We are now down to 11 days before my girl comes home…but I’m not counting. The reports I receive indicate that she is doing great…I’m glad. However, I am still not used to the sensation of not having her around. While her days are filled with sports, swimming, and special projects, mine are restricted to being in the house alone at my computer, and while I relish the quiet, I can’t seem to quell that little anxious part of me that just wants her home already.
Yesterday, I walked into the kitchen to the overwhelming smell of overripe bananas. Believe it or not, this was an indicator of how much I missed my child. I buy bananas by the truckload. Often, strangers quizzically look at me when they see the monkey’s worth of Chiquita sitting in my shopping cart. What can I say? My kids like bananas, which is the reason I always buy in bulk. The fruit disappears by the end of the week, though I have made many breakthrough, emergency banana runs to replenish them before the week’s end.
Today, however, there were six, overripe, giraffe colored, heady smelling bananas lifelessly lounging in the fruit bowl, which only reminded me even more that my girl wasn’t home. Clearly, I needed to learn how to downgrade on the bananas since she wasn’t around to eat them.
I decided to turn my restlessness around with the old adage, when life hands you rotten bananas…make banana muffins. Baking is rather therapeutic for me. It’s my happy place, and while I sifted, stirred, scooped and taste tested, my anxious nerves took a break, (until I made some banana oatmeal cookies with the extra banana and ate my weights worth, which then sent me into a cookie induced coma)!
For what it’s worth, I am giving you my recipe for banana muffins (adapted from the Joy of Vegan Baking), and my breakfast banana cookies…my own creation that you can actually serve at breakfast …especially to those picky breakfast eaters. The recipes are all egg, dairy, and nut free. Enjoy.
1 ½ Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
½ cup unbleached flour
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 TBSP wheat germ (optional…but so healthy)
½ cup Sucanat (Sugar Cane Natural-you can even cut this to ¼ cup…if the bananas are ripe it will still be a little sweet)
1/3 cup canola oil
4 ripe bananas mashed
¼ cup water
1 tbsp vanilla
½ cup mini chocolate chips (optional, I use Enjoy Life allergy free brand)
Preheat oven to 350, line muffin tin with cupcake papers
In medium size bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, salt and wheat germ…mix with whire whisk to incorporate all the ingredients.
In a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together then add the mashed bananas. Stir in the water and vanilla nd mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture, along with the chocolate chips and stir to mix.
Fill each muffin tin halfway with the batter. Bake for 20-30minutes, until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Yields 12 muffins.
Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies-Makes approximately 24 cookies (depending on size)
1 cup + 1 TBSP White Whole Wheat Flour (you can find this in mainstream grocery stores….it is whole wheat flour with all the benefits, but is much lighter and yields a lighter product).
½- cup Sucanat
2 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 TBSP wheat germ (you could also try flax seed)
¼ tsp. salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 ripe banana (large)
2 cups rolled oats (not the instant kind)
¼- ½ cup raisins (optional)
Whisk banana, oil, sugar and vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the rolled oats and raisins and mix…you may want to use your hands.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scooping by tablespoons, (I use a small ice cream scooper) place dough balls an inch apart from each other, and then slightly flatten with your hand.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, pull tray out and flatten the cookies slightly again (they tend to puff up) and bake for another 2 minutes. I like mine crunchy on the outside…if you like yours softer, take them out sooner.
Cool for about 1-2 minutes and then transfer to baking rack. These are very hearty cookies, and really hold up nicely to a good cup of coffee. I have also served them for breakfast along with yogurt and fresh fruit.