December 8, 2008

Wheat Germ and Banana Muffins

I am very particular about bananas, as I suspect some other people are too.  I like them when they've just turned yellow, even with a tint of green but after 5 or so brown spots, I just can't eat them- that is unless they are hidden in a bread or cake or muffin.  I have this "extra banana" problem often, because I eat about 1 a day so it seems silly just to buy 3 at the grocery store, but then before I can get to all 7 of them, some start browning.  And since I don't like to have things going to waste, I find myself making banana-y baked goods often.

While these "Wheat Germ and Banana Muffins" may not have the most appealing name, they are really good.  What I like most about them is that they taste like a muffin should taste.  Not like those cupcakes disguised as muffins sold in most bakeries.  I also think they are fairly healthy and adaptable.  You could make half with nuts and half without, add chocolate chips, use more whole wheat flour, substitute applesauce for part of the oil, make a crumbly wheat germ topping- no matter what, I think these would still turn out a quality muffin... well maybe that whole chocolate chip thing would make them a cupcake, but it's debatable.

Now back to bananas for a minute.  My roommates and I left some out over Thanksgiving break while we were away (this may be the cause of our new fruit fly (?) problem) so being the first one back I saw them and decided to put them in the freezer, skins on and all, until I would have time to turn them into something more appealing.  So I put them in the freezer for a few days and then defrosted them in the fridge (note: they only take a few hours to defrost so you don't need to take them out a day ahead, which I did) and they were SO mushy.  I touched the skin and it felt like it was filled with slime.  Anyway, to use them in the muffins I just scored down the middle with a knife and emptied the insides into a bowl- it was kind of disgusting (don't worry no graphic shots), but made these great muffins.

Wheat Germ and Banana Muffins

Adapted from Bon Appétit


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3)  - I just used 3 large ones without measuring
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 16 muffin cups with foil muffin papers. Sift first 4 ingredients into medium bowl. Mix in wheat germ. Combine bananas, milk, eggs, oil and vanilla extract in large bowl and whisk to blend. Mix in dry ingredients. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, dividing equally.

Bake muffins until tops are golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

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