No more silence in me…*

*Lyrics from All Our Wonder by Memoryhouse off their album The Slideshow Effect. I stumbled upon these guys during another Spotify adventure and wound up really liking them. Give them a listen. What else have you go going on?

Up close and personal with my latest creation: banana oat muffins.

Back by popular demand, here’s another installment of Kitchen Monthly! Ok, maybe not popular demand. But, if my instagram feed is to be believed, you guys love to look at baked things, and probably want to know how you, too, can live my fabulous life. (If you can’t tell where the sarcasm is in that statement, well, perhaps you should just run along.)

It’s no secret that I love to bake. And, it’s no secret that I love my kitchen. At home, that is. The one at the rental pied-à-terre? Well, it’s functional. And by functional I mean that it takes me two hours to make soup. Ok, maybe it always takes me that long, but it feels like things take even longer. The stove/range is an apartment-sized 20″ and the counter space, while improved greatly by the addition of some IKEA cabinets and a length of countertop, is still limited. And there is no dishwasher. And we have a limited number of things like bowls, utensils, muffin trays, etc. At the house we pretty much have enough cookware, etc., to host a meal for a dozen comfortably. Here, we have enough for two, or three (and lately that’s been three as one of my sisters is staying with us in our tiny flat – for now.)

All this is to say that any cooking endeavor takes advance preparation, constant cleaning, and a hefty amount of organization. And ingredients are easier to procure near the homestead (I like to buy things in bulk when I can, and support local farmers by utilizing my local co-op), so I tend to shop for the apartment when I’m home. Which, if you couldn’t tell by now, can get confusing fast. I’ve been spending every other week at each place, and have been trying to keep a mental inventory of what quantities we have of what, what state things are in terms of cleaning and laundry, and what needs to get used up first to make sure that my efforts aren’t wasted. Basically, things are verging on getting wasted every week.

So, looking around The Pied this week, I noticed that we had too many bananas, and they were overripe (Jeff likes them on the greener side, and I don’t like them raw at all [unless there’s ice cream involved, in which case I can tolerate a raw banana]). I also packed too many oats to fit into the designated oat container, so I had a plastic bag of oats randomly hanging about on the counter. So, naturally I looked up a recipe for banana-oat muffins. I mean, duh.

So, here it is, with photographic evidence. I made them twice, since we had so many bananas (and oats), and since they were such a huge hit. Jeff brought a bunch to the office, and muffins, in my opinion, freeze wonderfully. Reheat in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 mins, and you’ve got fresh muffins every time.

Banana Oat Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel Topping

Overripe bananas + too many oats = I’m glad I’m baking because it’s crazy cold out!

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sugar – I used white sugar because that’s all I had; you could definitely use brown sugar for deeper flavor
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp (scant) ground allspice

Wet ingredients:

  • 1 cup mashed bananas – about three medium to large ones will do it
  • 3/4 cup milk – I used whole milk, because I had some to use up, but you could definitely use low fat milk here
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Streusel topping: (Is it streusel? I don’t know, but that’s what I called it, so there.)

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour (white is better here)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar (I did one batch with white, one with brown – I prefer the color and scent of the one with brown; if you have it, I’d choose dark brown sugar)
  • 3 Tbsp oats
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Line a muffin tray with paper liners – this will help the topping stay on the muffin, and not get all over your oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Make streusel topping by squeezing butter through flour, oats, sugar, and cinnamon until it makes a crumbly, chunky, dry loose dough. Mash bananas. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients to combine. In another bowl, whisk egg, then whisk in other wet ingredients. Add bananas to wet mixture and mix thoroughly. Fold in dry mix into wet mix until just combined, and no dry pockets remain. Fill each muffin cup with about 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of the mixture, then top with about 1 Tbsp of the streusel topping (I just used a large eating spoon and eyeballed it).

Bake for about 20 minutes, turning once.

Ta-dah! Gorgeously browned, heavenly scented not-too-sweet treats.

Oh, and by the by, I thought of a variation that one could do if one, you know, either wanted to venture outside (at ‘feels like 2 degrees’ I didn’t), or you had some extra nuts laying around (again, I didn’t), you could add 1/2 cup crushed walnuts or pecans to the batter, and swap out oats for crushed/ground nuts in the topping. If you try it with nuts, report back. I bet it would bring all the boys to the yard.

More pictures for those who prefer the step-by-step to include some visual stimuli. Enjoy! xoxo