I woke up a bit later than usual today and decided I’d try to embrace it, putting the guilt I usually feel for oversleeping to the back of my mind. My body obviously needed the extra hour between the sheets so, why not. It’s not as though I’ve got anything to rush out of bed for at the moment, which is pretty rare and something I feel I should be taking more advantage of. I keep a daily to do list, just to try and keep me sane but nothing on it is particularly urgent. I also decided to skip my usual daily exercise. What’s gotten into me!
Feeling refreshed, I made my way slowly to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee. Whilst my Pact coffee was brewing, I noticed a couple of very brown bananas in the fruit bowl. Every week, I buy fresh fruit with the intention of eating it all but it always becomes a chore, “I best eat that *insert fruit here* before it’s too late.” Well, for these particular bananas, it was definitely too late.
It got me thinking, can I possibly bake another banana bread during lockdown? I think I’m on four now and my husband is getting a bit bored of them. Oh, if I bake it, he’ll eat it with very little complaint but I started wondering what else I could make with these poor, old bananas. I had carrots too…is baking with carrot and banana together a thing? Turns out it is, who knew!
I looked for a recipe and found this one for banana and carrot muffins, I checked my cupboards and had almost everything with a couple of little substitutes.
Here’s the recipe, with a few small Half Baked style changes and notes, plus the cups to grams conversion (because how annoying are “cups” measurements!)
200g wholewheat flour (I didn’t have wholewheat flour so, after a quick Google search, added 220g plain flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda for us Brits)
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt (table salt worked as a substitute)
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs (or just regular eggs)
70g olive oil
160g maple syrup (this seemed like loads so I checked the conversion a couple of times but it’s correct. Maple syrup must weigh more than olive oil, not something that’s ever crossed my mind before!)
300g mashed banana (I added what I had which was 200g)
75g carrot (this was approximately 1 ½ carrots)
1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners and set aside
Following my last banana muffin bake, I decided to preheat the oven 220ºC ready for the first five minutes of baking. This burst of heat helps the muffins to rise nice and tall, I then reduced the temperature to 180ºC (without opening the oven) for the last 15 minutes to allow the inside to bake. Thanks to Sally’s Baking Addiction for this tip!
2. Whisk together the white whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl
I wish I’d read ahead to the next instruction but I was too eager to get going on my bake! Who has more than one mixing bowl?! I had to move the dry ingredients to a cereal bowl while I mixed the wet ingredients. Not the end of the world but a bit of a pain, especially when I missed the bowl! Also I didn’t whisk the dry ingredients as I didn’t fancy covering myself and my kitchen in flour, just a gentle mix was fine here.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, mashed banana, olive oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract until well combined
4. Add to the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, then gently fold in the grated carrot
5. Scoop the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tins, filling each about ¾ to most of the way full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with some oats, if desired
I filled them right to the top which didn’t seem to cause any problems. I skipped the oats as I used the last of mine in my healthy flapjacks last week.
6. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean
See my earlier tip on the baking time and temperatures!
7. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely
I always, always forget to get my wire rack out of the oven before baking so just left them in the muffin tin
Voila – banana and carrot muffins, ready to enjoy with a cup of tea!