I hate wasting food. Okay, sometimes there will be a piece of past-its-best veg sitting in the fridge that has been forgotten because it has been buried under something else, but it’s rare that a use can’t be found for it. Vegetable peelings and trimmings, and not quite at their best leeks, celery, carrots and the like can always be pressed into service to make a stock. As for fruit, anything on the turn can be turned into cake fillings or immersed in alcohol and soaked for a few weeks to make a wicked punch, while bananas are (to my mind) at their most useful when the skins are seriously spotted with black but the fruit is still quite firm. From these you can make banoffee pie, banana bread, or these lovely little muffins.
Small enough to eat in two bites, loaded with flavour and (whisper it) they’re healthy as well. Made with a minimum amount of sugar and sunflower oil rather than butter, they are a great guilt-free treat, and are also great as part of your breakfast. They freeze well, so there’s no need to worry about eating them all in a hurry.
The ones pictured below have no topping or garnishing, but you can sprinkle a little demerara sugar over the top five minutes before they come out of the oven for a crunchy topping and a little extra indulgence.
RECIPE – makes around 30 small muffins, or 15 large
200g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
100g soft light brown sugar
4 large ripe bananas
1 large egg, beaten
60ml sunflower oil
75g chopped walnuts
demerara sugar to finish (optional)
Heat the oven to 180C/ gas 4. Line a cupcake tin with paper cases of the appropriate size.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar. Mix well.
In a separate large bowl, mash the bananas until smooth then add the beaten egg and sunflower oil and mix thoroughly. Now add the dry ingredients and the walnuts over the top of the banana mix, fold through until all the ingredients are just combined; take care not to overmix.
Spoon the mixture into the pastry cases then bake for 15-20 minutes (for small muffins) or 20-25 minutes for larger muffins. They are ready when the tops are browned and firm, and when you insert a skewer or cocktail stick it comes out clean.
If you wish, five minutes or so before they are finished, sprinkle a little demerara sugar over the top of each muffin to add little crunch.