Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Banana Nutter Muffins

Banana and peanut butter just must be one of the great food romances. But then stir in a little chocolate? Oh heaven. The recipe for these whole-wheat muffins was recommended by my mother-daughter friends, Margie and Kirsten from Maryland – and here in Missouri, they sure bring smiles to two-year old twins and their best-ever-big-brother too.

Banana Nutter Muffins

The joke is, “If ever there’s a hurricane named Jackson or Jerome, take cover. NOW.”

That’s because the havoc wreaked by two-year old twins is matched only by – well, moms, YOU know how much disorder is created by one toddler, let alone two, both so curious about the world flowering before their eyes, so energized by the world beneath their swift-scissor legs.

It’s quite amazing for me, never a mother, to watch these little tykes grow up, moving from too-many scary weeks in the NICU to can’t-hold-‘em-down toddlers.

The older one is cerebral and intense. He is wiry and eats with fervor. The younger one – born just minutes later but on the next day, yes, separate birthdays! – is athletic and relaxed. He is stocky and prefers the toybox to the highchair.

So call me excited when both boys plus their best-ever-big-brother Blake all greeted these muffins-cum-cupcakes with happy smiles and reached for seconds with stubby-sticky fingers.

So are Banana Nutter Muffins muffins or cupcakes? It depends. As muffins, they’re sweet but not too sweet, able to pass as sweet-ish breakfast muffins or a less-sweet after-supper treat. As cupcakes with icing, they’re definitely cake but less sweet than other cakes.

PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING

Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 2 tablespoons peanut butter and 2 tablespoon brown sugar until the sugar melts. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla and about a cup of powdered sugar. Makes about 2/3 cup, enough for icing the entire batch.
ALANNA’s TIPS When brown sugar starts off with lumps, be sure to work them out or toss them out before adding any other ingredients. Otherwise you’ll end up with crunchy burned bits throughout the muffins.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe for two-year olds that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

BANANA NUTTER MUFFINS

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Makes 12 regular-size muffins or 36 mini muffins
    WET INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons smooth or chunky peanut butter
  • 3 very ripe bananas, about 225g (how ripe should bananas be for baking?)
    AN ADD-IN, OPTIONAL
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
  • - or -
  • 1/3 cup (50g) mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400F. Line muffin tins with silicone muffin cups (my favorite!) or grease well.

In a bowl, mix the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon or whisk until well blended. Separately, stir together the dry ingredients, then gently turn into the wet mixture, mixing just until blended. Turn in any add-ins. With two spoons, one to scoop and one to scrape, fill the muffin tins.

Bake for 15 minutes for regular-size muffins or 10 minutes for mini muffins or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before turning out of the muffin tray. Lovely warm from the oven, best the same day.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Regular Muffin plain/with peanuts/with mini chocolate chips: 185/208/208 Calories; 8/10/9g Tot Fat; 1/2/2g Sat Fat; 17mg Cholesterol; 251/251/259mg Sodium; 26/27/29g Carb; 2g Fiber; 11/11/13g Sugar; 4/4/4g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 4/4.5/4.5, PointsPlus 5/6/6
Adapted from Muffins, A Cookbook, a fun little self-published cookbook by Joan Bidinosti and Marilyn Wearring, Canadians who in 1982 acted on their children’s suggestion, “Mum, you should write a muffin cookbook.” Many thanks to my own mum’s friend (and mine!) Margie and her daughter Kirsten for suggesting the cookbook and this, their favorite recipe from it! I happened to find a used copy on Amazon for a few dollars but since it’s out of print, you’ll need to watch for a good price. Still, I can’t but wonder if today’s kids don’t say, “Mum, you should write a food blog.” My Disclosure Promise

This Week, Years Past

Twenty-Minute Beefy Black Bean Chili Beef Mushroom Stew Crockpot Chicken Goulash Milk-Braised Pork Roast Broccoli Rigatoni with Chickpeas & Lemon Grape Salad with Almonds & Cilantro Ham & Beans with Leftover Ham Bone

This Week, Elsewhere

Chicken Artichoke Brie Soup from Companion
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Spring Garden Vegetable Soup with Asparagus, Artichokes, Peas & Spinach
How to Eat More Vegetables, Tip #7
A Veggie Venture


More Favorite Muffin Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Perfect Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins Gingerbread Muffins Savory Cornbread Muffins

Bakers ♥ Banana Recipes

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Banana Oatmeal Cookies Banana Nut Cake with Caramel Frosting Cheery Cherry Banana Bread

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

Quick Links to This Page

(for easy bookmarking and searching)
~ Peanut Butter Frosting ~





© Copyright 2011 Kitchen Parade



Monday, March 7, 2011

Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberries:
Special for Shrove Tuesday Supper

A simple recipe for cornmeal pancakes with a blueberry compote and my favorite “syrup” with the combination of cornmeal and blueberries, sour cream. Will Shrove Tuesday's supper be pancakes at your house, too?

Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberry Compote & Sour Cream
To every thing (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven.
- From Ecclesiastes,
music by Pete Seeger.

It was Judy Collins who introduced me to the seasons. Over and over, I played that 45 record. Winter-spring-summer-fall, all you have to do is call. (Oh wait. That’s Carole King.)

For as long as I can remember, if it's the Tuesday before Lent, the supper menu is the same, year after year. Making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is an old Christian tradition, a last gluttonous meal before the self-denial of Lent. It fits a modern-day sensibility, even if our lives are now so rich that the egg and butter and flour and sugar in pancakes are no long worthy of Lenten fasting. Really, when was the last time you heard, "I'm giving up eggs for Lent"?

So tomorrow, it will be pancakes for supper and then on Ash Wednesday, I'll plant Lenten Grass, an old Finnish tradition especially good for helping children observe Lent.

Tis the season.

I’ve been experimenting with pancakes made with cornmeal and am happy to find one that’s substantial but not heavy, earthy but not gritty, in short, simple and superb.

ALANNA’s TIPS I love the “idea” of blue cornmeal with blueberry pancakes but it’s not as pretty as you’d think, the “blue” cornmeal turns the pancakes a dull grey. So usually I choose a finely ground cornmeal. Plain ol’ supermarket yellow cornmeal works just find too though I do like to add a half teaspoon of vanilla to the batter. I’ve learned the hard way that coarsely ground cornmeal and grits need a much longer cooking time than finely ground cornmeal and grits. Do be sure to use finely ground cornmeal for these pancakes. Still-frozen blueberries work better than thawed blueberries. If the berries are already thawed, just be sure to drain them really well. I love-love-love my electric griddle for pancakes, a great $35 investment. There's no need for any fat on the surface, the cooking is so even, six pancakes can be cooked at once.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite pancake recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

CORNMEAL PANCAKES with BLUEBERRY COMPOTE

Hands-on time: 15 minutes to mix
Time to table: 15 - 30 minutes
Makes 10 4-1/2 inch pancakes
  • 2 cups (about 8 ounces) frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Zest of a lime
    CORNMEAL PANCAKES
  • 1 cup (160g) finely-ground stone-ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup (66g) flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1-1/4 cups skim milk
  • For the skillet, vegetable oil or bacon grease
  • Fresh or frozen blueberries for the pancakes themselves, optional (see TIPS)
  • To serve, sour cream (my favorite with blueberry pancakes) or maple syrup

BLUEBERRY COMPOTE Combine the blueberries, sugar and lime zest in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Let simmer until the juices thicken slightly.

CORNMEAL PANCAKES In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal and other dry ingredients. Separately, whisk the egg and oil together, then whisk in the milk. Stir the egg-milk mixture into the dry ingredients (the batter will be thinner than typical pancake batter).

Heat a large, heavy skillet or a pancake griddle on medium heat, when hot, brush with a little oil or bacon grease.

Pour a quarter cup of batter onto the skillet and if you like, sprinkle with frozen blueberries. Without moving, let the pancakes cook until the edges begin to firm up and a few air bubbles appear on the top, just a minute or two. Flip over with a spatula and cook another minute or two until cooked through but not dry. Best hot from the skillet, serve and savor!

Save any leftover batter, it can be used for another day or two although the pancakes will be quite flat since the baking powder action will be finished.

NUTRITION INFORMATION
Pancakes Only, Per Pancake without/with blueberries: 95/99 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 21mg Cholesterol; 35mg Sodium; 15g Carb; 1g Fiber; 2g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 2, WW PointsPlus 2/3 (yes, with rounding, just a few blueberries puts the PointsPlus over the edge to 3 points)
Pancakes & Blueberry Compote, Per Pancake + Compote: 117 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 21mg Cholesterol; 35mg Sodium; 21g Carb; 2g Fiber; 6g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 2, WW PointsPlus 3
Adapted from the bag of wonderful blue cornmeal purchased from War Eagle Mill in Rogers, Arkansas. Simple and superb!

TIS THE SEASON: This Week, Years Past

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Savory Cornbread Muffins Skillet Cornbread Seared Scallops with Chimichurri and Garlicky Polenta

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