RECIPE. May 28, 2010

Banana Blueberry Coconut Refuge

It’s dumping today. As though someone above us is pouring a rain bucket full of water directly on our existence, nonstop. No sunshine. No warmth. Just wet, cold and grey. I should be used to this by now. I should realize this is a result of where I live but it never ceases to put an overcast on my own mood. Thank goodness it’s the perfect day for baking and I have a recipe I’ve been just itching to try. It includes moist, sweet bananas and tart, juicy blueberries wrapped in a belly of sugar, applesauce, spice, egg whites and flour and topped with a crunch of walnuts and coconut. It’s meant to tease of spring and early summer. It’s the answer to cold and dreary. It warmed the house, filled it with the smell of fruit and bread baking. I might even say it perked my mood just as those muffins lifted from their tins.

It also helps to remind me about the connection between this unfortunate rain and the ingredients I’m using to make my bread. The rain quenches the thirst of the wheat, banana, apple, coconut and blueberry plants. It provides one of the basic ingredients for the spices, walnuts and sugars to thrive and thus be cultivated and used in my own kitchen.

At least for now, at this moment, while I bite into this warm, sweet and slightly tart muffin with a slight crunch, I can smile at the rain. If I grab another muffin, I might even be able to feel thankful for it’s existence.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees if making bread and 375 degrees if making muffins. Mix together flour, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, baking soda and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce and sugars until well blended. Add egg whites, bananas and vanilla and stir until blended.

Mix flour into banana mixture just until blended. Do not over mix. Gently fold in walnuts and blueberries. If using frozen blueberries then rinse in strainer until water runs clear. Coat lightly with flour and add to mixture. This keeps the bread from turning green from the blueberry juice and keeps the blueberries evenly dispersed in the mixture.

If baking bread, pour mixture into bread pan. If making muffins, fill tins 3/4 the way full. Top with coconut and place in oven. For bread, bake 55-60 minutes. For muffins, bake 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly and remove from pan. Slice and enjoy. I tend to believe banana bread or muffins are always better the next day.