Wednesday, January 25, 2012

when good bananas go bad

i buy a ton of bananas. they are always super cheap at BJ's and stenni loves them, plus usually i pack them in the hubby's lunch. but sometimes we can't use them up before they start to turn brown. once they have even a speckle of brown, the hubs won't touch them (even though that's when they're the yummiest, according to the chiquita banana song), and i can only feed the baby so many bananas at a time. so, what to do with all of the extras? well when stenni was teething hard, i used to freeze them and then give them to her (with a watchful eye on her at all times, obvs) and that seemed to help numb her up a bit. also it was super messy, which i know other people hate but i think is awesome for babies. but she's not teething hard right now, so what to do with the 7 or so overripe bananas in my fruit basket? i took 2 and made peanut butter and banana oatmeal, which is even more awesome than it sounds. we eat oatmeal a lot here because it is one of the few foods stenni will consistently eat (the other being apples, peas, and fish sticks. she otherwise doesn't like meat very much but will eat shrimp or salmon sometimes, and other fruits and veggies she sometimes loves, sometimes hates. she's a toddler. this is life.), so we make a ton of variations on the basic oats and water formula. but oatmeal with a bunch of peanut butter and some mashed bananas is one we'll definitely come back to. bonus? toddlers love to mash bananas. i'd give you a recipe, but i don't have one cuz i made it up and didn't measure. but i can say that you should use real oatmeal for this, not the super quick oats, cuz then it won't really be substantial enough and might end up kinda slimy-ish, and that's never really too great. but since i had some bananas left after that, plus i had a super-clingy baby this morning who wouldn't let me put her down for any reason whatsoever, we decided to make my super-awesome, reasonably easy, actually healthy and pretty low-fat banana muffins too. my copy of this recipe is on probably the filthiest, most vanilla and applesauce splattered piece of paper of all time, meaning it is super well-loved and i make it a ton. it was adapted from a recipe on to make it even healthier, and in my opinion, tastier too. i am sharing this in hopes that you decide to make these yourself, especially if you have a slightly separation-anxiety addled toddler in tow. toddlers, despite the goldfish-like attention span, are very good at stirring, mashing, and turning on the stand mixer, and seem to especially like lining muffin tins with paper liners. plus if this doesn't seem to be helping you can just give the kid a chocolate lollipop like i did and finish baking them yourself while you have a millisecond to walk around without a kid on your hip.
so here you go:

v's super-awesome, reasonably easy, actually healthy and pretty low-fat banana muffins
  • 2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg replacer (pasteurized, so you can lick the spoon)
  • 1/2 sugar of any type (i like to use the organic cane sugar, but these are good with white or brown too)
  • 3 mashed overripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup nonfat milk
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (you can use 1 cup unbleached white flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour if you want)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • up to 1 teaspoon cinnamon, if you want


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Use paper liners for muffin tins and/or mini-muffin tins.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gently stir in bananas, applesauce, milk, oil and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, use wire whisk to mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture, mixing just until blended. Pour batter into prepared tins .
  4. Bake in preheated pan until golden and a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes. Cool completely (or don't. they're super yummy warm. but don't burn yourself and don't feed them to your kids until they cool down).
so what do you use too-ripe bananas for? cuz i've still got a couple, and i want to use these bad boys up. waste not, want not.

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