Monday, November 10, 2008

Organic Banana Bread and Muffins

© copyright Carrie Boyko

Organic. Low Fat. Whole Wheat. Banana Bread doesn't get any better than this.

The season to share is almost upon us, and this recipe is made for sharing. You can make the batter into 2 dozen medium muffins, 2 loaves of bread, or mix it up and make 1 loaf, along with a dozen muffins. If you're looking for a homemade goodie to share with your Thanksgiving dinner guests, this is always a winner. You can even make it into 4 mini-loaves or 4 dozen mini-muffins. Who doesn't like banana bread?

Although, a bag of muffins makes a nice gift for that friend who has everything, I especially like this recipe for my own family. It makes great comfort food for a kid after a tough math test at school, and is a welcome addition to the lunchbox for the days to come. Lucky for me, my husband is only home in the evening, or he would eat them all. If you decide to keep, rather than share both halves of the recipe, I recommend you make a dozen muffins to freeze. You can thaw them one by one, or all at once; they are terrific as a snack, breakfast or dessert. If you come up short packing a school lunch, you can wrap a frozen one in a paper towel and allow it to thaw right in the lunch box. The paper towel will soak up any moisture and the muffin will taste freshly made.

Made with organic whole wheat flour, these muffins pack a good amount of protein and fiber into a small package, and to top that off they only have about 2-1/2 grams of fat per slice or medium sized muffin. You may have trouble giving them away when you smell your kitchen while they are baking. Here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Old-Fashioned, Low Fat, Organic, Whole Wheat Banana Bread and Muffins

5 organic bananas, very ripe and mashed (thawed, frozen bananas work equally well)
4 organic eggs
1/3 cup organic apple sauce
1/3 cup organic canola oil
1-1/2 cups organic sugar
3 cups organic whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons aluminum free baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons organic honey

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pans with organic cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, stir together mashed bananas, eggs, oil and apple sauce.
3. Combine dry ingredients and add to banana mixture, stirring until well-mixed.
4. Spoon mixture into muffin pans (about 2/3 full for each) and/or pour into loaf pan(s).
5. Bake the muffins first for 20-25 minutes.
6. Then bake the loave(s) for 50-60 minutes, checking with a toothpick to determine when done. 7. Baste the top of the bread with honey for an extra-special dessert that even us big kids can't resist.
8. After out of the oven for a few minutes, remove from pans to a cooling rack.
9. If you like the crust on the bread to remain somewhat crisp, like I do, don't wrap in plastic. Once you slice off one end, store in a flat-bottomed container or plate, setting it on the sliced end. This will do the trick.
10. For storing muffins, use paper bags, rather than plastic, to keep them from getting too soft and maintain that signature crispy top. Paper lunch bags can be placed inside of a gift bag for a festive holiday surprise.
Today's post is the first of my Thanksgiving menu recipes. It can easily be made ahead of time and frozen until the night before. On such a challenging cooking day as Thanksgiving, my goal is always to prepare as much as possible on the days before the big day.
Speaking of the big day, join me tomorrow when I will share my entire Thanksgiving Menu, along with an ingredients list for your shopping convenience. If you're the cook this year, it's time to start planning your big meal. In the days to come, I will bring you more recipes from this menu, and will even walk you through making homemade soup with your turkey carcass after your family polishes it off. I thank you for coming along for the ride.

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