Luckily, with bananas being one of our favorite fruits for a quick, pick me up snack, we have an abundance of banana recipes. We love them fresh from the peel, in fruit salads, or mixed into a dessert or bread recipe. We have yet to try the banana ice cream recipe, but Liv has it on her "one day I must try this" list!
With our over-ripe banana pile growing, we knew today was the day to do something with them. After perusing our recipe binder we decided on an old favorite... Banana Spice Muffins. This recipe was a stand by when my son was 2 years old and became the world's pickiest eater. He would eat just about anything banana, so I bumped up the whole grains by adding a bit of spelt or whole wheat flour, added some raisins and let him go at it. I make these in the mini muffin pan for a quick snack to stop that afternoon stomach rumbling and I don't feel guilty eating them!
The recipe calls for ricotta cheese and produces a nice, moist, light muffin. On occasion when I have not had ricotta, I have substituted low fat cream cheese or even yogurt. I usually use what I have on hand, and have used whipped cream cheese (usually on hand for the morning bagels) as well as block cream cheese. Frankly, I think cream cheese is pretty darn good in just about anything, and it worked well as a substitute in this recipe. For a yogurt substitution we have used plain as well as vanilla flavored yogurt with success.
FYI... that 2 year old picky eater has grown into a 14 year old hungry teenager and these are still a favorite!
Banana Spice Muffinsadapted from Cooking Light
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup spelt flour (or whole wheat flour)
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground all spice
1 tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup raisins
1 cup mashed, ripe banana (2 small)
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup light ricotta cheese (may substitute cream cheese)
2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg white
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the first 7 ingredients, flour through raisins in a large bowl. Whisk well.
Combine the banana and next 9 ingredients (banana through egg white) in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir just until incorporated (being careful not to over mix).
Spoon the batter into mini muffin tins that have been coated with cooking spray. Bake for approximately 14 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched and are lightly browned. Remove from pans immediately and cool on a wire rack.