August 6, 2010

Freakishly Healthy Banana Muffins

I've made a lot of banana bread in my time. In fact, I think it's a requirement of motherhood that you make banana bread at the very least a dozen times a year. This is, or course, because children love banana's. I've never met a kid who didn't. Banana was, sort of, my first word. I say sort of because I called them "das" so I'm not sure if it really counts as a first word, but my parents knew what I meant. But the reason that banana bread is a fact of parenting isn't because kids love bananas, since if they really loved them, their wouldn't be bananas left to make bread from, but because children love to mess with your mind. The LOVE banana's one week, so much so that the next week you buy three pounds of them so that your child can have all the banana's they want. And that's when they decide they don't care for bananas after all. It's just a law of life, right about the time you think you have something figured out, it changes. Thus banana bread.

The other things about banana bread is that it's almost healthy, sort of. At least healthy enough that you don't feel totally guilty giving them a few slices for their snack (or meal, who are we kidding), much better than, say, that bright blue gogurt they wanted at the store (why would yogurt makers think it was a good idea to make neon blue yogurt? It just screams BAD FOR YOU! But I digress).

So I've made a lot of banana bread. And because I really like to tinker and toy and try out new recipes, I've tried several different versions. I had high hopes for Molly Wizenberg's recipe. It was good, but not as great as I'd hoped. The kids weren't too nuts about it. But this version, they seriously love. I mean, gone in a second, they don't want anything else for lunch but banana bread when I make it crazy for it.

And the best part is -not that I would ever tell them because then they'd probably turn their noses up at it - it's by far the healthiest version I've ever EVER made. Or even come across I think. Maybe they aren't really freakishly healthy but they are pretty darn good for you. I've made this as a loaf but I think it's even better as muffins, so that's how it works in our kitchen. Super (shhh..healthy) good banana muffins.

4 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Splenda (or sugar if you don't like Splenda)
1 can pear halves (I use the packed in juice variety)
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose white flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 T cinnamon

Mash the bananas and pears in a medium bowl with a potato masher before stirring in sugar, Splenda and eggs. Sift in dry ingredients and fold gently until combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy with chucks of pear and banana.

Scoop 1/3 cupfuls into lightly greased muffin tins and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and allow to cool slightly for a few minutes before serving.

As soon as these are cool I put them (what's left of them that is) in a Pyrex dish with a lid to keep them moist. But I don't think we've made it through the end of the day without eating the whole batch, so I've no idea if they keep longer than that :).