banana recipes, revamped!

my farmer man brought back two huge bunches o’ bananas from the farm last week… so i have been baking and he has been experimenting with drying them in our fancy new food dehydrator.  i wanted to bake lots of creative fun things with bananas, but i can’t really think of very much beyond breakfasty goodies such as muffins scones and breads.  other fruits make themselves so available for desserts, but…… banana pie? banana tart? banana ice cream? that just doesn’t do it for me.  and the super chilly weather here on the mountain make custards and pies completely unappetizing right about now.

the first recipe was a double recipe of simple banana bread, made in a regular 9 x 5 pan to give away, two small loaves for us, and some minis in the cutest little pans ever- and they worked better than i imagined.  how adorable are these pans? these ovenproof stoneware mini baking dishes were a random purchase from pier one; so cute i went back and bought four more!  baked goods cook very well in them, and they do not get greasy like my silicone baking cups.  while this recipe was good, it was not quite there, and the problem was the ripeness of the bananas.  a note to self and others, in case you did not know… bananas need to be brownish (at least brown-ing) before baking with them; otherwise the sugars have not developed as much and the texture is too stiff.   i knew that already, but the dull results from this baking excursion simply reinforced the point!

a few days later i revamped some of my other recipes from previous postings, including yummy add-ins and different preparations.  this recipe for pineapple & banana muffins/bread is much lighter and sweeter than other banana breads with added sweetness from fresh crushed organic maui pineapples.  this new version of my crunchy chocolate banana muffins were also much lighter (thank you spelt) and softer (not overbaked) than other versions i made previously.

pineapple-banana muffins (maui babe muffins!)

for the topping:
1/4 cup crushed pineapple
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

for the batter:
1 cup rolled oats, ground to flour in your processor
1 cup spelt flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup turbinado sugar or brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp seasalt
4 apple bananas (or two regular-sized bananas) = about 1 cup mashed banana
1/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained (grind up some fresh in your processor and drain the juice into a bowl)
¾ cup total liquid (use half soymilk and half fresh pineapple juice)
1/3 cup liquid coconut oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease your muffin pan (or use liners). Mix together the topping ingredients and set aside- this is for the gooey frosting. Blend 1 cup of whole oats in the food processor; sift other dry ingredients into a large bowl, except the sugar. Blend the bananas, sugar, oil and milk/juice in the food processor until well blended, then add the wet ingredients and crushed pineapple to the dry and mix gently.

Fill the greased muffin tins nearly full and bake for 30-32 minutes. after the muffins have cooled a bit spread some of the topping on the muffins tops… of just eat it by the spoonful… yup, it’s that good!

heavenly crunchy chocolate banana muffins in the morning :)

crunchy chocolate banana muffins

for the topping:
2 tbsp oats
2 tbsp uncooked amaranth grain
1 tbsp cocoa + 1 tbsp sugar or hot chocolate mix (i like ghiriardelli)

for the batter: (same base as recipe above but such different results!)
1 cup rolled oats, ground to flour in your processor
1 cup spelt flour
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup turbinado sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp seasalt
¾ cup ‘milk’ (i used ½ cup coconut milk and 1/4 cup almond milk)
4 apple bananas (or two regular-sized bananas) = about 1 cup mashed banana
1/3 cup coconut oil
½ cup coconut flakes (not the shredded kind, the flaked/shaved coconut gives a nice crunch inside)
1/4 cup cacao nibs

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease your muffin pan (or use liners).  Mix together the topping ingredients and set aside- this is for the crunchy topping. Blend 1 cup of whole oats in the food processor; sift all other dry ingredients into a large bowl. Blend the bananas, oil and milk in the food processor until well blended, then add the wet to the dry and mix gently. Toss in the coconut and nibs and stir gently.

Fill the greased muffin tins nearly full, then sprinkle topping on each (i actually only got 11 muffins from this recipe). Bake 28 minutes for muffins- do not overbake!   Not all of the topping will stick… so expect some crumbs! enjoy with your favorite beautiful banana farmer… or your friends!

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