We are off to Mexico in a week (woohooo!!!!), and I always like to try to limit my shopping and use up whatever ingredients we have around the house before going away.  I’m always hesitant to “invent” baking recipes since proportions are so critical, but these turned out well!  Bonus! Max likes them, and they are pretty healthy!

Banana Bran Date Muffins

Ingredients

3/4 Cup Plain Yoghurt
1 1/4 Cup Milk (if you have buttermilk on hand, use this, and omit the 1 tbsp of Lemon Juice below)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cup All Bran “bud”Cereal (we had “buds” in the house. I’d imagine anything would do, but I’ll try to re-test in the future with flakes or sticks).
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 bananas  (approx 3/4 – 1 cup) (we keep ours in the freezer when they are starting to go bad, great for mushed up baby food, teething, and baking, although some people find this a little odd)
1/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup toasted chopped walnuts (we left these out because Max is munching on these, and I thought walnuts would be tricky for someone with two teeth).

Instructions

Makes 20 muffins

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 C and adjust oven rack to the middle position.  Grease muffin tins.
2. If using walnuts, toast walnuts and set aside.  I like to just use a frying pan, and keep them moving until slightly browned over medium heat. Be careful not to burn! Although this is an extra step that can be skipped, toasting the nuts makes them so much more flavourful!).
3.  In med bowl combine yoghurt, milk, lemon juice (if not using buttermilk…white vinagre also works as a substitute).  Once combined, add 2 cups bran buds and set aside for 10 minutes.
4. In separate large bowl mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, and sugar.  Set aside.
5. In small bowl mash bananas. Add two slightly beaten eggs, vegetable oil, and 1/4 cup of molasses. Stir until well combined, and add to the yoghurt/milk/bran mixture.
6. Add 1 cup chopped dates, and toasted walnuts (once cooled) to flour mixture.  The dates tend to stick together, so try to sprinkle them, in and stir them gently to coat them with flour so they won’t stick.
7.  Gently fold in milk/banana mixture using a spatula or wooden spoon.  Do not overmix! Its better to have streaks of flour, than overmixed muffin batter which will result in flat muffins.
8.  Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup,  portion the batter into each muffin cup.
9. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, turning the tray 1/2 way through.  The muffins will be ready when they are slightly brown, and when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs on it.
10.  Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip out on wire rack and let them cook another 10 minutes before serving.

Please let me know how this recipe works for you!!

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And if there is a little too much “Martha Stewart” Action happening….here is a dose of reality for you. This is what my kitchen looks like when I try to bake and entertain Max at the same time…there is a very good reason my parents banned me from baking when I was a kid…..Rob might have to do the same….Now I got to run! Max is sleeping and I have a kitchen to clean!


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