Lounging Bananas Cause Disturbance
“He lay hidden during the day and went in search of food at night–turnips, a few ears of corn from a crib, a few windfall apples–nothing that would be missed.”
East of Eden, John Steinbeck
Ripe bananas have a haunting quality. In the beginning they hold such great promise as a snack tucked in a lunch bag or perched atop cereal for breakfast. They lounge in the fruit bowl until green becomes yellow— and then brown. When the brown spots appear I wonder where the sunny topical escape went? Still lounging and now forgotten in the fruit bowl I must decide the fate of the very ripe bananas. It is disturbing to throw them away and yet Banana Bread often sounds too mundane. Besides I need three bananas for my Banana Bread recipe, and sometimes I only have two bananas. Bananas can be frozen and I did that once. I ended up with a huge bag of frozen bananas. I just kept adding bananas to the bag. I wasn’t using the bananas, I was storing them. With an inventory of two ripe bananas I decided muffins were to be made. And not just any old boring muffin, I wanted a muffin to cure the lounging banana disturbance.
I grew up in a household where food was rarely wasted. Leftovers were inspiration for another meal. I often cook for my blog and for family meals separately. I know I am not the only one who can not juggle taking photos in fading light when everyone is hovering and hungry. At times all the food I prepare is not consumed. Especially with baked goods or when I am testing a new recipe. By the time I’ve prepared the same recipe three times in a week we become bored. I find this wastefulness very troubling. I will take food to my mom and friends, but still I throw out more food than before I began my blog. Is this just the cost of having a food blog? With so much chatter about seasonal, sustainable, and local is food waste by recipe developers and food bloggers just a small amount and of no concern? What about the larger institutions in our society: grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, schools, prisons, the military? There is no easy answer but if you have any thoughts that can inspire me to be less wasteful I would love to hear them.
The slackers are gone and my fruit bowl has regained it’s equilibrium while I gained a gratifying solution for two ripe bananas. I was determined to develop a muffin recipe using leftovers or ingredients I already had in my pantry. For morning nourishment or a healthy snack I included faro from the previous evenings dinner in the muffins. Quinoa or flaked whole grain cereal would also work in this recipe. A sprinkle of spices from my pantry melds nicely with leftover morning coffee while candied ginger sparkles like amber in the streusel topping. The subtle warmth from the ginger in my pantry pairs sweetly with the bananas without overwhelming the tropical disturbance.
|Spiced Banana Faro Muffins|
|Ginger Streusel Topping|
|3T||finely minced candied ginger|
|2||very ripe bananas|
|6T||butter, melted and cooled|
|1C||cooked and cooled faro or other cooked grain such as quinoa|
- Heat oven to 375° Grease muffin tin, set aside.
- Make the Streusel Topping: Thoroughly combine all the streusel ingredients except the melted butter. Then mix in the melted butter. Set aside.
- Make the muffins: In a large bowl smash bananas until there are no big lumps. Then mix in the brown sugar. There should be no lumps of brown sugar. Stir in the egg, vanilla, molasses, coffee and melted butter. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Over the top of the bowl that holds the wet ingredients sift or shake though a sieve the flour, salt and all the spices. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Do not over mix. When the batter is almost mixed, gently fold in the cooked faro. Sprinkle the faro by hand, so the grains are all separated and not in clumps. Do not over mix.
- Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full of batter. Top each muffin with a tablespoon of the streusel and bake for 15–20 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean and the muffins have pulled away from the sides of the pan. Cool for 5 minutes before removing muffins from the tin.