Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

What to post, what to post! I'm about to start a new rotation...after a disasterous test in surgery I should have time to actually cook! I mean, for real cook. Not just stress relief baking, not just throwing veggies into the oven and then into eggs for an omlette, not just pulling a frozen fish out of the freezer. Actually cooking. In three days I've already tried three new recipes...all of which have been a success and will be making an apperance here soon! In fact, one will appear today. While typing the past few sentences, I have decided which recipe to post. Aren't you curious!? Well, I guess I gave it away by the picture...oh, well!Sunday my grocery store had a nice bag of "ready to eat (HA!) or bake bananas" for 25 cents a pound. Bananas here never last long...I bought seven bananas on Sunday (the kind that are REALLY at eating stage) and by Tuesday they were GONE! I had ONE...meaning my roommate is a monkey! :-) Hey, at least it's bananas. Anyway, like I said, bananas don't last for baking purposes. So, I was excited to see these baking bananas in the store. However, I didn't want to do my normal banana bread as my oven has been having issues with baking quick breads. So I went in search of a banana recipe. Not finding any, I started going through my normal blogs. When I got to Kristen's I saw a banana muffin recipe! Yes! This is what I'm going to try. That afternoon, I had Oprah on because Dr. Oz was there. I really like watching him because he teaches well and it shows me that I really have learned things in medical school! Anyway, he was talking about 5 foods that you should try to stay away from. Uh oh. If you like to bake this is bad news. The foods: partially hyrdogenated oils (meaning real butter is okay but taking shortening out of the picture), sugar (hmmm), high fructose corn syrup (I don't use this except around Christmas), enriched flour (eh), and saturated fat. I was inspired. SO, I set off to make these muffins with as little of these five ingredients as I could. Let's see...shortening - a no-no, though I'll still use it some, so I used canola oil, don't really know how olive oil would have worked. Okay, sugar...well, I could have converted for honey but didn't feel like it, so I just reduced the amount of sugar. Dr. Oz probably would have used honey or even agave nectar. Bananas...super good! Eggs...a natural food, okay. Flour...well, for baked goods you've got to have this, but I changed from white flour to whole wheat pastry flour - no enrichment needed. I love this stuff. It gives that great nutty taste of wheat flour without making the baked goods tough. I might just have to go buy some in bulk from our local whole foods store. Everything else in the recipe is fine. I did change the applesauce to fat-free vanilla yogurt just because that's what I had on hand. Add in some walnuts (good fat!) and I think this recipe would please Dr. Oz! So, check this out and thank Kristen for the inspiration! Julianne's Mini Banana Muffins (though I did regular size and mini- I think mini are my faves!)
2/3 cup sugar - could have used less, probably 1/2 cup, but didn't want to change too much the first time
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
2 eggs
3-4 bananas, peeled and smashed - I used 4
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
Combine the sugar and oil, stirring for a minute or so. Add the yogurt, eggs, and bananas. Stir until well combines, about 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Once combined, slowly add to the banana mixture and mix until incorporated completely. Add walnuts if using. Bake in sprayed muffin tins on 350 for approximately 12 minutes (or until toothpick in the center comes out clean).

Makes about 48 mini-muffins. I got 12 mini-muffins, 12 regular muffins, and 2 muffin tops.


Peabody said...

Yes, I would make Dr. Oz very upset. Though except for Jif I don't eat transfat. And like you I rarely roll out the corn syrup.

Erika W. said...

Claire have you ever used agave nectar? I don't like using artificial sweeteners, but have thought about agave nectar. It's a little on the pricey side, so I wonder if it would be worth it.

gail@more than a song said...

I love your title! Think I saw that show and them talking about those foods to avoid....wonder what Dr. Oz thinks about splenda?
It's hard with baking to avoid all those things. I hardly ever use corn syrup but it's in SO many products on the shelves that it's sometimes hard to avoid.

Cate said...

Mmm, saw those muffins and printed out the recipe. They look delish, and Nicholas loves banana bread. He just might go for these.

Unknown said...

Peabody - I think now it's becoming easier to steer clear of trans-fat but for baking, you've at least got to have sugar. I'm just not going to go the agave nectar route!

Erika - I have not used agave nectar, though I've seen it in the store. It is expensive but I think it packs quite a punch. The person to check with would be Susan at Fat Free Vegan. Im pretty sure she uses it a bit. Her link is in my side bar.

Gail - Hmm...I don't know. I like Splenda but don't like using it as a complete substitute in baking...doesn't cook the same and has a bit of an aftertaste. However, substituting some sugar works okay. So many times, though, you can just decrease the sugar without replacing it. As to the corn syrup, you're right...SO many things have it in them, we don't even realize.

Cate - I hope Nicholas likes them. They really are pretty healthy and, even with the changes, are SUPER moist.

Red Dirt Mummy said...

Bad luck on the test, Claire. Was it really a disaster or are you just thinking the worst? I'm glad to see your surgery rotation is over and that you can gain back some of your real life. We missed you!

Unknown said...

RDM - Unfortunately, the test really was bad. It was on the computer, so I got my grade back immediately. All I can say is that I know for a fact, people have passed the course with a lower grade than I made and my other grades are good. I'm glad to be back, too. Hopefully, I'll be posting on a more frequent basis.

gail@more than a song said...

I'll try decreasing it.......I have some of that Splenda for baking and haven't tried subbing it for some of the sugar so might check that out sometime too.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you liked them. I love your adaptations!

Anonymous said...

Claire, your Mom told me about your blog several years ago and I found this recipe when I needed it most! It has been 4 years and I am still making these muffins over any other banana muffins. Thank you SO much for posting this!!! I made these with a cream cheese icing for two of my children's first birthday parties...favorite!!

Liz Vailes (Cornerstone Community Church, Jackson TN)