Monday, March 15, 2010

Banana Oatmeal Muffins: A Recipe of Odds and Ends

Today on Serious Eats: Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread. A quick, idiot-proof brown bread just in time for St. Patty’s Day.

When you really start cooking for yourself, the best part (beyond the actual eating) is amassing a collection of foods you never thought you’d try, much less learn to love. My kitchen is filled with flavor right now, ranging from vinegars, spices, herbs, and oils to starches, baking supplies, and preserves. I couldn’t have imagined this in college, when my pantry consisted of ketchup and five boxes of Kix.

However, there is a dark side to the glorious assembly.

Filling the nooks and crannies of my shelves, between the grand boxes of lasagna noodles and flasks of sesame oil, are a billion little bags of atypical, mostly-used edibles. Currently, they consist of:
  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3/4 vanilla bean
  • 7 vials of food coloring (3 primary, 4 neon)
  • 3 half-full jars of honey
  • 8 pistachios
  • 12 unshelled peanuts
  • 1 small jar chocolate sauce (from 2008)
  • 1 frozen bag yellow tomato slices
  • 6 coffee samples
  • 1/2 box superfine sugar
  • 2/3 huge bag masa harina
  • 4 to 6 drops peppermint extract
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup fat free sour cream (I can never tell when it goes bad.)
  • Red curry paste from before I was born (or thereabouts)
  • 1 jar organic tahini, minus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 canister Crystal Lite pink lemonade
  • More tea than any 15 people need (Note: I don’t drink tea.)
  • So many capers. SO. MANY. CAPERS.
The capers, tahini, evaporated milk, and various odds and ends will eventually be turned into a recipe. Other items (and I’m looking at you, chocolate sauce from the beginning of time) will probably suck up space until we move.

Consequently, I love dishes that can eliminate two or three strange elements. Banana Oatmeal Muffins is just such a recipe. Sure, it’s easy, delicious, and makes for an excellent on-the-go breakfast, but you can also throw in just about anything to jazz it up. (Note: except the capers. That would be bad.)

Have a half a bag of oat flour? It goes in here. Two about-to-go-bad bananas? Gone. A few Craisins? Plop ‘em in the bowl. Pistachios, peanuts, honey – even that jar of chocolate sauce wouldn’t be out of place. (Er, maybe.) Your taste buds are your only limits.

So, to end this post, a toast: Here’s to all those little weird things clogging up your cabinets. May they fill your muffins as much as your heart. (Or something.)

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If you like this recipe, you might also dig:
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Banana Oatmeal Muffins
Makes 12 muffins.
Adapted from Half-Baked Baker.


1 1/4 cup rolled oats (I used Quaker Old-Fashioned – Kris)
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup skim milk
1 1/2 cups oat flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

NOTE: If you do not have oat flour on hand (which I don’t), simply whirl 2 cups rolled oats in a food processor until they reach a flour-like consistency. This will create about 1 1/2 cups oat flour.

1) Preheat oven to 400°F.

2) In a large bowl, stir oats, sour cream, and milk together until combined. Set aside for 10 minutes.

3) In a medium bowl, whisk together oat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

4) In a small bowl, mix raisins and all-purpose flour. Set aside.

5) To the oat/sour cream mixture, add brown sugar, vegetable oil, bananas, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Add oat flour mixture. Stir until just moistened. Add raisins. Stir until incorporated.

6) Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray (or use muffin cups). Evenly distribute batter among cups. Bake 18-20 minutes, until muffins are golden brown and they pass the toothpick test. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes. Flip muffins out of pan. Enjoy warm or let cool completely.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, and Price Per Serving
226 calories, 8.3 g fat, 3 g fiber, $0.33

Calculations
NOTE: My oat flour calculations are for food-processed oatmeal, as described in the note above.
1 1/4 cup rolled oats (Quaker Old-Fashioned): 375 calories, 7.5 g fat, 10 g fiber, $0.34
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream: 120 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.89
1/2 cup skim milk: 45 calories, 0.4 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.12
1 1/2 cups oat flour: 600 calories, 12 g fat, 16 g fiber, $0.54
1/2 tsp cinnamon: 3 calories, 0 g fat, 0.6 g fiber, $0.01
1/2 tsp nutmeg: 6 calories, 0.4 g fat, 0.2 g fiber, $0.03
1/2 tsp salt: negligible calories, fat, and fiber, $0.01
2 tsp baking powder: 5 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.07
1 tsp baking soda: negligible calories, fat, and fiber, $0.01
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed: 344 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.29
1/3 cup vegetable oil: 646 calories, 73.1 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.48
2 large ripe bananas, mashed: 242 calories, 0.8 g fat, 7.1 g fiber, $0.46
1 large egg, lightly beaten: 74 calories, 5 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.21
1 teaspoon vanilla extract: 12 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.05
1/2 cup raisins: 217 calories, 0.4 g fat, 2.7 g fiber, $0.44
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour: 27 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0.2 g fiber, $0.01
TOTAL: 2716 calories, 99.7 g fat, 36.8 g fiber, $3.96
PER SERVING (TOTAL/12): 226 calories, 8.3 g fat, 3 g fiber, $0.33

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11 comments:

Rebecca said...

Nice recipe.
I keep trying to whittle down the odds and ends in my pantry every week; sometimes the results are great...other times .... other times I'd best make banana oatmeal muffins to make up for the other times!

If you want to get rid of the tea - send it to me. I drink a lot of tea and promise to make very good use of it. If not, you could always cook with it.

Anonymous said...

I had a friend that used to make "Kitchen Sink Cookies". you know, the ones that had everything but the kitchen sink. She'd make a basic cookie batter and throw in whatever baking ingredients she had left over from other endeavors - chocolate chips, peanut butter, coconut, pecans, toffee...

It was never the same cookie twice, and was almost always fantastic!

Stephanie from Juicy Fresh Bites said...

I know actually what you mean! When I go grocery shopping and come across some new and exciting ingredient, I can never resist the urge to put it into my shopping cart, thinking that I'll definitely make use of it. But most of the times they get lost and hidden in the pantry and then I'm always too lazy to clear them out just because it is such a hassle...

But now since you've shown a great recipe to use up odds and ends, I think I may actually go dig through the pantry and see what surprises (or potential catastrophe) I may find! :)

wosnes said...

After many, many years, I'm finally getting the idea of not buying the irresistible ingredient. But then there are the ingredients called for in a recipe that I know I'll never use in another recipe. It's a vicious circle!

HAPPY IN NEVADA said...

1/2 cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 cinnamon sticks
3/4 vanilla bean - with these four ingredients you've got the basics for a good rice pudding.

7 vials of food coloring (3 primary, 4 neon) - mix these all up into one color; add to a vase with water - put in any light-colored or white flower, and the coloring will be drawn up into the flowers...changing their colors.

3 half-full jars of honey - mix into one larger jar; you've got a new flavor and more room.

8 pistachios
12 unshelled peanuts - shell the pistachios and peanuts; grind in the blender and now you've got a topping to go with the chocolate sauce - a sundae for dessert.
1 small jar chocolate sauce (from 2008)

1 frozen bag yellow tomato slices - defrost and put them on a sandwich or two.....

6 coffee samples - open them all up; put in a small jar - a 'new flavor'...

1/2 box superfine sugar
2/3 huge bag masa harina
4 to 6 drops peppermint extract

1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup fat free sour cream (I can never tell when it goes bad.) - Mix the evaporated milk and sour cream and make up a white sauce; freeze it.

Red curry paste from before I was born (or thereabouts)
1 jar organic tahini, minus 2 tablespoons

1 canister Crystal Lite pink lemonade
More tea than any 15 people need (Note: I don’t drink tea.)- Mix the Crystal Lite with those bags of tea (brewed); add some ginger ale and orange juice - makes a great punch!

So many capers. SO. MANY. CAPERS. - grind them and use them to make a salsa (you could even use up those yellow tomatoes along with it; some scallions and cilantro with lime juice; salt and a bit of pepper - great on fish or pork.

Kris said...

Happy: comment of the year. Awesome.

Rebecca: I just might!

Anon: the Momofuku cookies are similar. Been dying to try those.

Steph and wos: I feel your pain.

Anonymous said...

Something along the same lines as "Kitchen Sink" cookies is bread pudding, especially since it can be made sweet or savory. might be a good use for all your honey, chocolate sauce and nuts. Find a sweet or savory bread you like, build an accompanying custard and throw in some of the Odds & Ends and sauce it with the chocolate or honey. Bread pudding is fairly forgiveable.

mo said...

finished off the leftovers last night and it was so good! i'd say yummy but i'm an adult. (the kid did make the "ummm" sound though)

Jessie said...

For the chocolate sauce, 1/2 box superfine sugar and few drops of peppermint extract - make chocolate mint frosting. Mix it all together with maybe a Tbsp or two of milk (depending on how wet the chocolate sauce is) to make frosting. My coworkers LOVE chocolate mint frosting. They won't admit it, but they'd eat it with spoons if the cake wasn't there.

Kristina said...

Yours is the best banana muffin recipe I've ever tried! I reblogged it, although all I really did was add a crumble topping, but I had to tell people how much I liked it and send them back here.

http://www.knucklesalad.com/2010/03/banana-muffins-crumbly-sweet-also-kind.html

Also, I had no idea you could freeze tomatoes! Don't they get all soggy when you thaw them out? Are they even firm enough for salsa?

Cheryl said...

I wouldnt put them on a sandwich, too soggy. I'd throw them in a pot with a little veggie broth, s&p, some fresh thyme, then hit it with a stick blender, touch of fresh cream or half & half and voila, tomato or cream of tomato soup. Toast up some thick bread slices for large croutons, or cut them before toasting for smaller ones. add a mixed greens salad with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. geez, i'm hungry now