Thursday, April 21, 2011

SB Review: Banana & Cinnamon Muffins

I've baked banana bread and banana muffins frequently, probably more in the 1.5 years I've been vegan. I guess I had no problem getting one at Starbucks or anywhere else, but now that doing so is not nearly as easy, I've adjusted to baking my own. I definitely prefer this as I know what truly goes inside them, so I control the nutrition in terms of sugar/fat and even the flavorings. It's also much less expensive. These are definitely added benefits I've attained since transitioning to a vegan diet.

Yesterday I had a few almost black and rotten ripened bananas sitting on my countertop so I knew they would get mashed up and make their way into a muffin. Normally I would chop and freeze them for green monsters but as of late I've been juicing for the past two weeks. I cracked open Skinny Bitch to see if it had a recipe, and like many vegan cookbooks, it did.

I appreciate the blurb about bananas, I never knew that they "stimulate the brain for optimal learning and memory". But why would Kim only include 2 bananas for a recipe that serves 12 muffins? I think that makes barely a bite of a banana per muffin. Not too much brain power, Ms. Barnouin.

This recipe included 1/4 c. earth balance, which I subbed half out for applesauce. I subbed out the all purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour. I also cut the sugar from 3/4 c. down to about 1/4 c. as I knew my bananas would be very naturally sweet. I made most of these changes because I basically freaked out when I saw that the serving size (one muffin) contains a whopping 300 CALORIES and 14 GRAMS OF FAT. That's a bit disturbing. Now I know there are 1/3 c. walnuts that would account for some natural fat. But really? This bitch needs to shape up her recipes if she wants them to truly be "everyday" and "good for your bod".

For some odd reason, my batter made well over 12 muffins. I filled my muffin cups two-thirds of the way and still had enough for another dozen. I opted for a loaf (more likely because I did not want to use my odd mini one) and it made a sweet, petite loaf. These tasted delicious, and after my subbing out of the EB for some applesauce and the increased serving size that resulted (from what, I'm still not sure, I'm thinking Kim over-estimated the 2 2/3 cups of flour) I may have  knocked these down to about 6g fat per slice/muffin, which isn't all that bad.

As for the taste, they are delicious. The muffin texture is almost cake like, very soft and delicate. The cinnamon and vanilla really shine through, with a mellow banana taste. That being said, from what I referred to as my "fat kid mentality", I would rather eat six HH muffins that contain ~1g fat than only one of these.

Are you into muffins? // What else do you do with black bananas?


  1. Yup. Definitely love food that I can eat a lot of. Tiny portions be damned!

    I tend not to 'healthify' baked goods on the rare occasions I make them, mostly because it's intimidating. Which is completely silly. But I'm all, "what if they're too dense/rubbery/flavorless?" But that's almost never the case anyway. So I'm completely irrational. Okay, this stream of consciousness has brought a major thought process flaw to my attention. Next time I bake I shall follow your lead!

  2. Allysia: I don't know why, but I've never been like that. Everywhere you see/hear that baking is "so precise" and "cannot be messed with" but I've gotten sooo comfortable with cooking and being flexible with measurements to just create great flavors and make that happen. I've adapted that style to baking (more or less) and have had good results. Sometimes muffins aren't perfect (slightly drier or denser) but I know I did something to make them healthier and I'm okay with that, and often have no problem eating the entire batch lol.

  3. I must be used to HH muffins because I can't imagine so much margarine, sugar, and white flour--especially because HH muffins are so good! These do sound amazing though.

  4. I agree... I don't see myself making muffins that aren't HH, or HH inspired, any time soon!