Healthy(ish) banana and blueberry muffins

Happy New Year to you all!
I hope santa was good. I got a beautiful, beautiful Kitchen Aid, so all my dreams have basically come true, as well as some unbearably adorable measuring spoons, pictured. This probably won't mean much to anyone who isn't unnaturally into baking, however.
This festive season has, shamefully, been more about eating than cooking for me. Not that I have any regrets. But since it's the New Year I thought I would start off with a recipe blog, albeit a very simple but none the less a satisfying one.

In January, it's all too easy to get carried away with the idea of shifting the Christmas weight but I, as an obviously sound medical advisor (...), think it is probably dangerous to go too far all at once. SO, this recipe is for kinda healthy, kinda not banana and blueberry muffins. It is ridiculously easy to do, you will probably have all the ingredients  and it's also economic, in that it gets rid of the mushy, black, dad-wouldn't-even-eat-them bananas that are inevitably left forgotten in the fruit bowl.

This recipe is from one of my favourite cookbooks, Nigella Lawson's 'How to Be a Domestic Goddess' although I added blueberries to half of the mixture myself. The muffins aren't the prettiest of puddings to say the least but they are tasty and simple to make - here's how.

To make twelve little muffins (I originally had nine but a bit of mix re-shuffling resulted in twelve dinky ones) you will need...

  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large, very ripe bananas (or three little ones)
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt 
  • 12-bun muffin tin + cases
How unbelievably cute?!

  1. Preheat the oven to 190degrees C. Put the butter, honey and vanilla extract in a pan on a low heat until the butter is melted and it's all golden and lovely. Set aside. 
  2. Mash the bananas until they resemble baby food and, in another bowl, measure out the flour, bicarb, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. 
  3. Mix the butter mixture with the mashed bananas and then mix into the flour mixture until there are no clumps of dried flour left. Don't over mix, as Nigella says "you will have a not terribly attractive lumpy sludge" and she is right. If you want to add blueberries, now is the time. Fold them in gently. I have a hunch that chocolate chips would work equally well.
  4. Fill your muffin cases until they're two thirds full. As I said I originally had nine biggish muffins, but I took a teaspoon of batter from each and ended up with 9, small but perfectly formed specimens. 
  5. Cook in the oven for about 20 mins, but keep an eye on the colour, mine were just catching when I took them out. Leave them in the tins to cool for five minutes, and then on a wire rack until they are cooled, unless you want to eat them warm. 

Easy! One of my favourite things about this recipe, aside from the end product, is how utterly amazing they make your house smell when you're cooking them. Like warm vanilla and banana custard. They go great with coffee for breakfast or just as a snack and are probably my favourite way to use squishy bananas. Tip - if you don't feel like baking the instant your bananas go black, stick them in the freezer and they will keep until you are feeling domestic goddess-like, simply defrost before you go.

Another thing I want to quickly mention is the book I got from my lovely uncle David for Christmas. David has impeccable taste so I am always really excited when I receive a book for a present and this Christmas's gift was no exception. I'm not quite finished it yet, but it is the most enjoyable book I have read in a good while. This may of course be because reading for pleasure doesn't exist at university, but I am willing to believe it's probably something to do with the book itself too. It's called 'The Circle' and it's by Dave Eggers, an author who I hadn't come across before. I don't want to say much with regards to the plot, but if you like modern, funny and thought provoking fiction, I would definitely recommend it. 

I'm going to go and finish the last chapter with a muffin.

Lindsay x 


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