Bananas are a staple food in our house. My hubby eats several daily. He likes eating bananas a bit hard and slightly unripe. Takes a couple with him at night to stave off hunger pangs, which often keep him awake.
I don’t eat bananas often, but definitely prefer them ripe with speckled skins indicating the sugars have sweetened the fruit. Speckled or even slightly blackened-skin bananas (way past ripe) are ‘perfect’ for making yummy banana walnut muffins.
The day after Thanksgiving last November, we had several speckled bananas in the fruit bowl. Since we hadn’t gotten together with family (who were out-of-town) to celebrate the annual holiday, I was in the mood to do some baking. Woke up to a gorgeous sunny winter morning, fired up the wood stove to keep our kitty warm, and headed over to the kitchen to make muffins.
Banana Walnut Muffins
Inspired by ‘A World of Breads’ by Dolores Casella (out-of-print). [David White Company, New York, 1966.] I combined two of her recipes on pgs. 12 & 23.
Mrs. Casella’s introduces the Muffins section by writing:
“Muffins for breakfast, lunch, or dinner are always well received. And not to be overlooked is the fact that muffins are even more quickly and easily made than are biscuits. There is no kneading, rolling, or cutting required, the batter being simply dropped into a well-buttered muffin tin and baked.”
INGREDIENTS: (Organic, if possible)
Yield: This is a large recipe that makes 2 dozen muffins.
4 cups of organic unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
OPT: 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or nutmeg
Cynthe’s TIP: If you live in Sonoma county, Oliver’s Market carries ORGANIC spices in the bulk section. YAY! If you live elsewhere, ask your grocer to purchase organic spices, too.
1/2 cup organic sugar (turbinado or brown)
1-3/4c mashed very ripe organic bananas (4-5 bananas)
1/2 cup melted organic butter
3/4 cup buttermilk (this is difficult to find organic)
1 cup chopped organic or non-sprayed walnuts
Pre-heat oven to 400F
SIFT the dry ingredients.
ADD the liquid ingredients all at once.
Cynthe’s TIP: The single most important item to remember is to stir – never beat – the batter just enough to moisten the dry ingredients; the batter should be lumpy and rough.
FILL greased muffin tins only two-thirds full to allow room for expansion.
BAKE in two buttered muffin pans for 20-25 minutes or until slightly golden brown and done.
SERVE hot with plenty of butter and jam. Although they are plenty flavorful without any added jam. And interestingly, the flavor is almost more pronounced at room temperature (so these muffins make great snacks), though the aroma is best hot from the oven.
Banana Walnut Muffins are nice for breakfast or brunch, lunch or dinner, with the topping of your choice, butter & jam, maple syrup. A versatile quick bread they can be served alongside eggs & omelets, fruit salads, with yogurt, or eaten as a snack.
Spring is arriving early here in California, an hour’s drive north of San Francisco. And I have aromatic ‘blackened skin’ bananas in my fruit bowl. Guess it’s time to make banana muffins again before the winter’s entirely gone.