17 August 2009

Guest Blogger: Teresa and Her Magic Banana Muffins

From Aug. 2009 photos


This recipe comes from my pal Teresa, who is studying to become a librarian with me at Rutgers. Originally, I was going to veganize them, but just for fun, I tried them just as she outlines below (except that I didn't make mine in a food processor or process the nuts -- just whacked 'em with a mallet. I also used walnuts, and instead of the cinnamon, I used 1 teaspoon Pensey's Baking Spice.). I made these yesterday with another friend, Tanya, who baked with me all day. We used up all the black bananas in my fridge and freezer. More of those recipes to come.

Tanya had some lovely things to say about these particular muffins -- "A great breakfast muffin with a spinach and feta omelet." I thought that 1. they don't taste like whole wheat muffins at all (thank the stick o' butter for that one), 2. they are very light in texture, and 3. I prefer them with walnuts over cashews. Overall, they are very fine muffins which, if I had a cafe, I would serve them in my muffinry repetoire.

But, for now, please enjoy these delicious banana muffins from Teresa.


From Aug. 2009 photos


Delicious Banana Nut Muffins

I suppose I should start with a little introduction as it is not Deb writing this entry.
My name is Teresa, I go to grad school with Deb, and I am a baker who refuses to follow recipes. The general public may find this shocking, but you, loyal readers of Altered Plates, by now realize that recipes are not set in stone. I bake a good amount, usually at least one breakfasty treat and one desserty treat a week. My father is a processed food addict that seems to hate all sources of fiber, so I constantly struggle to hide good things in yummy tasting snacks. As such, I grind up all sorts of things and use alternative sweeteners a good amount in my baking.

This is a recipe for banana nut muffins. I don't know about everyone else's household, but mine often finds that it buys one or two bananas too many before they are over ripe for eating. Luckily, overripe for eating equals perfectly ripe for baking. Furthermore, if you ever find yourself in such a situation and do not have time to bake, just disrobe your banana, place him in a plastic bag or freezable container, and pop him in the freezer. You can throw chunks in a blender with berries and yogurt for a delicious smoothie, or defrost them to use in any baking recipe.

This recipe is extremely loosely based on a banana nut bread recipe from an old (1980, which is before I was born) food processor bread cook book. I changed the nuts (and ground them to hide from my father), used agave nectar instead of cane sugar, used whole wheat flour instead of white, got rid of the milk, and baked them as muffins because who can wait the 50 minutes for a loaf when you can be eating a yummy muffin in 25?

Anyway enough chatting, you are here for a recipe!

Banana Nut Muffins

Yields 12 regular muffins.

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4-1/2 cup nuts (I used raw cashews, but any nut you find yummy will do the job)
2 eggs
1/2 cup room-temp unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 - 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (I never measure such spices when baking... so this is just a general guess of how much it was)

Directions

Note: I used a food processor for this to grind up the nuts, but it is easy to do by hand if you like more chunks. I would not use beaters, however, because over beating the flour will make the muffin texture more like pucks and less like light fluffy muffins.

1. Mash the bananas and mix with lemon juice.
2. Add the nuts, eggs, butter, agave nectar, and vanilla. Mix until completely combined.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients until homogenous.
4. Add the dry to the wet in 3 or 4 stages, pulsing or mixing until just combined.
5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
6. Grease a muffin pan or line with paper liners.
7. Dole out the batter evenly. The batter should be a little short of the top.
8. Bake in a hot oven 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
9. Remove from pan when you can touch them (I have crazy baker hands that amaze friends and family with their ability to touch hot things) and finish cooling on a rack.

These muffins can be enjoyed as soon as they are cool enough to eat. Let leftovers cool to room temperature completely before placing them in an airtight container for keeping.

2 comments:

Vegetation said...

Yum! These look wonderful! I adore muffins and am definitely enjoying the muffin posts :)

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks, Veg! Am gearing up for Making Over Martha month in September. It should be fun!