What do you do with over ripe bananas?
Is there really a need to even ask that question?
You make banana bread of course!
It’s a great metaphor for life really - once we’ve become “spotted” or “spoiled” we can still be changed and made (in my opinion) into something better. (Better because I’d choose bananas baked into a carb over raw any day.)
As usually happens when I buy bananas, I had some that had not been eaten and had past their prime. When I saw this recipe from The Barefoot Contessa with the word CRUNCH in it, I knew exactly what my over ripe banana's would soon become. To healthy these up a bit I swapped out 1 2/3 cup of the all-purpose flour for fresh milled whole-wheat flour and replaced 1 cup of the refined sugar with 1 cup more of squished bananas (the recipe below reflects my changes. Oh! And due to allergies, I also left out the nuts). If you don’t have whole grain flour and/or don’t care about refined sugar then just change it back to The Barefoot Contessa’s original recipe of 3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar and 1 cup mashed ripe banana.
I’m sure either way you mix it-they will be great, but I can only vouch for the whole-wheat version. I also think these muffins would accompany a smoothie of the pina colada or peanut butter variety quite well.
Banana Crunch Whole-Wheat Muffins
1 2/3 cup whole-wheat flour (I used fresh milled red winter wheat)
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 extra-large eggs
¾ cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (4 bananas)
1 cup medium-diced bananas (1 banana)
1 ¾ cup granola (divided)
1 ¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut (divided)
½ cup banana chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the flat surface of the cupcake pan with oil to prevent muffin spillage from sticking to the pan. Line 30 regular muffin cups with paper liners.
- Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and alt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the melted butter and blend well but do not over mix or you’ll end up with tough muffins. Then add in the eggs, milk and vanilla. Scrape the bowl. If you are making the day before the muffins will be served, cover the batter and put it in the fridge. When you are ready to finish the recipe add the mashed bananas to the batter. Again be careful not to over mix.
- Fold in the diced bananas, 1 ½ cups granola and 1 ½ cups coconut into the batter. Scoop the batter into the prepared baking tins, filling each to the very top. Top each muffin the remaining granola, coconut and dried bananas (if desired). Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly, remove from the pan and serve warm.
I used Back to Nature 100% Natural Chocolate Delight Granola. It is very crunchy and contains no refined sugar (other than what is included in the dark chocolate chunks).
Source: Adapted from Ina Garten Recipe on Food Network