Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Best Banana Oat Chip Muffins...ever

My mom has (hopefully) learned her lesson.

While she was kind enough to take care of my family so I could go on a little vacation, she as usual kept herself busy "cleaning and tidying" my rather disheveled kitchen (her thoughts, not mine!)

You see, what other people sometimes see as compost, I keep.

All the dry ends of a few month's worth of baguettes sit in the cupboard above my fridge awaiting their future as breadcrumbs. Bunches of tiny celery stalks and leaves sit in the crisper until I have gathered enough vegetable stumps and ends to make my vegetable bouillon paste. And blackened, shriveled bananas fall out of my fridge-top freezer every time I open it, my bruised toes reminding me it is time to bake something with them.

When I returned from my little vacation, I was shocked that bananas weren't spilling out of the freezer when I opened it. Then I was horrified when I realized I had no bananas to make banana bread! I would never use fresh bananas, they are never as tasty or as moist as the ugly freezer ones. I may have slightly over-reacted at this discovery.

Later I came to the realization that she thought she was doing me a big favour by cleaning out my fridge and freezer while I was gone. I have since informed her of my obsessive banana-hoarding and hope that this never happens again.

I do love her and forgive her and hope she will return one day- to watch the kids (not the bananas!)

Banana Oat Chip Muffins
Makes about 14-16 medium-sized muffins
Mushy, blackened bananas from the freezer are always best for baking. Defrost them on the counter a few hours ahead of time or microwave them for about a minute before baking. I often double this recipe and freeze any muffins that don't get gobbled up immediately.

1 cup unbleached flour (or 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 unbleached flour)
1 cup rolled or quick oats
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup flaxmeal
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used grapeseed)
1/4 cup milk
*optional: 1 tsp vanilla
3 mashed bananas
up to 1 cup chocolate chips (mini ones make for delicious bitefuls!)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl (from flour to salt!)
3. Mix wet ingredients together (from eggs to mushy bananas!)
4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, then fold in chocolate chips.
5. Spoon into about 14-16 muffin cups/tins/etc. (I like to use muffin liners, but you can grease your muffin tins if you prefer). Bake for 18-20 minutes.