Thursday, May 25, 2017

Platonically Ideal Banana Walnut Muffins

What's not to love about muffins? Sweet or savory, full-sized or mini - there's something inherently cozy and comforting about a basket of these little darlings on the counter. And because they require so little time or effort, you get a lot of domestic street cred bang for your buck! Today's recipe has everything you could wish for in a muffin: a little sweet (bananas), a little crispy (walnuts), and pretty healthy into the bargain, so they are equally suited for breakfast or a random snack. I get a dozen from this recipe, but people will almost certainly eat more than one at a time (the batch I made yesterday is disappearing at an alarming rate) so if you have a hungry household like ours you might want to make double; they also freeze or refrigerate well.

Platonically Ideal Banana Walnut Muffins
~ 1 cup plain unsweetened soy(or other non-dairy) milk
~ 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
~ 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
~ ⅓ cup canola oil
~ ⅓ cup maple (or agave) syrup
~ 1 tsp. vanilla extract
~ 4 large, very ripe bananas 
~ 2.5 cups white whole-wheat flour
~ 1 tbsp. baking powder
~ 1 tsp. cinnamon
~ ½ tsp. each: baking soda, salt, ground ginger
~ ¼ tsp. nutmeg
~ ¾ cup chopped walnuts
~ 1 tbsp. brown sugar

~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.
~ In a beaker, combine the soy milk with the vinegar and set aside for a few minutes. Add the flaxseed, and whisk vigorously for about a minute.
~ Stir in the oil, syrup, vanilla extract, and mashed bananas and mix well to combine.
~ In a large mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour through nutmeg). Sprinkle in the walnuts and toss to coat; this will give them some "grip" in the batter.
~ Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, stir in the wet mixture, and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until thoroughly combined.
~ Spoon the batter evenly into your prepared muffin tin, and sprinkle the brown sugar and nutmeg (if using) on top.
~ Bake in the center of the oven at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (NB ovens differ wildly, so your mileage may vary.)
~ Remove from oven and allow the muffins to rest in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. These are equally good eaten warm or at room temperature, by themselves or with a schmear of whatever you fancy.