What We Ate: Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Oatmeal is a great breakfast food, but the other day I was wondering how I could get the nutritious power of oats into a more portable form. Will is often looking for a quick breakfast he can grab on the way to work, and I am always on the hunt for snacks. ;) As I looked for recipes, I also realized we had two very ripe bananas languishing on our counter. Naturally, I bring you the Banana Oatmeal Muffin.

1429740976161

This muffin is kind of like banana bread in muffin form – very moist and it gets better with age. It tastes healthy in a good way (not “Mm, this tastes like sawdust and flaxseeds,” but more like “Mm, this tastes delicious yet wholesome”), and is surprisingly filling… I can actually eat one for breakfast and not be hungry for an hour or two (for me, that’s a long time). If you’re in the mood for a batch of on-the-go breakfast or wholesome but delicious snacks (or have a few overripe bananas), these might be just the ticket.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins
Adapted from allrecipes.com

Yield: One dozen muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (coconut would work fine too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed overripe banana (about 2 bananas)

Method:

  1.  Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add sugars and whisk until combined (you will have what looks kind of like a crumbly muesli topping).
  3. In a large mixing bowl (I used my Kitchen Aid with the whisk attachment), beat the egg lightly. Stir in the milk, oil, and vanilla. Add the mashed banana and combine thoroughly (If you’re still using the whisk attachment, you can get the mixture nice and smooth and beat out some of the banana lumps). Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined (if you’re using a mixer, switch out the whisk for the paddle attachment, or go old school and just use a spoon).
  4. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin cups, and divide the batter evenly among them. They might seem dangerously full, but it’s not a mistake.
  5. Bake the muffins in the oven for 18-20 minutes (or until a toothpick stuck in the center of a muffin comes out clean). Remove from oven and let rest in the tin for a minute or two before popping them out and placing them on a rack to finish cooling.

IMG_20150422_094856

There you have it. :) You can store the muffins in a large ziplock bag or container in the fridge for several days. As I mentioned before, the muffins actually get better with age – just like banana bread they become richer and more moist.

All bananas were personally sampled by Beatrice.
All bananas were personally sampled by Beatrice.

I’m sure this recipe could be adapted in any number of different ways – if you click to the original recipe you can find lots of variations and substitutions people have used in the comments section (applesauce instead of oil, less sugar, more spices, soaking the oats, adding nuts, etc.). I used old-fashioned oats because I like the firmer texture, but I’m sure quick oats would work just as well and probably cook down a bit more.

~ ~ ~

Let me know if any of you discover a good variation so I can try it out next time. :) Do you have any favorite recipes for make-ahead, portable breakfast foods or snacks?

Advertisements

What We Ate: Saturday Morning Buttermilk Waffles

Leisurely Saturday morning breakfasts are something I look forward to all week. Most days Will and I usually eat a quick breakfast of oatmeal before he leaves for work, but on Saturdays, we take our time. Bacon, scrambled eggs, pancakes, coffee cake… something to savor and laugh over and enjoy. Here are my highly arbitrary rules for our Saturday Breakfast Tradition:

  1. There must be coffee. Obviously.
  2. There must be orange juice. We don’t drink it most other mornings, but on Saturdays? Treat yo’self.
  3. Use the fancy plates and glasses. Cloth napkins, if you have them. Think “high-class brunch as the morning breeze ruffles your hair and you soak up the tropical sunshine on the deck of your seaside villa.” Or something along those lines. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a tiny apartment and it’s snowing outside – Saturday Morning Breakfast is a state of mind. It’s a mini-vacation every week (whoo hoo)!
  4. Flowers on the table. Not required, but nice.
  5. Relaaax. Take your time over breakfast. Talk. Laugh. Eat seconds. Move into the living room for a chat over your second fifth cup of coffee, if you wish. Don’t clear the dishes right away. After breakfast is over you’ll feel refreshed and ready to clean up and start on the weekend tasks, but for this magical breakfast hour, just enjoy, connect, and recharge. :)

The ultimate weekend breakfast food is (in my opinion) the waffle. The best thing about staying at a hotel is undoubtedly the waffle maker at the complimentary breakfast bar (and also not having to make the bed… that’s nice too). I once got mildly disappointed at a hotel where they actually made you breakfast, because I did not get to make the waffle myself. I quickly got over it though when they brought the waffle and it had powdered sugar and strawberries on top. That is also very acceptable.

A few weeks ago I made waffles using an old Better Homes and Garden recipe where you had to separate the eggs and whip the whites and fold them into the batter… it was a little time-consuming and the waffles came out a bit on the spongy side. Very disappointing. Last Saturday, however, I tried out a different recipe and the results were not only delicious, but the prep was fast and easy and much closer to pouring your paper cup of batter into the hotel waffle maker (which is what I’m all about).

IMG_20150327_123758

Saturday Morning Buttermilk Waffles
Adapted from Betty Crocker Country Favorites Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk (milk will work in a pinch)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • butter for greasing waffle iron

Method:

  1. Heat waffle iron and brush with a bit of melted butter (I put a slice of butter in the waffle iron while it was heating and used the pastry brush to spread it around as it melted).
  2. Beat eggs with a stand mixer or hand beaters until fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients until smooth.
  3. Pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter (depending on the size of your waffle maker) into the center of your hot waffle iron, and close the lid.
  4. Bake for about 5 minutes or until the steaming stops. Mine has a green light that turns on when the waffle is done, which is handy. I like to cook my waffles on the highest heat setting so they are brown and crispy, but it’s all a matter of personal preference. Carefully remove waffle.
  5. Enjoy!

IMG_20150327_132001

I made a little strawberry rhubarb compote to put on the top of our waffles by throwing a handful of frozen rhubarb, some fresh strawberries, and a dash of orange juice into a saucepan and mashing/stirring the mixture until it cooked down into a warm, bubbly jam. It was a little tart because of the rhubarb, which I enjoyed, but if you like things sweeter you could probably throw in a teaspoon of sugar.

This recipe made somewhere between 6 and 8 waffles, so Will and I ended up with a few extras. I placed them on a baking sheet, stuck them in the freezer for a few hours, and then popped them into a ziplock bag. Admittedly, this is a super old concept found in the frozen aisle of every grocery store, but I felt like a genius, and will probably be gaining 10 lbs since now I can eat waffles every day of the week by taking one out and popping it in the toaster.

On a scale of 1-10, my waffle enthusiasm is a Leslie Knope.
An accurate representation of what my life will now look like.

My favorite topping for waffles (besides drowning them in butter and syrup… fill ALL the holes!) is peanut butter and sliced bananas. Mmm. Do you all have a favorite topping? If so, please let me know because I am always looking for a new way to enjoy waffles. :)

~ ~ ~

Do you all have any weekend plans for a long, leisurely Saturday breakfast (featuring waffles, obviously)? ;)