If you can’t tell by now, I love to bake.
If I could somehow get paid to bake all day, I would snatch that job in a heartbeat. I’m one of those girls who has fantasized in the past about having my own cupcake shop or cute corner bakery that serves crumbly muffins with giant cups of steaming hot coffee. Or a bakery that also serves craft beers, because who doesn’t want beer with their pie? These dreams are cliche, I know, because every girl who knows her away around a KitchenAid stand mixer has shared that dream.
This is what happens when you do not have a crafty or artsy bone in your body.
Really, though, baking is my thing. It’s my passion, after running and writing. I baked and decorated the 120 or so cupcakes for my wedding not because I had to, but because I wanted to. Honestly, I loved doing that. If any of my engaged friends came up to me and asked me to bake cupcakes for them, I would start developing recipes before they could even tell me the date of the wedding.
As much as I love cupcakes, cookies, and brownies, muffins will always be my favorite thing to bake. I think it’s because I can stuff them full of my favorite foods ever—chocolate chips, pumpkin, blueberries, bananas, more chocolate—although Ryan has kindly requested I stop stuffing zucchini into every muffin that I make. We all have our phases, and zucchini banana muffins were one of mine. Sometimes I’d add chocolate chips to them, because we should really be adding chocolate chips to everything.
You could add chocolate chips to these muffins. I totally would have, except I was out (they somehow all found their way into last weekend’s pancakes). Not that these autumn spiced banana muffins even need chocolate chips—they are delicious on their own. Ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla provide flavor and warmth. There’s just the right hint of sweetness from a bit of brown sugar and a touch of maple syrup, plus the natural sugars from the bananas.
Out of all the types of muffins out there, banana muffins are the best, in my opinion. As bananas ripen, the complex carbohydrates turn to simple sugars, which means they taste sweeter. The mushy texture of brown bananas is great for adding to batters because it adds moisture and creaminess. Admittedly, these are healthy muffins. They’re not sugary, buttery, and crumbly like a big bakery muffin. They are full of fiber, vitamins, and deliciousness, so these make a great healthy breakfast or snack.
It’s actually rare that we have ripened brown bananas in our kitchen. As a runner I’m fairly obsessed with the fruit and eat at least one a day. Mild panic ensues if I don’t have a banana to eat before my long run. (The same can be said if I don’t find my snug sparkly headband, but that’s another story.) I would let a few bananas go brown if it means I can makes these muffins, though.
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
- 2 ripe bananas
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Line or grease the tins of a muffin pan.
- Soak the oats in the milk for 5 minutes to soften them.
- Add the flour, spices, salt, and baking powder to the oat mixture and stir to combine.
- Add the brown sugar, egg, vanilla, maple syrup, butter, and applesauce to the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is just combined.
- Mash the bananas and gently mix throughout the batter.
- Use an ice cream scoop or tablespoon to distribute the batter into the tins.
- Place the pan in the oven and lower the temperature to 350 degrees.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until muffins are firm and golden brown.
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