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Banana Maple Muffins--An Easy Breakfast Treat

I never seem to run out of bananas that have ripened past the stage where anyone will eat them. Could it be that I buy too many? Or are people putting them aside hoping I'll make banana muffins? Maybe some of both. These banana muffins are easy enough to whip up for a quick weekend breakfast or an evening treat. The muffins include chopped as well as mashed bananas, intensifying the banana flavor. A little maple extract adds a special taste to the simple muffins, and white whole wheat flour and oatmeal contribute whole grains and great texture. Because these are banana, not spice, muffins, a light hand with the cinnamon and nutmeg is essential. If you'd like, you can top the muffins with chopped walnuts, which toast and become crunchy good as the muffins bake. These muffins really are easy and use no weird, special ingredients. Go for them!

Banana Maple Muffins

Banana Maple Muffins -- Makes 12

1/4 cup of canola oil

3/4 cup of low-fat milk

2 tablespoons of brown sugar (preferably dark)

3 tablespoons of sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 cups of flour

1/2 cup of white whole wheat flour

1/2 cup of quick oats

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

3 bananas well past their prime (i.e., getting squishy)

1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat a muffin tin that has has 12 wells with non-stick cooking spray or line the wells with cupcake papers and spray the papers. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, sugars, and egg until well combined and a little frothy. Add the flours, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and, using a wooden spoon, stir them into the liquid mixture gently until barely moistened. Mash two bananas well until almost liquidy and stir them into the batter gently. Cut the remaining banana into small chunks (baby-sized, or about 1/4-inch pieces) and stir the chunks into the batter. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin wells and, if you'd like, top the batter with chopped walnuts. Bake the batter for 20-24 minutes or until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out mostly clean.

Banana Maple Muffins

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