whole wheat roasted banana muffins

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I first made these muffins on a whim, I had two super-ripe (on the verge of garbage-can-ripe) bananas sitting in my fruit bowl begging not to be thrown away. I stared at them for a long time, thinking,  relatively certain that every banana bread recipe in the world requires more than two bananas. I could have made some banana pancakes, but at 7:00 PM on a weeknight (after we had just eaten dinner) it might have seemed just a touch odd to start making pancakes.

So, I pondered a moment and decided in a moment of genius to ROAST the bananas. In my big dinosaur brain I figured with SAT-style math equations that two ripe bananas plus the roasting power of the oven (divided by the square root of the deliciousness of regular banana bread) should equal the flavor of at LEAST three bananas… Then I decided to amp up the flavor with a bit of whole wheat flour and tweaked the moisture content just a bit to make sure the texture doesn’t go bananas on me (ha- get it? BANANAS).

Et, voila!

Banana bread was had. Well, banana MUFFINS, to be more exact. But in my world banana “muffins” are really just banana bread poured into a muffin tin.

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They ended up being FRIGGIN DELICIOUS and I couldn’t wait to share them with you guys… except that I didn’t have any to share. Because instead of sharing them with you I shared them with my belly. So I had to buy some more bananas and play that dreadful game we all play when we want to  make banana bread: The Waiting Game.

Buy bananas now, eat banana bread in 5 to 10 days.

Must not consume all of the bananas before said day arrives.

I also fully intended, now that I had purchased a surplus of bananas specifically to make these muffins, to do that thing where you bake a slice of banana on top of the muffin and it looks super pretty.  Unfortunately, due to a fierce smoothie addiction that is apparently contagious (since FH caught it), I ended up with the same issue as last time – only two bananas.

No extra banana fanciness. Maybe next time. For now, make the bananas, maybe press a piece of sliced banana in the top and let me know what kind of magic happens. Throw on some streusel while you’re at it, or stir in some chocolate chips… Or, if you’re evil like me, trick your Future Husband (or person of your choice) by whispering to them menacingly after they’ve raved about how good the muffins are, “Psst – they have whole grain flour in them…” and watch the color drain from their face as they stare at you in horror for making them eat something (almost) a teeny bit healthful.

You monster.

roasted banana muffins

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 9 to 12 muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Ingredients

  • 2 (or 3) ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup neutral vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (I used 2/3 cup regular all purpose + 1/3 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Place unpeeled bananas on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet (for easy clean-up) and roast about 20 to 30 minutes until completely blackened. Remove from oven and cool slightly until cool enough to handle.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour(s), baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. In a large bowl, mash roasted bananas. Once the bananas close to room temperature, whisk in the sugars and oil until incorporated.
  5. Add the egg and stir to combine.
  6. Add the flour in two additions, and gently fold until combined, being careful not to over-mix.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs clinging to it.

Notes

*If you would like to top these with streusel or just a bit of crumbled brown sugar, it will yield a slightly sweeter muffin.

*You can still see little chunks of banana in my muffin - if you don't want chunks just mash your bananas to be chunk-free!

*These were great with 2 bananas (which was all I had on hand) but if you want to add a third banana (mashed or chopped) I would keep the rest of the ingredients the same.

http://wee-eats.com/2014/03/11/whole-wheat-roasted-banana-muffins/

supermarket hack: home made wheat thins

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Wheat thins are a tasty snack that you’re supposed to feel good about eating. Not that they’re necessarily good for you, but for some reason once you put “wheat” on the box, you get warm-fuzzies inside when you see it. I don’t know if any of you have tried making Cheez-its, but I came to the discovered that anytime that you can take something that you would normally buy in a box and make it yourself, you feel better about eating it. No more words you can’t pronounce, no more preservatives or artificial flavors. While I tend to go for more… let’s say “decadent” recipes, it’s good to mix it up with a (relatively) more healthful one every now and then.

So, my health-conscious friends, this is for you. While I tried to be ultra-healthful by using 100% whole wheat flour, I can’t feel good about recommending you do the same. It made the texture and taste just a little bit off. I would suggest using a mixture of whole-wheat and white flours, which is actually what Nabisco uses (who knew). I would also recommend not rolling them quite as thin as the original recipe requested.

The recipe below will include the original measurements, and my notes if you want to skip that whole “trial-and-error”/”learning-from-your-own-mistakes” business and get straight to the good stuff. Upon reading the box ingredients, I might try these again with a few adjustments… :)

Home-Made Wheat Thins

[ Printable Recipe ]

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (I recommend a mixture of whole wheat & white)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for topping
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Add the flour, sugar, salt and paprika to a the bowl of a food processor, pulse for a couple seconds. Add butter and pulse until the mixture forms small beads (just a couple seconds).

3. Combine the water and vanilla in a small measuring cup and add to flour mixture. Pulse until dough comes together into a ball. Divide the dough into 4 pieces.

4.   Work with one piece at a time, keeping the others covered with a towel so they don’t dry out (i kept mine under the upside-down food processor bowl). Roll into rectangle on lightful floured surface, lifting and turning to make sure it doesn’t stick. You want to roll the dough as thin as possible (they recommend 1/16″-thick, which I thought was a little too thin).

5. Transfer your rectangle to a sheet of parchment. Use a pizza cutter to cut the rectangle into squares about 1 to 1-1/2 inches wide. You don’t really have to separate them, if you remember from my cheez-its, they will bake just fine if you don’t take the time to separate them. (Although these aren’t going to poof like the cheez-its did)

6. Sprinkle the squares lightly with salt.  Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the remaining 3 pieces of dough.

7. Bake the crackers, one sheet at a time, until crisp and browned, about 5-10 minutes.  If some begin to brown too quickly, feel free to remove them while the rest bake away. They will cook quickly so KEEP AN EYE ON THEM.  Once brown and crisp, transfer to a plate to cool.  Once cooled, store the crackers in an airtight container.

* If they are still warm when you put them in the container they’ll end up gross and soft – so don’t do that.

[ Adapted from KAF ]