It’s high time for muffins to make a comeback.
Forget about the greasy, overblown, sugar-laden, crumbly versions at convenience stores, coffee shops and buffet lines. I’m talking about homemade muffins, warm from the oven, overflowing with goodness, and personalized to your tastes. They’re delicious, inexpensive, comforting, nutritious, and deserve first-place status as one of the first–and best–portable breakfasts.
If you need a place to start, look no further than the browning bananas on your countertop.
Brown bananas–even almost black, weepy, borderline scary bananas–are exactly what you need for great muffins. The natural sugars intensify, so much so that you needn’t add much, or any additional sugar. I’ve added a small amount of dates to this recipe (I love the subtle brown sugar flavor they impart), but you could add a bit more banana in their place.
Here I’ve combined them with oats two ways: oat bran + oat flour (use ready-made, or grind rolled oats in a food processor or blender). Oat bran was pretty trendy stuff in the 1980s, but it rarely makes appearance in contemporary baking and cooking. Yet it is a fantastic ingredient in quick breads, like this recipe, adding fiber, yes, but also a nubby texture and nutty taste that is extremely satisfying.
To give these muffins extra morning appeal, I’ve pumped up the protein and cut back on fat with another 1980s-era ingredient: cottage cheese. Don’t worry, you won’t know it’s there, but you will know that these muffins are exceptionally moist and will satisfy the most powerful morning hunger.
Of course, a slather of your favorite jam (mine is plum) makes the morning that much brighter! Happy baking!
- 1 cup oat bran (gluten-free as needed)
- 1 cup oat flour (gluten-free as needed)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ cup packed soft dates (soak in warm water to soften, if needed)
- ¾ cup nonfat cottage cheese
- 2 large, very ripe bananas
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup milk
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with liners.
- In a large bowl, combine the oat bran, oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- In a food processor, process the dates and cottage cheese until completely smooth. Add the bananas, eggs and milk; process until smooth.
- Add the cottage cheese mixture to the oat mixture, stirring or whisking until blended. Scoop into prepared cups.
- Bake in preheated oven for 17 to 22 minutes center is firm to the touch. Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack, then remove muffins to rack and cool completely.