With over 100 banana trees on our property, I am always looking for new ways to use bananas. The bananas we grow are actually “apple bananas” which have a slightly different flavor and texture than your typical banana. I don’t know if I would call the flavor anything close to “apple,” but there is a slight tartness to balance the sweet of the banana. It’s really nice. Also, they are a firmer texture, and (probably the best feature!) they don’t get bruised and soft like a normal banana. (Is there anything worse than a mushy banana??) Apple bananas stay quite firm, and even if the peel gets a bit dark, the inside still maintains a firm texture.
When the bananas look close to full-grown, or if even one of the bananas turns yellow, Dave chops down the banana stalks. He tries to get to them before some other creature does. (I’d talk about rats now, but then I’d totally get the heevy geevies.) Then we rinse them off, and pray that there are no little creatures hiding in the stalks. (I’d talk about centipedes, but…) (Country life means lots of potential heevy geevies.)
From there we usually place them in a sealed container and give them a few days to ripen perfectly. (i.e.. no creepy creatures. No heevy geevies.)
Then we start finding ways to use them. At this point we don’t have enough of an abundance to sell, but we are considering sending our boys down to the Farmer’s Market as our crops increase. (college fund?) We give a lot to friends, and then the eating and baking begins. Of course I freeze them like crazy, and use them for smoothies almost daily. We also dehydrate them, which makes for an incredibly delicious snack. They don’t come out crunchy like banana chips, but instead a bit chewy, like a fruit leather. Oh, these are good!
I think I will be organizing all of my banana recipes soon, and starting a special tab here at my site for all of them. (Great time to send me your favorites as well!)
But, I’ve found one particular banana muffin recipe really hard to beat. It’s from a book that my friend Teresa gave me years ago called “The Ultimate Muffin Book.” If you like muffins, you will find plenty (more than 600!) to choose from in this book! One thing I love is that almost every recipe has ideas for ways to switch up the muffins, with add-ins or toppings.
These banana muffins are not complicated, and if you make plenty, they can be frozen and pulled out for breakfast on the fly…Which seems to be how many of our breakfasts are done around here. *The vinegar touch surprised me, but it is subtle, and it is supposed to help give the muffins a more true banana flavor.
MOIST, sweet, and delicious….
Perfect with a bit of butter…and a hot cup of coffee.
The Best Banana Muffins
- nonstick cooking spray
- 2 cups flour I used whole wheat, but all-purpose is fine too.
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons 1 stick butter, at room temp.
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 ripe bananas
- 2 tablespoons milk or half-and-half
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tins or line with paper muffin cups.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl until uniform. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until well incorporated.
Peel and mash bananas, and add them to the butter mixture using a potato masher (or a fork.) Stir in the milk or half-and-half, vanilla, and vinegar until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the prepared flour mixture, and stir until moistened.
Fill muffin tins three-quarters full. BAKE 18 minutes, or until pale brown with rounded nubbly tops. Let cool on a wire rack for about 19 minutes before removing and serving.