October 20, 2007

Super Natural Super Tasty Muffins


When I was little I didn’t like bananas. The only logical way that I can explain this is that I mustn’t have been the brightest crayon in the box. There’s no other reason not to like bananas, they even come with their own carrying case! Maybe my tastebuds were late bloomers. But eventually they came around, albeit slowly. I gradually began to enjoy bananas, beginning with the greenish yellow ones only. The second they had a speck of brown on them, I refused to eat it. At the point at which I was refusing brown bananas I was clearly not a baker. I’ve come a long way baby and since then I’ve realized that bananas are one of the few foods that get better with age. When a strawberry starts to turn from ripe to overripe the only place it belongs is the compost bin. When a banana becomes overripe there’s no end to the places it can go; banana smoothies, bread, pudding, cakes, muffins…


The recipe for these Espresso Banana muffins comes from the book Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson, the blogger behind 101 Cookbooks. I can’t help but be impressed by Heidi as she crossed over from the blogging world to being an official cookbook author, (Super Natural Cooking is actually her second book). She’s also a photographer and designer and with all that going for her I can’t help but have a bit of a crush on her. Oh no, I’ve said too much… Just make the muffins.


Espresso Banana Muffins (From Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson)


2 cups white whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups toasted walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon espresso powder
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup natural cane sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt
1- 1 1/2 cups mashed overripe bananas (2-3 bananas)


Heat oven to 375 °F and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, 3/4 cup of the walnuts and espresso powder in a bowl and whisk to combine.

In a separate bowl using a mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in sugar and eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla, yogurt and mashed bananas, then gently mix in dry ingredients; overmixing will result in tough muffins.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin (an ice-cream scoop works well), top with remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Fill cups two-thirds full for regular muffins or to brim for a big-topped version. Cool in tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 12 muffins.

19 comments:

Kelly-Jane said...

I'm really pleased to see a recipe from this book, I wondered what it was like, great healthy muffins too =)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Um . . . that sounds impressive. I like it's using whole wheat.

lynn said...

So, at what point exactly do you decide a banana's sojourn in your kitchen is over? I've got two very brown fellows roosting in my refrigerator trying to tell me that they're good enough to bake with. I'm afraid to touch them, though, in case they ooze.

DaviMack said...

Hey! Thanks for the recipe - I'll have to try the espresso powder, just 'cause it'd never occur to me to use it in banana bread!

If you swap out silken tofu for the yogurt, and ground flax seeds & water for the eggs, then you're vegan, higher fiber, and higher protein. :)

Quellia said...

I still only eat banana's that are a touch green and ignore them when the spots come up until they are ready for baking.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I just picked up Heidi's cookbook a few days ago after reading so much about it on the blogs. This muffin recipe looks really good. My bananas start to turn brown about 5 minutes after I get them home, so I'm always looking for good recipes to use them in. I love the consistency that yogurt adds to baked goods.

K & S said...

mmm this sounds really good, will have to find whole wheat flour first....

Nabeela said...

I love bananas in anything. In fact I even love bananas after they sport the brown specks!

Cindy said...

I'm intrigued that you eventually shook off your banana hatred! Although my partner Michael is quite an open-minded eater, bananas have remained a no-go zone well into adulthood.

All the more muffins for me, I guess. :-)

foodiemama said...

those sound delicious!

eatme_delicious said...

I recently purchased this cookbook but have yet to try a recipe from it. These muffins are one I want to try! Were you able to find white whole wheat flour? I haven't seen it anywhere before.

Julie said...

Brilynn,
Espresso and banana sounds so weird to me, but I love that these are all whole wheat and all-around healthy. I recently made some banana muffins I wasn't thrilled with so, I'm saving this to try.
Julie

Lydia said...

I have this wonderful cookbook and have been meaning to try this recipe. Thanks for testing it first! And I agree completely about bananas -- why did I ever not like them?!

Dana said...

These look great. I've been vacillating on adding this book to my every-growing collection...and these muffins are pretty tempting :).

Margaret said...

I too use espresso powder and I am always on the look out for recipes that use this fabulous ingredient.

Cheryl said...

So true that bananas come in their own containers! Love the combination of express and bananas.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Bri,
I like very ripe bananas to bake, but I don't like to eat them... I prefer to eat them firm and almost green!

The muffins look delish!

Annemarie said...

these sound fab. Banana bread is the first thing I ever baked n my own, so though I didn't have the same banana-mountain to climb as you did, they also hold a special place in my cooking heart.

Jeanne said...

Now I, on the other hand, disliked bananas from the first time my mom fed them to me all smooshed up when I was being weaned, and my opinion never changed. The slightest sliver of banana in a fruit salad rendered the whole thing inedible to me. Show me a banana milkshake/smoothie and I'll show you what nausea looks like up close and personal! But I have always LOVED banana bread and banana muffins, go figure. These sound just divine :)