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 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.