Banana Oat Muffins

It’s summer in New England which means that our weather has changed to incorporate heat & humidity on the regular, thus speeding up the decomposition process for our room-temperature fruits & veggies.  Bananas are no exception to this, and when they turn completely brown I pop them into a container and store them in the freezer until I get a hankering to bake something with bananas in it.  This muffin recipe is not your standard sweet, dense banana bread.  The crumb on these muffins is light & fluffy thanks to the oat flour, and the sweetness is minimal.  The muffins toast up beautifully and are really lovely with a little smear of butter.

Yield 12 standard muffins

Ingredients

1 cup / 145 grams whole wheat flour
1 cup / 120 grams oat flour
1/4 cup / 25 grams old-fashioned oats (plus extra for sprinkling on top)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup / 300 grams packed mashed ripe banana (2-3 large bananas)
2 eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup whole milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a standard sized muffin tin with butter or cooking spray or line with liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the wheat & oat flours, ¼ cup of oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the mashed bananas, eggs, honey, canola oil, milk, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined, taking care not to over-mix.

Divide the muffin mixture evenly into 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle the muffin tops with rolled oats. Bake muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Banana Oat Muffin

Blueberry muffins studded with sunflower seeds

Ingredients

½ cup / 113 grams softened unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups / 251 grams granulated sugar
2 eggs (to bring them to room temperature, pull them from the refrigerator and set them in a dish 15 minutes ahead of mixing this recipe)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups / 240 grams all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup milk (whole milk will have the nicest mouth feel, but any milk may be substituted)
2 cups / 200 grams blueberries, washed, drained and picked of stems; leave 1 cup whole berries and halve 1 cup
½ cup / 66 grams raw sunflower seeds (set about 1/3 of the seeds aside to be used on top of the muffins)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit.

If you’re using muffin tin liners, pop them into the tin now. If not, grease your muffin tin with some soft butter and lightly flour, making sure to knock out any excess.

Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (on a low speed- we’re not whipping air in here) after each addition. Remember to stop the mixer & scrape down the sides of the bowl & the beater for proper distribution. Add the vanilla.

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together into a separate (medium sized) bowl. Add this dry mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk in 3 batches.

Fold the berries & 2/3 of the sunflower seeds into the batter.

Using a #2 scoop, portion the batter into the 12-cup standard muffin tin. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the sunflower seeds over the tops of the muffins and bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Remove the baked muffins from the tin and cool for at least 30 minutes on a wire rack. Store, uncovered, else the muffins will be too moist the following day.

Blueberry muffin studded with sunflower seeds

Lemon-lavender muffins

From the edge of winter, my mind is already on the brink of spring (which officially kicks off in 16 days- not that I’m counting or anything) and all of its sunshine, happy flowers, and fabulous flavor trends.  Top of my thoughts this week has been lavender and creating these refreshing floral muffins that pop with the brightness of lemon in the background.  They are moist, and just sweet enough to soothe a craving without being over-the-top.  I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do!

Because the baked muffins take a dip into a butter bath, cupcake liners may be tough to use, especially if they peek above the crown of the muffin.

Ingredients
Muffins
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons lavender buds (rolled between your hands to release their flavor)
Zest of one lemon
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup whole milk
½ cup plain kefir (or plain yogurt or sour cream)
Topping
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon lavender buds (rolled between your hands to release their flavor and break up some of the buds)
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted (in a small rice bowl)

Alternate Topping
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon lavender buds (rolled between your hands to release their flavor and break up some of the buds)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

 

Directions
Muffins
Preheat oven to 375° and spritz the cups of a standard 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest and set aside. Measure the milk and kefir together in a measuring cup meant for liquids and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and 2t lavender buds in a large bowl until they are light and fluffy. Using a low mixer speed, beat in egg, then add the vanilla and lemon juice. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with milk/kefir.

Divide the batter evenly among muffin cups (I found that a number 2 scoop worked perfectly for this) and bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let the muffins cool for five minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack.

Topping
Mix the sugar and 1t lavender buds in a small rice bowl. Working one at a time, dip the tops of muffins in melted butter, then roll them in lavender sugar.

Alternate Topping
Mix the sugar and lemon juice in a small rice bowl until it forms a thick but pourable/dippable consistency. Working one at a time, dip the tops of muffins in the glaze, then sprinkle lavender bits over them.

Store the finished muffins in a tightly sealed container at room temperature. Depending on room temperature and humidity levels these will keep for 4-5 days (if you manage not to consume them all before then).

Only 3 full days left until Christmas…

…and all I have to have finished by Friday afternoon is:

and as soon as that’s all done I need to prep a cranberry french toast bake and make & decorate a birthday cake for Gram.  Not too bad….

J