RECIPE. Aug 3, 2010

Peanut Butter Banana Love

A friend who was recently pregnant told me she couldn’t stop eating chocolate ice cream, peanut butter and bananas. You don’t have to be pregnant to understand that is a freakin good idea. I have always loved pancakes with bananas and peanut butter or even a simple slice of toast coated in peanut butter, honey and bananas. It just so happened I had some bananas that were very ripe and some peanuts that had just been ground and a craving to mix the two with some honey and flour. I had never heard of a peanut butter banana muffin but I figured it had to be out there somewhere. I took a basic banana bread recipe, adjusted ingredients to include less oil and sugar, added some peanut butter and flax for protein and fiber and crossed my fingers.

I get most of my cooking items from the bulk section at the co-op, including the flour, flax, baking soda, peanut butter, honey, eggs, sugar and vanilla. I just re-use containers and get new product. It’s an incredibly satisfying feeling to re-use what you already have to contain an item you need instead of buying bags or jars over and over only to recycle or throw them away. I gotta admit I get a cheap thrill out of filling my own peanut butter or honey, makes me feel like it made it myself.

When I use bananas in a bread recipe I prefer if they are black on the outside, even showing off some white mold. It means the insides are almost pure natural sweet sugar and will increase the banana flavor and decrease your need for sugar. I usually include one banana that is not so black and a little spotty so I have chunks of banana in the bread or muffins.

I also rarely purchase dark brown or light brown sugar. Typically I buy a jar of molasses and mix together white sugar and molasses. Brown sugar can rarely be found in it’s pure form in the US due to guidelines regarding bacteria so most brown sugar is just white sugar and molasses blended anyway. In baking recipes I usually put the same amount of white sugar into the dry ingredients as is asked for brown sugar and pour about 1 Tbsp molasses for every 1 cup light brown or 1/2 cup dark brown sugar into the wet ingredients. For example, in this recipe, I measured 1/4 cup white sugar and put it into the dry ingredients and then put 1/2 Tbsp molasses into the wet ingredients. You can also just mix the molasses and white sugar in a separate bowl and add to the wet or dry ingredients once mixed.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat muffin cups with nonstick spray or re-usable muffin cups. Stir together first five ingredients in small bowl to blend.

Beat together bananas, honey, peanut butter, eggs, applesauce, sugar and vanilla to blend.

Beat in flour mixture, divide batter among cups about 3/4 cup full and top with coconut, nuts or oats. Bake muffins until toothpick comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Allow muffins to cool for about 5 minutes then remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.