Muffin Monday: Banana-Coconut Muffins

I generally have bananas in the freezer. This is because inevitably, one of the bananas will toward the end of the week get just too ripe to eat (I'm more of a just-past-green banana girl myself), so I will throw it in the freezer in a bag with the good intention of not wasting it and thinking I will make banana bread when there are more bananas. There are two problems with this strategy. One is that once I have a banana in the freezer, I'm really conscientious with the next batch so that it doesn't happen again, and two is that I've discovered I really don't like banana bread all that much. For some reason I keep the cycle going anyway.
A few years ago I came across a banana muffin recipe I ended up loving, and it has revolutionized this process. Bananas now have a destination, a goal, when they go into the freezer instead, but it's still usually a long stay because the recipe calls for milk and eggs which are not usual staples in my apartment. When on the fortuituous occasion that there are bananas in the freezer and milk and eggs in the refrigerator, in a manner similar to planets aligning, I know there will be banana muffins. As auspicious conditions go, this week there happened to be such an occurrence - nd a perfect opportunity to showcase them in the Muffin Monday event hosted by Elena - so quite happily, now there are muffins.

I am not quite certain what it is about these that makes them to my mind so much different and better than other banana bread/muffin recipes, but I think it's because they are sweeter and richer to begin with and I always add more banana so they are unmistakably banana-y. This time I subbed whole wheat flour in for half the regular flour, because it's good for you and everything, which I can't say I love just as much but they're still delicious. I also threw in coconut shreds, which obliterates any healthful effects from the whole wheat but is really tasty and gives it a different flair. These are moist and dense muffins (with or without whole wheat) and don't rise very high, but they're extremely good. Leftover muffins, if you happen to have any, are good reheated in the oven with butter or peanut butter.

adapted from Bon Appetit, March 1999

3/4 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp vanilla salt or regular salt
3-4 medium-large very ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 large egg
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c 1% milk
3/4 c shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 35o F. Spray a 12-cup regular muffin tin with nonstick cook spray or line with liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt, making sure to break up any lumps from the baking powder with your fingers, to combine.
In a medium bowl mash the bananas (I find an avocado masher works great for this) to a consistency of your liking. Add the extracts, egg, butter and milk and stir gently to combine. Stir in the shredded coconut.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the banana mixture. Stir gently until just combined; do not overmix. Divide the muffin mixture evenly among the prepared cups.
Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of a muffin. Let cool in the tin about 5 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool. Eat warm or at room temperature.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooo, banana and coconut? With a little tropical fruit salad on the side, I could use these to imagine being in some tropical locale :D

4:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such happy feeling summertime muffins! Thank you for your contribution to Muffin Monday!

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These sound so good! I love bananas and coconut along with it is even better!

10:24 AM  
Blogger Peabody said...

I have made these before, they are excellent.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, sounds delicious. But how do you freeze the bananas? With skin and all or without?

9:55 AM  

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