I have a serious addiction to bananas. Especially the very ripe ones. Every time I go to the supermarket or to the fruit&veg shop, I find myself constantly glancing at the box with bananas, trying to spot the slightly brown and spotted ones. Often times, those are considered “bad and old” and are sold on special for ridiculous prices. For some reason, no one buy them, or maybe they do but not to the point to get rid of them. So, well, in the end I am always able to bring home 5 or 6 very mature and sweet bananas (often times fair trade from Ecuador) for less then 1 euro. It’s pretty clear and evident that in Italy very few people have discovered the magic world of banana muffins and breads.
It surely not a typical Italian sweet, not at all. Reading the book “I dolci di Osterie d’Italia”, where the most traditional sweets and desserts from all over Italy are listed, there is no trace of bananas. It’s a proof, isn’t it?
Unlike many Italian fellows, I am completely mad for everything banana. I gave proof of this here and here. And I keep buying more because I always want to try different variations of either banana bread or banana muffins. The weired thing is that every time I try a new recipe, either grabbed somewhere or invented, I always think it’s my favorite! So well, this is probably not going to be my last one. Maybe at the end we can do a survey to see what you preferred, too! Or, any of your suggestions about the ultimate banana muffins or banana bread is more than welcome! My freezer will be really grateful –it’s so stuffed with bananas!
The best thing about this kind of recipes is that they are really versatile. You can make them with more or less bananas, different flours, nuts, aromas, fats –or even low or almost no-fat — vegan, gluten-free. This is the last recipe I tried and I really liked it. It’s never too sweet –I have not the sweetest tooth–, it’s kind of rustic, and has crunchiness and chewiness and a hint of exotic given by the coconut. Anyway, I am sure you don’t need me to know that pecans, coconut and bananas go perfectly together. If you add maple syrup on top when they are still warm and eat them with your sticky fingers…Well, it’s just the right, terribly right thing to do!
Ingredients (make 8):
- – 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- – 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- – 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- – 1/4 tsp salt
- – 1/2 tsp baking powder
- – 1/4 tsp baking soda
- – 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- – 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- – 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- – 1 egg
- – 1/4 cup butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Combine flour with salt, baking powder, baking soda. Mix together egg, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, bananas. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients, mix well, then add pecans and coconut flakes. Mix until combined. Transfer batter in a muffin pan coated with parchment or muffin paper. Bake for 20 minutes. When ready, take off the oven and let cool on a rack.
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