These muffins are so quick and easy to put together, completely delicious and a great way to use up over-ripe bananas. Despite being the most popular fruit in Ireland, with around 70 million being sold each year, about 25% of the bananas shipped to Ireland get thrown away!
Supermarkets are big culprits, as soon as bananas start getting brown spots on their skin, they are replaced with fresher green ones. But we are guilty at home too, us consumers routinely waste around 30% of the food we buy, imagine saving 30% on your food bill each week! As well as wasting our hard earned cash, think of the waste of resources it took to grow, harvest and transport our fresh produce. Wasted food also emits methane as it rots, a powerful greenhouse gas.
So next time you are looking at a bunch of brown, slightly squished bananas, why not make a quick batch of these muffins or pop them in the freezer (peeled and in chunks) to be used another day. Frozen bananas make the creamiest, sweetest smoothies and bananas pack a mighty nutritional punch. Full of potassium which lowers your blood pressure and starchy fibre to fill you up, moderate your blood sugar and feed your all-important gut microbes. Let’s go bananas for bananas!
Ingredients (makes 12 muffins)
- 3 large, over-ripe bananas (or 4 smaller)
- 125ml olive oil (or any oil you prefer)
- 250ml oat milk (or any milk)
- 100g sugar (brown/white both work fine)
- 400g flour (we like a mix of white and whole meal)
- 3 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar (to help activate the soda)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- optional extras like chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, raisins, coconut flakes, crunchy sugar etc for topping the muffins or folding through the batter – this is where you can have fun and make them your own
- Pre-heat the oven to 175C and line a muffin try with 12 large muffin cases.
- Peel 2 of the bananas and mash them in a large mixing bowl. Did you know you can eat the peels too? Reserve them for another recipe or pop them in the compost bin.
- Add the oil, milk, sugar, lemon/vinegar and mix well to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon and any optional extras like nuts/seeds/chocolate/coconut/raisins etc.
- Now tip the mixed dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients. Fold together until just combined. It’s very important here to not over mix and to work quickly. It doesn’t matter if there are a few dry lumps in the batter, just briefly mix together and then get on and get the muffins in the oven as soon as possible. This will ensure you get the lightest, fluffiest muffins. Over-mixing will activate the gluten in the flour and make them dense and chewy. Letting the mixture sit for too long will stop them from rising so much in the oven. So work quickly now.
- Divide the batter into the 12 muffin cases and top with slices of the 3rd banana. Add additional extra toppings if you like. Some crunchy sugar is traditional or go for crushed walnuts, seeds or a square of chocolate.
- Get the muffins into the centre of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until beautifully risen and golden. This amount of batter should ensure you get those classic tasty muffin tops spilling over the muffin cases – arguably the best bit about a muffin. You’ll know they are done when a skewer inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
- Let the muffins cool slightly in the tin for 5 minutes then carefully take them out onto a cooling rack. Enjoy warm or cold – they should be light, fluffy and moist. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container and eat within 3 days or freeze to keep them fresh.