Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Freezer Breakfast, Healthy Banana Bran Muffins

A lot of moms swear by waking up early and starting your day before the kids are out of bed. This explains why I don't do that. 

Sunday morning I woke up early, eager to make a big batch of yummy banana muffins. I love the recipe I use via Mel's Kitchen Cafe. The ingredients balance well and create a tasty but healthy morning treat. The recipe is easily tripled, giving me a dozen days worth of breakfasts. These muffins are so easy to freeze for future use. I store six in quart size ziploc freezer bags. When I'm ready to eat them I just zap them in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds and they are good as new. I usually serve them with a warm side of scrambled eggs. This is easily one of my kids favorite breakfasts, and I always feel like a champ for feeding them a hot, healthy meal.  Occasionally I'll snatch a bag out of the freezer only to discover it has already been half eaten. Ben loves to snack on these. Sometimes, if I really need some chocolate, I'll even eat one frozen. You really can't go wrong with these (one time I added thrice the amount of salt needed, and they still turned out great, so trust me when I say you can't go wrong).

Anyway, enough dreaming about how yummy these are. This past Sunday I woke up at 5:15 just so I could make these. I started by gathering all my ingredients (butter was left out over night in order to "soften" and I use my homemade applesauce for this). I snapped a couple pictures, knowing I wanted to share this recipe triple force. 

Then, I heard them. 5:30 they both started making noises, and by 5:45 there was no avoiding it. Both my kids were up for the day. They usually sleep till 6:30ish, and even if they stir early they'll stay in bed until 6:15, at the earliest. But if I'm up, they are up. Trying to beat them to the day is pointless. 

I was gripping and moaning about having to deal with the crankiness of still sleepy children. 

I begrudgingly acknowledged the whining demands of children that should have still been in their beds. 

Then I began grabbing measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls and electric mixers, and suddenly I heard it. Sweet laughter and goofy kisses. 

So I embraced my little monkeys, and tried to calmly let them help me bake up a kitchen storm. Cause seriously, when you triple a recipe you're going to need two large mixing bowls and things will get super messy (I should have taken a picture of super mess, super mess is totally worth it for these muffins Xs three, tho).

Below I have shared the monster version of this recipe, the tripled version rather. I can't remember the last time I wiped up just one batch. I always triple it. So now I'll have the math done for me, but if you'd rather start with something smaller, just 24 muffins instead of 72, you can refer to the above link at Mel's Kitchen Cafe. 

Because the tripled version calls for nine mashed bananas, I've started mashing them right inside my Kitchen Aid. Once they are mashed I pour them in to my largest mixing bowl. Then I proceed with the recipe as outlined. Standard instructions really, cream the butter (and in this case, applesauce) and sugar together. Then mix in the remaining wet ingredients. Stir all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, I use the banana dirtied, extra large mixing bowl. Then marry the wet with the dry, taking special care not to over mix while making sure everything is mixed well enough.  

You'll see that I still have a few small clumps of dry flour and the bran flakes hardly get crushed at all. This is the perfect balance of mixed well but not too well. In a mixing bowl that large you have to go around and through the middle quiet a few times, but if you go slowly and gently it all works out in the end. I kind of like how tripling this recipe makes me feel like an industrial baker. 

Healthy Banana Bran Muffins

6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
9 over ripe, medium bananas
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
4 1/2 cups flour (I've used both all purpose and whole wheat, either is fine)
1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
12 cups bran flakes (equals one 18 oz box)
3 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In your stand mixer, mash all the bananas together. Pour banana mash into separate, extra large mixing bowl. In your stand mixer, cream together the butter, applesauce and sugar. Add the eggs, bananas and buttermilk and mix well. 

Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, bran flakes, and chocolate chips together in the extra large mixing bowl. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until evenly moistened. The batter will be lumpy with a few dry streaks. Be sure you mix well enough to get everything evenly moistened. 

Fill  greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full (I use a 2 oz cookie dough scoop, heaped). Bake for 16-18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store the muffins in an airtight container for 1-3 days or freeze in a resealable freezer bag or airtight container for up to three months. 

Plenty for eating right away

And plenty for eating another morning.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love the pictures of the kids. Absolutely adorable!!

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