Banana Date Muffins
As much as I love making banana bread, it’s not one of those things that you can make on a whim. Because you want the bananas to be very ripe, you have to at least plan a few days ahead to first buy the bananas and then let them ripen on your kitchen counter. Until they get all black and beautiful.
Actually, not beautiful at all. But if I can resist eating them as a snack waiting for them to get ready for baking, the end result is satisfying comfort.
I have my “go to” banana bread recipe filled with warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, plus chopped walnuts and a tiny shot of bourbon. Yep, I said it. Bourbon. I used to leave the bourbon out but since these, I have become a firm believer that a lil bourbon while baking never hurt nobody. Trust me.
These are not them. Sorry! What these are though is a healthier alternative that is not lacking in the taste or flavor department. Is that better? I am all about balance and moderation in my eating (except when it comes to donuts) so it’s only fair that after giving you the cheesy goodness of the crab mac & cheese last week, I give you Banana Date Muffins a la Gwyneth Platrow.
I’ve had her cookbook for six months now and have made a few dishes but I have made these muffins a few times. They’re that good, easy and “healthy.” I made a few changes (used all purpose flour instead of gluten free flour, and I used walnuts instead of pumpkin seeds). I was a little unsure of the dates but was pleasantly surprised by their sweetness and flavor since no sugar was added. They really didn’t taste like a “healthy” version at all giving my go to recipe a little competition.
Your How To:
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
2 overripe bananas, mashed
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup of maple syrup
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup of pitted, chopped of dried dates
½ cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts, plus 2 tablespoons to sprinkle on top
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a separate large bowl, mix together the mashed banana, olive oil, maple syrup, almond milk and vanilla extract. Thoroughly combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Add the chopped dates and walnuts to the mixture and toss together gently. Evenly divide the batter among the muffin cups and sprinkle the tops with a little bit of the extra chopped walnuts.
Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes, until the muffins are browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
adapted from It’s All Good Cookbook