Happy 2013! My family and I had our own version of a Christmas Vacation this year that was decidedly more harmonious than the Griswold’s tried so hard to have. We enjoyed the arts, traveled with family, caught up with old friends, enjoyed super-sized sledding, and caught a little sleep on beds that were not our own.
Upon returning home after five days on the road, I had a lot of over-ripe bananas to greet me. Some were goners, but six were worth saving and roasting to make these yummy muffins.
The hearts are not a reference to Valentine’s Day, but rather that these muffins are indeed heart healthy. They contain rolled oats and toasty walnuts, and for 24 muffins only have two egg whites, one egg yolk, and 1/2 cup of grapeseed oil… no butter, and light on the sugar as well.
I made this batch, shared some with my Christian Moms group at church, and packaged up the rest in the freezer, so that I can actually practice portion control each morning. This fourth decade of mine is forcefully pushing me to a permanent lifestyle change (not just when I feel like it)… smarter choices and smaller portions.
Heart-Healthy Roasted Banana Oat Muffins with Cranberries and Walnuts
6 very ripe bananas (yielded 1 1/2 c. mashed bananas)
3/4 c. chopped walnuts
3/4 c. dried cranberries
2 1/4 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. rolled (old-fashioned) oats
1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. light brown sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1 c. skim milk
1/2 c. grape seed oil
1 t. vanilla extract
To roast the bananas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place unpeeled bananas on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Roast for 20 minutes and remove. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees to bake muffins. Allow bananas to cool enough to handle. Gently split each skin, allow liquid to drain and then squeeze the roasted bananas into a large bowl. Mash well with the back of a fork or a potato masher.
While bananas are roasting
Place walnuts in a skillet over medium heat and toast, stirring occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place dried cranberries in a small glass bowl. Add 2 T. of water and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Heat in microwave for 1 1/2 minutes and let sit covered with plastic wrap for 5 minutes. This will make the cranberries moist and plump.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, sugars, baking powder and soda, and salt.
In another large bowl, beat the egg and egg white with a fork. Add the mashed, roasted bananas, skim milk, oil and vanilla and whisk until well-blended. Add the dry ingredients to wet, and gently fold together with a spatula until barely combined. A few streaks of flour are OK. Add the walnuts and cranberries and fold into batter until just incorporated.
Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Fill each 3/4 full with batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 17-20 minutes, being sure to rotate pans halfway through cooking time.
Allow to cool in pans for about 10 minutes before removing to finish cooling on a rack.
Recipe adapted from
Banana Oat Muffins