Sometimes, something MUST be done with the bananas, because nobody wants to look at them anymore. And while I have about a dozen tried and true recipes for banana muffins, banana bread, and banana things, it’s always fun to try something new. This recipe drew me in with its use of maple syrup instead of sugar. Maybe it’s the Canadian in me, but I think it’s more the experimenter.
And I’m woefully behind on blogging. I made these weeks ago! The baking-of-them memory is fading already, but not the flavor. These little mini muffins are just perfect to pop into your mouth when you want a deliciously satisfying bite of sweetness that makes you feel better for having eaten it. No guilt, nothing to fret about, just happy little mini banana muffins dancing on your taste buds and making your stomach happy. These came from one of my favorite food blogs, Lauren’s Latest; her recipes are amazing and she takes beautiful photos, of which I am gracefully envious.
And I changed the name. They’re called Skinny Mini Banana Muffins, but that makes me think of shriveled, skinny little muffins as opposed to skinny people eating them. Right? Shouldn’t the name of a muffin be enticing? Does skinny sound like something you want to eat? I will admit that it’s a good signal to those of us with … um … snacking issues, especially when you’re combing Pinterest or Foodgawker looking for inspiration. But I just can’t call them that here. I apologize.
Instead of whole wheat flour and all-purpose, I used whole wheat white and wheat germ. I increased the cinnamon, too. Everything else I kept as listed in terms of dry ingredients: baking soda, nutmeg, and (sea) salt.
Next I mashed the bananas. Banana moosh holds no appeal for me, but those black squishy bananas on the counter were even worse, so this was something of a relief.
One more bowl needed, this time for the maple syrup, olive oil, egg (instead of 2 egg whites), and vanilla bean paste.
Finally, the good part: stirring everything together.
I scooped the batter into mini muffin tins, and because I think this makes almost everything better, I sprinkled a little cinnamon sugar on top. I’ve talked about this before, but Trader Joe’s sells this wonderful cinnamon-sugar grinder that has transformed my baked goods. When I mix it together myself, there’s always waste; with the grinder, I only use what I need. Plus I love the sound, and the satisfying crunch of the grinder in your hands.
I baked the two tins separately. The one with 24 in it took 11 minutes to bake completely, the one with 12 took 13. Small measurements, I know, but they’re small muffins, and every minute matters. I’m sure the oven had cooled off a bit too by the second batch, so all that does is reinforce the very important baking concept that baking times are a guideline, not a rule.
Anyway, they smelled wonderful.
They were super easy to pop out of the tins (with the help of a toothpick or two) and cooled off quickly, which was good because by the time I was done, there were people hovering over them, anxious to try. Soft, delicious bites of banana bread with just a tiny touch of maple flavor, perfect texture, and very valuable for snack trading in the 5th grade, I’m told. In fact, three of the 5th graders have asked for the recipe, so I must apologize AGAIN for taking so long to blog them. Have at it, 5th graders!
SKINNY MINI BANANA MUFFINS RECIPE (original)
My version: Mini Banana Maple Muffins (adapted from Lauren’s Latest)
2/3 + 1/4 cups whole wheat white flour
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 cups mashed banana, very ripe (I used 4 small/medium ones)
1/2 cup real (please!) maple syrup
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
cinnamon-sugar, for sprinkling
Heat oven to 350 degrees, and spray your mini muffin tins. I used a 24-cup and a 12-cup.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, wheat germ, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and sea salt together.
Separately, mash the bananas.
In yet another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil, egg, and vanilla. Beat well.
Pour the mashed bananas and the liquid ingredients into the large bowl with the dry, and mix well, but just enough to incorporate.
Scoop into mini muffin tins and bake for 8-13 minutes. Let sit in the pan for another 2-3 minutes, then move to a wire rack.
Eat, share, trade.