SWEET does not mean SUGAR

First of all, I apologize for the delayed post…some of you may think has she gone off of her New Year’s resolution already like about 90% of the population? Well I’m pleased to say: “Quite the contrary! ” I have been baking my ***bleep*** (yeah that plump thing that can cast a shadow over California ;p) off this past few days! In fact, I had been unable to post a blog on-time because I was having so much fun working on a cake for a 1 year old boy, that I lost track of time. That cake would be featured on my next blog since it is still a work in progress but I will show a sneak peek at the end of this blog.

On this blog however, I will feature my ultimate favorite: blueberry banana muffins :).

I know, I know, it’s nothing quite unique but a trip to my local grocery store told me that it’s high time I make my own. Like most working moms, I was guilty of falling for the trap of buying it from the store just because it was very convenient to do so. My mistake was that I never actually tasted it (just approved it based on the kids’ taste test) and when I did…My goodness! I almost fell into a sugar coma just after a few bites. No wonder the kids love them ;p On top of the loads of sugar, there was also a ton of preservatives that have been added to the recipe because they want to make sure that the muffins stay fresh on the shelves for weeks!

But here’s the deal: you can make an absolutely delicious muffin without all that sugar and preservatives…and the “magic” ingredient is probably sitting right there on your kitchen counter top being ignored, waiting to be tossed away, almost begging: “pick me, pick me”…Yup! You guessed it: it’s your over ripe, spotted bananas. Yeah, the one that everyone’s passed up on because it was no longer “pretty”. I found through experimenting with several online recipes that if you use an over-ripened banana, you can remove more than one-third of the recommended sugar. In fact, I have started to remove first a quarter of the sugar in the recipe and judging how ripe my bananas were, I kept reducing the amount of sugar that I use. Now a word of warning: for most recipes, sugar is necessary to help aerate the bread.  In other words, without them, it may change the texture of the loaf or muffin, so make sure to go slowly and test the reduction in a smaller batch until you find one that you are happy with 🙂

Another tip would be to use plump fresh blueberries, so that they give a nice juicy flavor as you bite into your muffins. Here’s the good news, if you’re in the US, blueberries are almost always available year round! They are in season in the US April to September but from October to March, we also receive imports from South America. Which means that you can make these awesome muffins any time of the year. And if you’re a stickler to buying only local goods, then make sure to stock up and freeze them until needed. They can be frozen for up to 6 months!

Here’s what you’ll need:

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Mash your over-ripened bananas, I like mine with some lumps left in it.

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Add all the dry ingredients on one bowl:

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Add all the wet ingredients in another bowl:

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Combine wet and dry ingredients, then add the fresh blueberries. Be careful not to over stir. The dough must be lumpy. If you over-stir, the final product will be too dense.

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Top with oatmeal crumb mixture (whole oatmeal, flour, cut butter, and cinammon if desired):

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Bake, cool and devour 🙂  As for the preservatives, who needs them?  This is the only product that is guaranteed to NOT last long.

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I hope that this encourages many of you to try making your own…I have made this not just for our kids but for adults as well who love the fact that it is not too sweet.  If you have tried it, I would love to hear your comments 🙂

….Ok, I couldn’t resist so here’s a little sneak peak of next week’s blog:

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Isn’t he adorable?!?!?!? 🙂

Til next adventure….

~CW

 

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