Muffins to the Rescue of Bananas

Four bananas going south… cannot eat anymore as two already downed… don’t like to waste food either… what is a girl to do?

Make some banana muffins, of course! Especially when she is in need of some interesting breakfast stuff.


And that is how it started. But then, isn’t it too tame to go ahead and make some regular run of the mill muffins? Why not add some different stuff to make it a bit more interesting? That is the path I took. And the end result? Well worth the effort… a healthier, tastier set of muffins!


So I went around assembling the ingredients… the bananas are very sweet; so what is a fruit that is not so sweet? Dried plums! They do have a good texture too.


And now for some colour… what better than glazed cherries for colour? And some walnuts for crunch. Last item… a pinch of orange zest. Nothing invokes that sunny morning feeling like the flavour of oranges!


With the ingredients assembled, the rest was easy. As easy as beat’em, chop’em, blend’em… beat the liquid stuff, chop the fruits and nuts…


And blend everything together!


When the muffins came out of the oven, they were looking so good I felt it is a shame not to give them a topping… at least some of them.


So I made a quick topping with a bit of cream cheese and a dash of mascarpone. They are sufficiently sweet, so just a spoonful of honey to sweeten just the topping.


A sliver of glazed cherry to garnish, and you got a winner!



Muffins to the Rescue of Bananas
Recipe type: Breakfast
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp nutmeg powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup dried plums
  • ½ cup glazed red cherries
  • ¾ cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degree fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare muffin pans with paper liners. The quantity mentioned will get you 20 muffins; so you could either use two muffin pans, or bake them in two batches.
  3. Mix the flour with baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Keep aside.
  4. Toast the walnuts in a hot pan for 3 minutes and let cool. Chop the walnuts into a rough chop, each walnut being cut into not more than two or three pieces.
  5. Mash two of the bananas coarsely so that lumps remain.
  6. Chop the dried plums and glazed cherries coarsely.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, using an electric beater.
  8. Add the sugar and continue beating till the sugar is completely dissolved.
  9. Add the remaining two bananas and beat them into the egg-sugar mixture.
  10. Add the oil and vanilla extract and beat to mix thoroughly.
  11. Using a spatula, mix the lumpily mashed bananas into the mix.
  12. Now add the chopped ingredients – dried plums, glazed cherries, walnuts – and the orange zest, one by one, mixing well after each addition to form the batter.
  13. Add half the flour mixture into the batter and gently blend in.
  14. When all the flour is mixed in, add the remaining flour and continue blending till smooth. Do not beat the batter at this stage or over blend.
  15. Using a large spoon, drop the batter into the prepared muffin pans till each cup is ¾ full.
  16. Place the pan into the heated oven.
  17. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, till the muffins have risen well and the top is golden brown. At this stage, a skewer inserted into the center of a muffin will come out clean.
  18. Remove from the oven and place individual muffins on a rack to cool.
  19. If you would like to add a topping, mix together 3 tablespoons of cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese. Sweeten just enough with honey and spread on top of the muffins.

Zucchini Carrot Bread for Breakfast

Recently, I have started going to zumba classes. I mean, how could I not join? The classes are being held in the ground floor party hall of Condoville. That means that I can walk down as-is, literally. And it is being held after work hours. And all my friends are going… Enough reasons, right? And it is very enjoyable, indeed. The trainer An-hel has been in the fitness business for 20+ years and really knows what he is talking about. So when he suggested that I enhance my almost non-existent breakfast to make it a bit more substantial, I considered it an idea worth trying. And so far, it has been going good.


So these days, I’m looking at healthy breakfast options. Not the routine stuff, but something a bit more attractive… which doesn’t take a lot of time in the morning. Going through my recipe files, I came across this breakfast bread… slightly on the sweet side, and choke full of veggies. Seemed like the perfect solution, and when done, the zucchini carrot bread turned out to be exactly that.


This is a basic recipe for a simple cake, made interesting by the addition of grated zucchini and carrots. And flavoured with spices and yes, orange zest, which is my favourite! The good thing about this recipe is that it is very flexible. You can add as much of the veggies as you like to the mix. That is what I did. Added twice the quantity of vegetables when I prepared it. Only, it will add to the denseness of the bread. But for breakfast, I really do like that.


In the recipe, I have provided the standard measurements. If you really want your zucchini carrot bread light and airy, go with those measurements. On the other hand, if you want to make it into a healthy option, don’t be afraid to increase the quantity of the vegetables.


Another flexible part, is the sugar. You can use the quantity provided in the recipe and you will have a fairly sweet bread. But I prefer my breakfast foods just with a touch of sweetness. So I halved the sugar. And believe me, it turned out perfect for breakfast.


And the orange zest… that is exactly what gives this bread that morning quality, that jolt of freshness that gets you ready to face whatever the day brings along. So don’t be stingy with that, I would say.


And finally, I used a flat shallow pan as I did not want too thick slices. The zucchini carrot bread can be baked in a deeper pan if you would prefer thicker slices.



Zucchini Carrot Bread for Breakfast
Recipe type: Breakfast
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup grated zucchini
  • ¾ cup grated carrots
  • 1 ½ tbsp orange zest
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Mix together the dry flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar together.
  4. Add the oil to the mix and beat well.
  5. Using a flexible spatula, blend in the grated zucchini and carrots, and the zest.
  6. Add the flour in batches and mix together. Do not overmix.
  7. Fold in the chopped nuts, if using.
  8. Transfer the batter to a buttered pan and bake. Baking time will vary depending on the depth of the pan. When a skewer inserted into the middle of the pan comes out clean and dry, the zucchini carrot bread is done.
  9. Enjoy with a good cup of coffee!