Little O regularly eats half a banana and abandons the rest or declares a brown banana too “dirty” to eat, leaving us with a lot of random banana bits. I love banana in things but not raw banana on its own so I’ve been making banana bread to use up the bits. This chocolate chip one is by far the nicest I’ve ever tasted.
I am not a fan of bananas and never have been but as I have gotten older I have started to enjoy banana flavoured things as well as things with bananas in them. Mr O hates bananas to the point of being almost phobic of them but he’s very conscious of passing on his food preferences to Little O, so recently he decided he’d like to try something with a little banana in it and requested a banoffee pie. This combo of caramel, banana and cream is a British favourite and I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately Mr O’s verdict was that he could still taste the bananas and it wasn’t for him. Back to the drawing board…
So the ice-cream maker and I are now best friends and I have been experimenting with new flavours. This week I decided to combine my favourite thing – peanut butter, with bananas… which I like the flavour but not the texture of. Of course these two things go brilliantly together and the banana texture is no longer an issue for me once pureed. Plus you’d never think it was dairy and sugar free.
I have a strange relationship with bananas. I have never been a fan of a fresh, raw banana. There is something horrible about the texture that has always put me off. On the other hand I like banana flavoured things, dried banana and cooked banana (in South Africa toasted banana sandwiches are totally a thing). So when Emily and Oli, the friends that have been staying with us for the last few months before they moved to Australia, left behind a bunch of bananas I decided the best thing to do with them was to let them get really ripe and then turn them into muffins. The mashed banana makes these muffins really moist and the buttermilk ensures that they’re light and fluffy too.
Banana and cinnamon muffuns
Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon (plus extra for sprinkling)
160g caster sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
375ml buttermilk or unset natural yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
70g oil (grapeseed, corn, groundnut or similar)
400g mashed banana (from 4 – 6 very ripe bananas… I find mashing them by hand very cathartic)
Preheat your oven to 180 and line 2 12 hole muffin trays with paper cases.
Mix together the flour, salt, baking power, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl/jug mix together the buttermilk (or yoghurt), egg and vanilla. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture a little at a time and mix in with a fork until just mixed. Add the the oil and mix again until just mixed. Stir in the banana.
Fill the paper cases to 2/3 full and sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon over each muffin. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of each muffin comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes in the tray before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Makes 20 – 24 muffins