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Recipe Fri Dec 07 2007

Going Bananas

Banana muffin 1 With all the cranberry, pumpkin and gingerbread-flavored baked goods that seem to show up in droves at this time of year, banana bread is probably the last thing on most of our minds. But I've found that there's no single ingredient that sweetens and moistens a muffin like the humble banana. And the best thing about using bananas for baking is that they don't have to be in pristine condition. In fact, a spotted, brown, past-its-prime, downright ugly banana makes for a much better muffin or loaf of bread than a perfectly ripe one does.

Banana muffin 2 And if you find yourself with a bunch of bananas about to turn too mushy to slice over your cereal, you can pop them in the freezer and pull them out weeks or months later, whenever the desire to bake strikes you. Just them give them an hour or two to defrost (you could probably speed up the process in the microwave), mash them up and add them to your batter. The recipe below would be an excellent place to start.

Banana Muffins
(adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients:
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup wheat germ, honey crunch wheat germ, corn meal or wheat cereal (I used 1/3 cup corn meal and 1/3 cup Red River cereal, which, according to the box is "Cracked Wheat, Cracked Rye & Flax Seed. That's it. That's all.")
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
Cinnamon, sugar, chopped nuts (I used macadamias)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl; beat until well blended. Add banana and milk; beat well.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add to sugar mixture; beat just until moist and no longer. (If you mix quick bread doughs too much, the finished product will turn out dense and tough.)

Spoon batter evenly into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle tops of muffins with cinnamon, sugar and chopped nuts. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Cool in pan for a few minutes, remove from pan and cool a few more minutes on a wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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