There hasn’t been a lot of cooking happening in my kitchen recently. My parents are completely redoing it: new cabinets, paint, moldings, appliances…the whole nine yards. Thus, when I left for New Orleans, we had a working kitchen. When I returned, we had considerably less: no running water, no cabinets, no countertops, nothing. The rule for the last few weeks has pretty much been that if you can heat it up in the microwave or grill it outside and eat it on/with plasticware, it’s allowed.
Our carbon footprint aside, this makes sense when your dishwashing choices are limited to the hose outside, the bathroom sink, or a bathtub. But really, my family (coughmecoughcough) can only take so much time away from actually cooking something. Mom has bitten the bullet more than once and made eggs or chili or roast chicken – things that only dirty really one pot, but I’ve mostly been sticking with, well, eating a salad or leaving the state.
But the overripe bananas on our (brand new!) counter last night (the byproduct of having one less fruit-eater in the house all weekend) were just begging to be made into banana bread, and banana bread they became. I used a recipe I already knew I liked from one of my favorite food bloggers over at Sugarlaws. I originally made her Strawberry Banana Bread because my family had picked two pounds of delicious Jersey strawberries around Memorial Day and we needed to use up the ones we weren’t freezing (Do you have any idea how much space two pounds of strawberries takes up? Because it’s a lot.). That time, I made it into a single loaf, exactly as written, and everyone loved it – I had to take what I wanted and hide it in the freezer so that Dad and Brother wouldn’t polish the whole thing off.
The strawberries are long gone though, and in their place I used the frozen blueberries that happened to be in the freezer. Also, in my continuing quest to wash the smallest possible number of dishes, I made muffins…with paper liners (Didn’t really read the last line of that recipe, did we Katie? Rest assured though, that mine did in fact come out of their wrappers).
I absolutely adore this recipe because it’s everything a simple weeknight or morning recipe should be: it’s short and simple, and can be adapted easily with the addition of chocolate chips, nuts, or a different kind of fruit. It can be muffins, mini loaves, or one big loaf. You probably have everything you need to make it in your kitchen right now. It requires only one bowl and (if you’re lazy like me) no beaters. And it’s something that actually qualifies as a breakfast food because, drumroll please, it’s healthy. With only a couple of tablespoons of honey and a cup of (whole wheat) flour, the recipe relies on the fruit for both sweetness and the base of the batter – without sacrificing the taste. Do not overbake this bread, people. If anything, err a little on the side of underbaking it…the soft, moist texture of the banana is what this recipe is all about.
The only thing I changed, besides the fruit, was that I sprinkled a little bit of barley/wheat cereal (the really tiny kind that looks like pebbles) on the top – it makes it just crunchy enough without overwhelming the flavor like I always feel strudel does on the top of muffins. Also, mine made exactly 12 muffins, not 15, and we’ve already talked about those eensy details like not overbaking and muffin liners.
Blueberry Banana Muffins
Adapted from Sugarlaws
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
Pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup wheat and barley cereal
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine bananas, honey, sour cream, egg, and salt and stir until well mixed. Slowly add in flour and stir until it’s completely mixed. Add baking powder and blueberries, mix, and pour into lined or greased muffin tins. Sprinkle with cereal. Bake for 20 minutes, or until set.