What do you usually eat for breakfast? Since I was 15, unless breakfast occurred after noon (and thus became brunch, incorporating lunch as well), breakfast was either reduced to a cup of coffee or foregone altogether. Occasionally when I was in high school I would grab a granola bar that could be eaten on the subway and in college I tried desperately to sneak a yogurt or the like in while catching up on blogs and checking my e-mail. All in all, though, breakfast has never been a priority (even though I know it's the most important meal of the day).
Since moving in with the Vegetarian, we've made an effort to have breakfast every day--usually a bowl of cereal (along with our coffee) while checking e-mails, but, since it's winter, oatmeal has also begun making appearances. And, on later days, there might be pancakes, french toast or a fried or scrambled egg or reheated frozen waffles. Normally the Vegetarian is in charge of breakfast (I am anything but a morning person) but, after being sick for a week and feeling guilty that he was doing all the around-the-house stuff while I lay miserably coughing in bed, I flipped through Barefoot Contessa at Home and lighted on a recipe for Chunky Banana Bran Muffins.
My first venture outside was to the grocery store where I picked up the necessary ingredients. But, not being entirely coherent, I bought a bottle of blackstrap molasses, which are rather potent. So, I thought these muffins were great (since I like the taste of molasses) although the Vegetarian found them too bananaey. (I really like bananas and didn't find them to taste
enough of banana--and that was after adding some banana liqueur into the batter!) But at least I have a breakfast option for the next while that can be eaten at home or on the run!
Chunky Banana Bran Muffins
adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa at Home
makes 24 muffins
- 2 cups wheat bran
- 2 cups buttermilk (I use reconstituted powdered buttermilk mixed with water)
- 1/4 pound unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup blackstrap molasses (substitute any other for a less pronounced flavor)
- 2 teaspoons orange zest, grated
- 1 teaspoon creme de banane
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups raisins
- 2 cups banana, diced
- 1 cup English walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin pans with paper liners (makes clean-up much easier).
Combine wheat bran and buttermilk and set aside. Cream butter and sugar in food processor fitted with plastic dough hook. (If they're not perfectly combined, don't worry.) Add eggs, one at a time, pulsing food processor to incorporate into the batter after each one. Next add molasses, orange zest and creme de banane. Add wheat bran-buttermilk mixture and pulse until combined.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add slowly (I did it in four parts) to food processor, pulsing just to combine after each addition. Once you see no white streaks, stop mixing! Using a rubber spatula, fold in raisins, bananas and walnuts.
With a large spoon, fill muffin pans to the top (the batter doesn't rise very much) and bake 25 minutes. Let cool before eating. Enjoy!
After not participating in a blog event in eons, this is my submission for Versatile Vegetarian Kitchen Bake-Off where we are instructed to bake something vegetarian. Done! Thanks for hosting, Champa!
Links to other Chunky Banana Bran Muffins noshes: