What to make, what to make…I really wanted to try something new with the 3 revoltingly overripe bananas in my kitchen. And I was in a hurry because I picked up a new laptop this morning so I could blog more portably, so I wanted something simple. I struck banana gold with this one, because it IS simple, and straightforward, and delicious. Perfect amount of oats, flour, and buttermilk to create a soft but solid texture, bursting with banana flavor.
I read a bunch of reviews before I got up & running, and decided to make muffins instead of a quick bread and start things off by soaking the oats in buttermilk. It wasn’t very attractive, but it still seemed like a good idea.
I stirred, then set it aside and left it alone, moving on to the dry ingredients. Instead of all purpose flour, I used a mix of whole wheat white flour and toasted wheat germ, and added the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. There weren’t any spices in this recipe, so I added two teaspoons of cinnamon and half a teaspoon of grated nutmeg. Seemed like the thing to do.
I whisked it together, then took another look at the recipe and realized I’d forgotten the sugar. It called for 3/4 cup of white sugar, but I put in 1/2 a cup of brown instead.
In another bowl, I mashed the bananas.
I added the vanilla, oil, and gloppy oat mixture, then beat two eggs lightly and poured them in as well.
Once that was thoroughly mixed, I poured it into the larger bowl with the dry ingredients.
I folded just until the flour was properly incorporated, then stopped. I wanted these to be as fluffy as possible.
And then I used an ice cream scoop to get the batter into the muffin cups. Normally I use a tablespoon, but I’d been watching Bobby Flay make brunch the night before (on tv, not in my kitchen, or his) and I noticed he used one and it look a lot less time than a tablespoon. Granted he had one with one of those sliders in it to push the batter out, and I don’t, but I still liked the idea so I tried it. It worked nicely, plus I love when I have enough batter to get those cups pretty full.
I figured I’d have to change the temperature a bit for the muffins vs. a loaf. I had heated the oven to 400, so I put the tray in and reduced the temperature to 375, and set the timer for 15 minutes. By 18, they seemed perfectly done. They’d puffed up nicely and smelled like bananas.
I gave them five more minutes in the pan, then moved them to a rack to finish cooling.
These were a total score in the world of banana muffins. They’re soft and fluffy, but the oats give them some heartiness, and the banana flavor is strong and blends perfectly with the subtle spices. You can savor these, and they’re nicely filling and satisfying. An exercise in balance, these muffins are, it’s like all the elements just came together in perfect muffin harmony.
BANANA-OATMEAL BREAD RECIPE (original)
My adaptation: Banana Oatmeal Muffins (adapted from Food.com)
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup 1% buttermilk
2/3 + 1/2 cup whole wheat white flour
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 cup mashed overripe bananas (I used 3 medium)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 eggs, beaten
Heat oven to 400 degrees, you will reduce the temperature later. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.
Stir the oats and buttermilk together. Let them soak until you need them.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In another bowl, mash the bananas. Add the oil, vanilla, beaten eggs, and the oats & buttermilk mixture. Stir well to combine.
Add the mixture to the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix, stopping as soon as the flour is fully incorporated.
Scoop the batter into muffin tins, then reduce the temperature to 375 and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let them sit in the tin for another five minutes, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.