Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hmmm, what to make with leftover strawberries and bananas?

With the beginning of Spring upon us and Strawberries are on sale, an incredible buy 1 basket get 2 free or when I have fresh strawberries on hand and ripe bananas sitting on the counter waiting to be used. I often turn to Strawberry Banana Muffins. Maybe you think this is an unusual combination for muffins, bananas and strawberries, but actually these two sweet fruits go quite well together. One thing these two fruits have in common is that while available year round they both are at their best in Spring.
Muffins belong to the 'quick bread' family and indeed these Strawberry Banana Muffins are quick to make. Just two bowls are needed; one for the wet ingredients and one for the dry. Combine the two ingredients together, using a light hand, and your batter is made. One tip I have found to make life easier is to use an ice cream scoop for transferring the batter to the muffin tins. And while you can place paper liners in each muffin cup I usually just give the pan a quick spray with a nonstick vegetable spray (can also grease with butter). If you want giant sized muffins then this batter will make six. Otherwise you will get 12 regular sized muffins. Just remember that if making giant muffins you will have to increase the baking time by about 5 minutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.
For times when you have overripe bananas and don't want to bake with them right away, you can freeze them whole (in their peels), wrapped airtight, for up to 6 months. Or you can peel and mash them, stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice for each banana, and freeze in an airtight container or bag. Then you are ready to make banana muffins anytime.

This original recipe was adapted from Oregon's Cuisine of the Rain by Karen Brooks.

Strawberry Banana Muffins Recipe:

1/2 cup (1 stick)  butter or margarine, melted
3/4 cup light brown sugar or agave nectar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon GF pure vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup fresh strawberries (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose GF flour blend, (I used better batter)
1 cup almond flour
*1 tsp. xanthum gum (if your flour mixture doesn't already include it)
1 1/2 teaspoons GF baking powder
1/4 teaspoon GF baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt


Strawberry Banana Muffins:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Position rack in center of oven. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or grease with butter or a vegetable spray.
In a small saucepan melt the butter. Set aside.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the brown sugar or agave nectar, eggs, vanilla extract and mashed banana. Add the melted butter to the egg mixture and stir to combine.

In another large bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, (xanthum gum if using) and salt. Gently fold in the berries, making sure they are coated with flour. This helps to prevent the berries from sinking during baking. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are just combined. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. Place in the oven and bake until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 12 regular sized muffins.

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