Saturday, October 4, 2014

Get Rid of Those Rotten Bananas -- Banana-Nutella Muffins

I'm not much of a cook. I used to be, but I don't enjoy it anymore. It's stressful gathering all the ingredients, following a recipe, and then cleaning up the mess. However, sometimes the younger people who live in my house need to eat, so I have to cook.

Today, one of those younger people and I decided to make a muffin recipe I found while waiting in the doctor's office. I thought it would be a great way to use up bananas that are too ripe and have turned brown. I always freeze these bananas. They stay in the freezer for a long while, and then I usually end up throwing them away. 

This recipe appealed to me because I had all the ingredients in my pantry. The only item I didn't have was nuts, but my family isn't crazy about nuts, so I was ok about leaving them out. We put in extra Nutella to make up for the lack of nuts.

Here are the ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
1/4 cup Nutella

Prep time: 18 minutes    Bake time: 22 minutes  

Here are the instructions followed by pictures of my favorite helper:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or coat with cooking spray. 
2.  In a bowl, combine flours, baking powder and salt.
3.  In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, bananas and vanilla until smooth. Gradually stir in flour mixture. Fold in nuts.
4.  Divide batter among muffin cups. Spoon 1 teaspoon Nutella on top of each cup. Swirl together Nutella and batter with a toothpick.
5.  Bake until muffins are golden, about 22 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, invert onto wire rack, turn muffins right side up and let cool completely.

Per serving: 305 calories

Using our super camera, I took pictures of the process.

We had two frozen and two overly ripe bananas to use.
Cloee lines the muffin cups. I doesn't take a trained chef to do this job, but Cloee was very precise.

I always liked how cooking show hosts put everything in little bowls. I have little bowls, too. My son, Drew, usually puts his ketchup in one for dipping his fries. 

We used To Your Health Sprouted White Wheat Flour. The recipe calls for two kinds of flour, white and wheat. We used only this flour. They turned out great! You can read about the benefits of sprouted flour here:  To Your Health Sprouted Wheat Flour

Cloee carefully adds the baking powder and salt to the flour. I included this picture because she had just painted her nails pink for breast cancer awareness. She's going to wear something pink the whole month of October. 

Here's the softened stick of unsalted butter and 3/4 cup of sugar I'm about to cream together using this old mixer. This mixer belonged to my neighbor, Anne Armstrong, who died suddenly over 10 years ago. She was such a sweet woman, and I think of her every time I use this mixer, which isn't very often, I'm afraid.

Cloee adds the two eggs to the sugar and butter mixture. She also added the vanilla here.  I know you aren't supposed to eat raw eggs but when I was a kid, I'd stop a recipe right here and taste the sugar, butter, egg and vanilla mixture. It was so good. I know Paula Deen loves "butta" but it's so much "betta" when added with "shugga." 
The flour and bananas are in the mixture now. I was going to show a picture of adding the bananas, but over-ripe bananas are not attractive. Frozen ones are even uglier.

I dipped the Nutella on the top of each muffin, and Cloee swirled it into the mixture using a table knife. The recipe said to use a toothpick but that made a big mess. The knife worked much better.

Out of the oven. 

I shared some of the muffins with my teacher friends at school, and they all raved about how delicious the muffins were. My husband said he thought they'd taste better without the chocolate. Cloee and I were shocked! No Nutella? Being the chocolate lover she is, Cloee said the muffins would be better without the bananas or with more Nutella. That's my girl.

Anyway, the muffins were good. I got rid of the bad and frozen bananas and ended up with an "I'll-make-it-again" recipe.