Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Banana Oatmeal Muffins


 Lately I've been in the mood for something banana. In cakes, breads, cupcakes, or even ice cream, I've always loved bananas, especially when they get to that perfectly delicious sweet spot where their peels are covered with little brown freckles. Before that, they're not as sweet, and after that, they go south rather quickly.
  I recently had a bunch of bananas that were just on the verge of going south, and I happened to find this recipe on a blog called Wellplated.com.  I figured, "ok, looks pretty simple, lets go for it!" They took no time at all, and boom, here I am with some deliciously moist banana muffins! Perfect! You just blitz everything together in a blender, pour it into your muffin tins, and then pop 'em in the oven. SO EASY! And they're pretty darn healthy too! (If you're one who has gluten restrictions in his diet, then this one is for you!) And the honey adds just the perfect amount of sweetness. I added mini chocolate chips, but add whatever mix-ins you like. Dried fruit, chopped nuts, it will all work!
 Better keep this one handy. I'm sure you'll be coming back to it again and again!


2 cups oats (quick cooking or old fashioned)
2 large very ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 to 3 tbs honey (depending on how sweet you like it)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp kosher salt
Up to 1/2 cup mix-ins: chocolate chips (mini or regular), chopped dark chocolate, nuts, dried cranberries, or blueberries (fresh or frozen and rinsed)


 Preheat the oven to 400┬║ F.
Lightly grease a 12-cup standard muffin tin or line with paper liners. If using liners, lightly grease them as well. Set aside.
 Place the all ingredients but the mix-ins in a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade: oats, bananas, eggs, Greek yogurt, honey, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend or process on high, stopping to scrape down and stir the ingredients once or twice as needed, until the batter is smooth and the oats have broken down almost completely, about 3 minutes. By hand, stir in the mix-ins. If the batter is warm from the appliance’s motor, the chocolate chips may melt and swirl as they are stirred. If this bothers you, let the batter cool for 10 minutes before adding them.
 Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling each no more than three-quarters of the way to the top. Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips or nuts as desired. Bake for 15 minutes, until the tops of the muffins are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack and let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes. They will deflate but still taste delicious. 

Tips:
Next time I make this, instead of throwing everything in at once, I think I'll blend the bananas, eggs, honey, yogurt, and vanilla first,  and then I'll add everything else. It might make the blending process a little easier for the blender!
This recipe says that it makes 12 muffins, but for some reason, my batch made 18, leaving me with 6 empty muffin wells in a second muffin tin. (I suppose I'll fill them a little more next time!) If it should ever happen that you're baking an incomplete muffin tin, always be sure to fill the rest of the muffin wells with water. This keeps the pan at an even heat so that everything bakes evenly, plus it keeps your pan from burning. Clever, huh?
 Wrap any leftovers tightly in plastic and freeze for up to 2 months!

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