Today is the first day of school for us, and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I have every intention of starting the year off with healthy well-rounded breakfasts, lovingly prepared meals and a lunch box covering all food groups. This image faded fast this morning as I juggled three lunch boxes and the newly acquired puppy. The kids are out the door, it’s 8:40am, and I already feel like I’ve been up for half a day! I’m looking forward to a cup of coffee in my quiet house before starting to pick up the morning’s shrapnel and figuring out how I’m going to tackle the insane after-school activity schedule.
So to meet my #breakfastgoals, I tested these Banana Brûlée Muffins on my kids last week. You know those bananas in your fruit bowl that you keep walking past? The ones that are slowly morphing from yellow to spotty to more brown than yellow? I’m guilty as charged of repeatedly being in possession of over-ripe bananas and every time I pass them I think to myself ,”I must freeze or bake ASAP!” My quick banana rescue is to peel and freeze them for smoothies, but if time is on my side, I’ll bake. Cue the sorry looking bananas lurking in the fruit bowl that are begging for mercy. A little fruit, a dose of oats and a sprinkle of sugar finished under the broiler, make these more exciting than your everyday banana muffin. These would be amazing with walnuts or pecans thrown in, if you’re a fan. I did add a few cheeky spoons of ground flax for healthy omega-3s (brain food!) and fiber.
So c’mon parents, roll up your sleeves and rescue those sorry looking bananas. Make a batch of these muffins and freeze them for later, you’ll be glad you did! They’re hearty enough to keep anyone going ’til lunch time and not overly sweet. Now don’t mind me as I sit back and enjoy my first child-free coffee of the school year. Hang on, phone’s ringing, please let it not be the school nurse...
Wishing everyone a great start to the school year!
Ingredients (makes 12)
4 ripe bananas (3 mashed and 1 sliced)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup (120 ml) maple syrup
1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut oil, melted
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk (nut or oat milk works well too!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
1-3/4 cups (220 g) all purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground flax
1/2 cup (40 g) old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top
2 tablespoons sugar (we used the larger grain turbinado sugar for the tops)
Preheat the oven to 325F (165C). Prepare your 12-cup muffin tin with a non-stick baking spray.
Slice one of the bananas and sprinkle the slices with lemon juice. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the maple syrup, coconut oil and eggs, beat with a whisk until well-combined. Add the milk, remaining bananas (mashed), baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon. Stir in all the ingredients until combined.
Add the flour and oats to the mixture using a large spatula to gently turn and combine the batter. Don't over-mix this batter as it will ruin the texture of the muffins.
Fill the muffin cups evenly (about 3/4 of the way), place a banana slice on top and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20-23 minutes, until the muffins bounce back when poked with your finger (careful, hot!) or a wooden skewer comes out clean.
When they’re done, turn on the broiler and stand guard so they don’t burn. Watch the sugar bubble and turn into caramel, this should take only 1-2 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring them from the muffin tin to a wire rack to cool. These freeze well in an airtight bag or container for breakfasts and lunch boxes!