We’re pretty diligent about our fruit around here.
Each Monday finds Spence and I wandering the aisles of our local market, stocking up on whatever is on season and on sale (budgets!). Because they’re cheap and delicious, a bunch of bananas always wind up in our cart — and I don’t usually have a tough time polishing ‘em off before they go brown.
But I dropped the ball last week.
Feeling perky on Sunday morning, my energetic husband decided we should whip up some banana nut muffins for breakfast to use up the overripe stash of fruit on our counter. Because I was unwilling to wait a half hour for said treat, I proceeded to eat my usual morning meal while we waited . . . but these? Worth the wait.
And the calories.
The humble banana nut muffin may not be the sexiest breakfast item around, but there’s a reason this classic morning indulgence is so popular. I mean, really — have you ever looked up recipes for banana bread or muffins? There are, um, a lot . . . all purporting to be the best, of course.
I’m not sure if this version is “the best” — I’d need to conduct many, many more delicious experiments before I could make such a proclamation — but I will say they’re quite scrumptious. And because we had no walnuts and were baking in our pajamas, we used what we had on hand for the “nut” portion: almonds with a splash of pecans. Banana almond muffins? Surprisingly good.
Because we love doing weird stuff, Spence was also inspired to sprinkle a few of these with coffee grounds straight out of a bag. We both agreed they added nice color, but not much flavor. So if you have some grounds hangin’ around? Feel free to give your muffins a sprinkle before they go in the oven, but don’t expect a strong coffee flavor.
Adding the actual called-for coffee or espresso, however? That would be an interesting addition. And a good way to add another jolt of caffeine to your morning routine.
I need all the help I can get.
Banana nut muffins
Adapted from Simply Recipes
3 or 4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tbsp espresso or strong coffee (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.
2. Mix in the sugar, egg, espresso (optional), cinnamon and vanilla.
3. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
4 Add the flour, mix until it is just incorporated. Fold in the chopped walnuts.
5. Pour mixture into a prepared muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Muffins are done when tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on rack. Yield: 12-15 muffins.