There are a couple of items in my freezer that call to me everytime I open it...some ripe bananas, and a small container of pecan salted caramel streusel. To me these items are calling out to be turned into muffins, which is what I did.
I have some honey that has crystallized, so I heated that up and used it to toast some oats for the muffin batter. This intensified the flavour of the oats. I found these muffins to have a lovely banana flavour, with a moist, dense crumb.
There are a few extra steps involved with toasting and grinding the oats, but the result is well worth it. Grinding the oats releases the nuttiness, and intensifies the oatmeal flavour.
Before you start heat the oven to 350F and line or grease a 12 cup muffin pan.
Start by toasting the oats.
In a nonstick pan, melt:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups oats
Keeping the heat medium, continue to cook, stirring often, until the oats are golden, and smell nutty, about 5 minutes.
Remove the oats from the heat, and stir in:
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Transfer the oats and cinnamon to a food processor, and process.
You are looking for the texture of the oats to be that of fine breadcrumbs.
Now add the rest of the dry ingredients, and process until everything is well combined:
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pour the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
For the wet ingredients, whisk together:
3/4 cup mashed, ripe bananas
1 cup milk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, and top with the streusel, if you are using it. See the notes below for the streusel recipe.
If not, bake them as they are, or sprinkle the tops with a mixture of cinnamon and brown sugar.
Bake until the muffins are puffed, golden on top and a skewer comes out clean, about 25 - 27 minutes.
Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, before carefully removing and placing on a cooling rack.
Eat the muffins warm, or at room temperature. We have been having them for breakfast, along with fresh grapefruit.
- As I mentioned, I had extra streusel from another recipe in the freezer. A quick streusel recipe is to combine 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and between 2 - 4 tablespoons of melted butter (add more butter if you want larger clumps of streusel instead of a finer crumblier streusel). Stir in chopped nuts, chocolate chips, citrus zest as you wish.
- I used 3 ripe bananas; if you have more, mash and measure them and then add milk to give a total of 1 3/4 cups of liquid in total.
- You can make the muffins without bananas...just use milk or buttermilk; add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda if you use buttermilk. Other fruit such as applesauce, pureed pears or peaches can be used instead of bananas.
- Substitute melted butter, olive oil or nut oils for the vegetable oil.
- You can buy oat flour and use it instead of grinding the oats; use the same amount. For a different texture, try grinding half the oats and leaving the other half toasted and unground.
- You can use millet flour or rice flour instead of oat flour. Quinoa flakes can be used instead of oats.
- The muffins freeze well.