Monday, March 24, 2008
A Surfeit of Bananas
One would think Zach and I would be the perfect couple - for using up bananas with all efficiency and speed.
While I do think we're the perfect couple (I know... apologies for the mushiness...), we somehow still manage to always have a few overripe bananas lingering about. Heaven only knows why... I love under-ripe bananas - half green, with peals still crisp - and Zach maintains that my banana preference is inedible, and will only consume a perfectly ripe banana. Hence, I usually purchase a big bunch of bananas each week (yes, a big bunch - since recently discovering that my childhood allergy to bananas dissapeared, they have become one of my favorite foods, savored at least twice a day in various forms - in cereal, with yogurt, in smoothies, in milkshakes, in peanut butter sandwiches and all by themselves...) My banana purchase in hand, I think that I will enjoy a few unripe specimens, and then in a day or two they'll be ripe enough for Zach to take charge of the banana consuming. Unfailingly, however, this method always resulted in two-thirds of the bunch falling, literally, onto Zach's plate... and by the end of the week, despite Zach's best efforts, several would have crossed into the over-ripe zone of no return. More recently, I've started seeking out both stages of bananas at once, bringing home a small bunch of ripe bananas and a small bunch of unripe bananas. Alas, despite the wonders of having our own personal banana bunches, I still wind up with over-ripe bananas from both of our collections. However... while the forboding length of this perhaps overly detailed window into our banana-eating and purchasing habits might suggest that something fearsome is in store, all is not lost... for one can always find some way to bake up those bananas.
As you might guess, we have banana bread quite frequently... Thankfully, it remains a favorite of both of ours, but the other night I was longing for a wee bit of variety... and Banana Chocolate Spice Cupcakes appeared. Lightly sweet and quite healthful, these are delightful both for dessert and breakfast! My favorite kind of dessert, indeed...
Banana Chocolate Spice Cupcakes
3/4 cups flour
6 T raw sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 T light vegan margarine, melted
2 T applesauce
3/4 cup mashed banana
2 egg whites, beaten
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup chocolate chips
*Note: this recipe makes 6 muffins - double or triple as desired*
~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin cups with paper liners.
~ Toss together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
~ Add the margarine, applesauce, banana, egg whites, vanilla, and cinnamon, and mix well until combined.
~ Fold in the chocolate chips.
~ Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean - 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold, plain or topped with whipped cream...