I grew up in a family that did a lot of dessert breads. Zucchini bread, applesauce loaf, carrot cake, and of course, the classic favourite: banana bread. Since moving away from home and learning to cook for only one or two people instead of a crowd of ravenous McMichaels, I’ve gotten a bit out of the habit — on my own it can be challenging to devour an entire loaf of banana bread before it begins to go stale. But I still get my fix by making banana muffins, which can be easily frozen and then thawed out a few at a time for a good two weeks worth of snacking goodness. It’s the same old banana bread recipe, though, so you can make it as a loaf if you prefer. Just increase the cooking time to about an hour to ensure that the center of the loaf is fully cooked.
- 3 large or 4 small bananas, very ripe
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar (or skip the white sugar and use 2/3 cup brown)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or use 1 cup all purpose, 1/2 cup whole wheat)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- a pinch of salt
- nutmeg and allspice to taste
- candied fruit peel, raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, etc. as desired
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare two loaf pans or 18 muffin cups.
In a large bowl, mash up the bananas. Add the sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla; mix well. Sift in the flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and allspice; stir until just blended. If desired, fold in nuts, chocolate chips, fruit peel, etc.
Fill muffin cups or loaf pans 2/3rds to 3/4ths full. Bake about 25 minutes for muffins, or about 1 hour for loaves (until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean).
Tips and Tricks:
If you’ve got some bananas that are going too brown for your liking, but you don’t have time to make muffins right away, throw the bananas in the freezer. They keep very well because their tough peel protects against freezer burn. Then when you do get time to do some baking, you’ll have ripe bananas all ready to go.
Once you’ve actually baked your muffins, you can put the finished deliciousness into an airtight freezer bag and freeze them. They keep for at least 6-8 weeks (I’ve never had any last longer than that … they’re too tasty to leave sitting for long!), and are easily thawed out in the microwave or toaster oven.