They play a significant role in our family food. With two very active teenage boys, bananas tick all the boxes - they come in their own packaging, they are quick to eat and they are, as often seems to be quoted in our house, 'the food of champions'! The word 'compulsory' is often banded around in connection with bananas - probably only by me now that I think of it. You know you've gone too far when your young daughter is asked at school to make a list of adjectives to describe a banana and, yes, you got it - 'compulsory' was right up there.
But for the banana experience to be a positive one, they do have to be at their peak - firm, yellow and not a speck of brown or squidginess. And how hard is it to catch them when they are just right? One minute they are perfect ... look away ...dawdle for a couple of minutes ... look back and they're past it.
This, my friends, is the curse of the overripe banana.
I end up with a steady stream of overripe bananas to use. Mostly I stash them in the freezer - out of sight, out of mind? ... whole and peeled to use in cakes or peeled and ready sliced to go straight into the mix for a smoothie. They do go oddly slimy when frozen but that's no problem for cooking or the smoothie treatment.
I was up earlyish this morning to take Hella to swimming. Not so early that it was obscene, but early enough that it was just me, Hella and the morning. The pool is nearby, so by 08:50 I had dropped her off and was home again.
Not unusually there were some sad, brown bananas to greet me from the fruit bowl this morning so I decided to magic them into Nutella & Banana Muffins. This would clear the offending items from view and the muffins would make a great weekend breakfast after swimming.
I'm not good with cooked banana. Mostly it doesn't do it for me. I think it's because the flavour becomes too intense ... BUT, if balanced with some Nutella - magic. The recipe comes from this blog.
These are delicious muffins and what makes them even better is that they are super quick and easy to make...
Here's the basic outline of how to make these Nutella and Banana Muffins -
Step 1 - Mix the dry ingredients.
Step 2 - Squidge up the bananas and combine with the rest of the wet ingredients (except for the Nutella)
Step 3 - Combine wet with dry.
Step 4 - Divide between 12 muffin cases.
Step 5 - Put a blob of Nutella on the top of each one, swirling with a cocktail stick to improve the loveliness.
Step 6 - In the oven for 20 minutes.
Bish, bash, bosh.
Other tips that I've learned along the way -
- If you are using frozen bananas, break them into smaller pieces and they will defrost in a bowl very quickly. They go weirdly liquidy when they defrost, but don't worry and just mash them up including the liquid.
- Make sure the Nutella is at room temperature or swirling it with the muffin mixture is problematic.
- Store in an airtight container. They last well but are popular, so don't rely on it.
Muffins cooling on the worktop and drive back to collect Hella from the pool. Job done.