e) b & c

                  f) all of the above

Answer: (drum roll, please)   d) a & b

You want to use freckled bananas. Just-ripe bananas are great for eating, but when they still have a bit of green on the edges, they won’t mash as easily and won’t be as sweet. Choice (a) looks gross but that’s what happens when you put a perfectly freckled banana in the fridge to wait for banana cousins to join him. Just don’t keep him in the fridge too long. How long is too long? Glad you asked – can anyone help out with a response? I do know I once kept a banana waiting for far too long and it wasn’t very nice (let’s not go there).

The only trick is putting away 3 speckled and freckled bananas (the best for this type of activity) in the fridge for this recipe before you or someone else eats the ones sitting on the counter.

Six Muffins and a Mini

Come & get 'em



3/4 c. canola/safflower oil or 6 oz. butter, melted & cooled
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 egg
1 t. pure vanilla (we mean the good stuff, always the good stuff)
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. cloves
1 c. unbleached flour
1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. walnuts
1/4 c. 2% Greek yogurt OR Daisy light sour cream OR 1/4 c. milk/almond milk/soy milk
Note: Only have unbleached flour in the house? Then use 1 1/2 cups and we won’t tell anyone on you.
Optional: You can sprinkle a few chopped walnuts on top of muffins/bread before baking.
This is a small recipe for when I have 3 bananas in need of quick action in the house. I’ve seen recipes calling for 5 bananas but bananas don’t pile up in this house. The Novio moves the banana inventory along. I’ve found that this configuration  doesn’t yield a dozen muffins – it’s more like 9. I do this often, and I tend to use a 6-cup muffin tin and fill one MINI-loaf tin (note the irony of typing the word mini in CAPS) with the excess. You can also do ALL mini-loaf tins and it will fill three. Also, you can probably put the whole batter in an 8″ loaf pan and extend the baking time. Suggested times are below.


Pre-heat oven to 375°.

Mash bananas in large bowl. Mix in oil with wooden spoon, followed by sugar, egg, vanilla and spices.

Sprinkle baking powder and salt over mixture. Add half the flours and nuts, then the yogurt (or sour cream), followed by the rest of the flour and nuts. Stir until just barely combined.

Pour into greased muffin tins or mini loaf pans (coated with light cooking spray).

Bake the muffins for 23-25 minutes.on center rack. If doing a mini-loaf, bake that for 30-32 minutes. If you like, pour the whole batter into an 8″ loaf pan and if there’s any left over, pour the rest into a mini loaf pan. Bake the 8″ loaf for about 45-50 minutes. Times can vary, depending on your oven. Best thing is to check by inserting a toothpick a few minutes before. You’re looking for a few crumbs on the toothpick or a dry toothpick. Also, the tops should be brown and firm to the touch.

Cool on rack or on stove for a minute, then remove the muffins from tins. The loaves should be thoroughly cooled before removing, at least one hour, or slice it directly from the loaf pan like I do!

bb tip: Want to turn a muffin into a cupcake?

Muffin actng like Cupcake

Add a smear of frosting! Yeah, I know, muffins are sturdier  and cupcakes are cakier and generally fluffier. But who really cares? Not your happy eaters, that’s for sure. This is all about pleasing yourself and those around you.

I had some leftover frosting, an excellent lower fat adaption, (from carrot cake cupcakes) in the fridge . It holds surprisingly well and because I don’t use a lot, I usually have leftover when I make it. Give it a good stir and it’s ready for smearing. Great on graham crackers or ginger snaps too.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8-oz.) package reduced-fat (like Neufchatel) cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3/4 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 t. vanilla

In a stand mixer, beat all ingredients on medium until fluffy. Chill frosting for 20 minutes, or until it’s set up enough to spread smoothly. Enough for 24 cupcakes or more!

One Comment
  1. I hated those quizes in school, but I’m more mature these days and I know the answer. Ripe bananas belong in the freezer where they can wait, in their original jackets, until you need them for baking.
    I love banana bread, the darker the better. These muffins look perfect!

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