Welcome to my attempt at sharing the regular mistakes I make in the kitchen. I'm constantly telling friends that I am a disaster in the kitchen, but they rarely believe me, so here is my proof. Step-by-step examples of how I ruin a perfectly good dish. Even though I ruin meals on a regular basis I still love to cook. And I am DETERMINED to become a good cook, or you know, at least make food that is edible on a regular basis.

***All stories are true and not exaggerated.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thumbs up: Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins

Oh.  My.  Yummy.

I had some extra bananas a few weeks ago and decided to try and find a whole-wheat recipe for banana bread/muffins.  I try to cook healthy for my family, my philosophy is that we eat enough garbage when we eat take-out/fast-food/at restaurants that when I cook I try really hard to make healthy, yet tasty, food for the family.

I have a regular banana bread recipe that I love, but I don't think you can just exchange white flour for whole-wheat.  I'm pretty sure you have to have some other changes or it will turn out hard and dry.  Not my idea of tasty.  So, thanks to allrecipes.com I have a winner!  I found a basic recipe, read all the comments, and with a few tweaks created a masterpiece.

Seriously, I make them at least once a week because I keep eating them nonstop.  I'm considering buying stock in a banana company based on the amount of banana's I now purchase.

My kids love them.  I love them.  My sister and mother-in-law love them.  Heck, even my husband loves them, and he is the pickiest person to cook for.

Take my advice and make sure you have some extra bananas on hand ripening while you enjoy eating the ones you made.

Whole-wheat Banana Nut Bread (or muffins):

1/3 cup applesauce (or oil, I prefer applesauce, it's healthier)
1/2 cup honey (I'm sure you could use sugar too)
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
2-3 ripe bananas
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or you can do 1 c whole wheat flour and 3/4 c flax seed, which I do.  Have you read about the benefits of flax seed?)
1/2 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup chopped walnuts ( I use closer to 3/4 cups, I LOVE nuts)
1 cup chocolate chips- optional.  I typically do 1 tray of regular and 1 tray of chocolate chip, just for fun.  In that case only use a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 325*

Beat applesauce and honey together.

Add eggs and mix well.

Add bananas and vanilla, mix well.

Stir in flour, salt and cinnamon, mix well.

Add baking soda to hot water, add to mixture and mix well.  I don't know why it says to do this step, but I actually followed the instructions and love my result, so I don't argue.

Mix in walnuts and chocolate chips if preferred.

This will make 2 pans of mini muffins, plus a row or two; 1 loaf pan; or I don't know how many regular muffins.  I don't like regular muffins as much as mini, I think mini end up moister.  If you want regular you can figure out the cooking time, that's the benefit of having your own blog :)

Mini muffins: cook 12-14 minutes.  If you do one pan at a time my oven makes them perfect in 12 minutes.  If you do 2 pans at once add a minute or two.  Toothpick test them to check for doneness (which I'm sure is not a real word).

Loaf pan:  make sure it's greased and bake for 55-60 minutes and cool on a rack for a half hour before slicing.

Enjoy!  Oh, and when you make them bring me some because I can pretty much guarantee that mine will be all eaten.

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