Normally I’m a pretty patient person. I’m trying to think of specific examples right now, but none are coming to me, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
That wasn’t very patient of me, was it?
Oh! Like waiting for bread dough to rise. I will do that happily. Mostly because I can distract myself by reading other food blogs or watching Youtube videos to
waste pass the time, (VlogBrothers, anyone?) or by doing homework, of course… heh. But also because I’m patient!
However, sometimes I have streaks of impatience. (Don’t we all?)
For example, when I get a craving for banana bread, I wanna make banana bread THAT DAY. The only thing is, for deeeeelish banana bread, you just have to use really ripe bananas, as in so-ripe-the-peels-are-almost-all-brown bananas, because the flavor comes out much deeper and richer.
Well, that means you have to wait for them to ripen. Which takes a day or two, even using the handy brown bag trick.
So that means I won’t get my banana bread for at least another 24 HOURZ. Or will I?
One of my favorite ladies, Lindsay, over at Pinch of Yum has basically rescued me from ripe-banana peril now and forever.
Her recipe for banana bread muffins uses caramelized bananas to add a decadent layer of sweetness. Doesn’t that just sound wonderful?!
But here’s the best part: caramelizing the bananas cuts out the whole waiting for the bananas to become overripe step because they need to be fairly sturdy to caramelize well. Hello, yellow bananas sitting on the counter, you are perfect!
SO we get impeccable banana flavor without the wait, and caramelizing the bananas brings out such a rich, sweet taste that we can cut down on the sugar too. YAY!
Plus you get to call them caramelized banana muffins. Look at you, being all fancy and talented. Oh, yes.
Also, can we take a moment to appreciate the bits of crunchy granola on top? And I though muffin tops couldn’t get any better.
Lindsay used oat flour in her muffins (aka grinding up oats in a food processor), but I used almond flour instead. The substitution worked great, although I strongly suggest waiting until the muffins have cooled quite a bit before eating them so that they can set properly. Otherwise the texture will be kind of mealy. I know you wanna eat ’em piping hot, but it’s a lot better than waiting for bananas to ripen, amiright?
Since these muffins are predominantly almond flour with just a little whole spelt flour, they should be fine for you if you just have a gluten sensitivity. Spelt still has gluten in it, though, so they are not good people with Celiac. (Read more about why spelt is okay for people with gluten intolerance here, near the end) You might be able to make them truly gluten free by experimenting with some other GF flours, although I have not tried it yet. YOU SHOULD DO IT AND LET ME KNOW HOW IT WORKS.
- 4 bananas, peeled and sliced (NOT overly ripe)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. whole spelt flour (can sub whole wheat)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 3/4 c. plain almond milk
- 2 eggs
- 5 tbsp. melted Earth Balance or coconut oil
- 2-3 tbsp. honey or real maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/3 c. oats
- 1 tbsp. melted Earth Balance or coconut oil
- 1 tbsp. honey or real maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray generously with a nonstick cooking spray. (The oil is necessary for the caramelization) Slice the bananas into rounds and place them flat on the baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes, flipping once and removing from the oven when the bananas are a deep, golden brown on the outside. Transfer to a bowl and mash the bananas with a wooden spoon.
- Toss the almond flour, spelt flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, melted Earth Balance, vanilla, and honey until combined and smooth. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet.
- Stir gently until batter is just barely combined. Fold the bananas into the mixture, stirring just 5 more times.
- Transfer the batter to a greased 12 cup muffin tin. Mix the topping ingredients together and sprinkle over the muffins. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the muffins are puffed slightly and spring back when you touch the tops. Let cool completely before enjoying, or the consistency will be mealy.