I really like bananas. They are, in fact, one of my favorite fruits. That is, as long as they are yellow and firm. I cannot eat a banana that is soft; not even one that has just started getting soft. So in my mind, bananas have a very short window of perfection. They might be partially green when I purchase them. Within a day or two they will be perfect...completely yellow, firm, with no brown spots. They must be eaten within a couple days of that perfection. As soon as they sprout brown spots and are soft to the (gentle) squeeze...uh uh...past it's prime and I won't eat it.
That being said, I never throw bananas away. As soon as they are soft, I remove the peel, break the banana in half and add it to a baggie in my freezer. These frozen bananas are perfect for Smoothies. In fact, you need to let the banana get a little soft before freezing it. This enhances the natural sweetness of the fruit. I always have a baggie of frozen banana halves in the freezer ready to go for smoothies.
But every now and then I'm not paying attention and the bananas on the counter get past the "perfect to freeze softness" and are just plain mushy. I still don't like to throw them away, so that calls for a batch of Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Muffins or some Banana Nut Oatmeal. Note: the softer the bananas are the sweeter they will taste. These muffins are quick to whip up and perfect for lunch boxes...or setting on the counter for kids to grab as they run in and out all summer.
This recipe makes 36 muffins.
6 Large Very Ripe Bananas
1 Cup Oil
2 Cups Sugar
4 Cups White Flour **see tip 1 below
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 Cup Walnuts, Chopped Roughly
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 300*.
Mix wet ingredients in the blender. Pour into a large bowl.
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
Add dry ingredients to wet, mixing in a little at a time until fully incorporated.
Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.
Bake 20 min at 300*.
TIP 1: Whole wheat flour and white flour can be mixed 50/50. Sift the wheat flour and it will bake a little lighter.
TIP 2: Bakes well as loaves instead of muffins. Large loaves will bake in about 60 minutes. Small loaves will take 20-30 minutes.
What is your favorite recipe for using overripe bananas?
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