Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Banana-Bran Muffins


Last weekend, I finally packed up all of my Christmas decorations, including the three Christmas cookie jars I have. I think my husband was especially sad to see those go, he's quite the cookie monster! I don't have an every-day cookie jar on the counter because I rarely have cookies sitting around for us. Lately though, in the evenings or on the weekend we're looking for a small, sweet snack. I always seem to over-buy bananas, and have some in the freezer or ripening on the counter to use. While these aren't cookies, they still pretty sweet, relatively healthy, inexpensive and a great little snack. 

The recipe comes from Eating Well, one of my absolute favorite magazines. Not only is it very vegetarian friendly, but like many magazines it's seasonal and it is full of great literature. The muffins were a bit on the sweet side for me, and I even reduced the sugar from 2/3 c. to 1/2 c. I think my bananas were very sweet. In order to keep these frugal, I purchased wheat bran from the bulk bin in the amount I needed for 50 cents rather than a large jar or bag for several dollars. I love pairing nutmeg with banana, so I added a few swipes of fresh grated to the batter. I also made my own buttermilk by adding 1 tbsp. cider vinegar to the milk and letting it sit for a few minutes. Finally, I had some banana chips in the pantry, so I dotted the tops with them just so my husband would know what kind of muffins they were (not that it matters, he's gone from cookie monster to muffin monster!)

Banana-Bran Muffins
slightly adapted from Eating Well 

2 large eggs
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar 
1 c. mashed ripe bananas
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. unprocessed wheat  bran (plus extra for dusting tops)
1/4 c. canola oil
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
Optional mix-ins: Walnuts, Chocolate chips, Crushed Banana Chips

Preheat oven to 400*
Line a muffin tin with 12 wrappers, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs; add sugar, bananas, buttermilk, wheat bran and oil, whisk well. 
Pour wet ingredients into dry, use a spatula to fold mixture together until flour is absorbed. 
Spoon equally into muffin tins, place in the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
Place on a cooling rack for 30 minutes, remove muffins and serve or store in an air-tight container once cooled. 

3 comments:

Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) said...

I just discovered your blog today and I love what I see. Can't wait to read more!
These look wonderful. I just love that banana chip touch. What a great way to add interest to simple muffins!

Joanne said...

I love buying goods at the bulk bin...it's so crazy to see just how cheap certain things are when you don't buy them from Bob's Red Mill or some other crazy company!

These muffins sound delicious. We always have overripe bananas over here as well. Need to do something about it!

Alyson said...

YUM! I am a new follower! I am so glad I found a vegetarian food blog that I love. That is hard to find. Thank you!

My son would love the muffins. I will be trying these very soon!

-Alyson @ peacefulmamma.blogspot.com