Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dairy-Free Banana Muffins

You might recognize this old brown wooden table - I made these muffins when I was at my parents' house for Christmas this weekend. Before I moved to my own place, this table was the setting for my blog and it brought back memories...

But what my parents' kitchen does lacks, now that I am no longer living there, is most of the essentials for baking, namely, spices, seasonings, and measuring cups. My parents' kitchen is an Asian kitchen, meaning the only spices and seasonings you'll find in their pantry are five-spice powder and MSG. And no measuring implements. When I lived there, I was the one who maintained the spice rack, and took everything with me when I moved to my own apartment.

So in my homecoming holiday weekend, I wanted to bake something for Christmas brunch with the fam. In the pantry, I found about a cup and a half of flour, baking soda, and sugar that I had left behind. I dug up an old set of measuring cups, (no idea where they came from - but they were dusty from disuse). I found one lone measuring teaspoon that had been separated from the rest of the ring of spoons when I moved out. (I ended up having to buy new measuring spoons for my new apartment). And three overripe bananas. (Don't worry, I am sure my mom bought those recently - they were not left behind from when I moved out six months ago!)

Fortunately, my 21-month old Nephew loves bananas, so I knew the perfect food to make for Christmas brunch - banana muffins. I used this recipe for banana bread from Simply Recipes, only with a few tweaks. The Nephew is allergic to dairy - which worked out because my parents didn't have any real butter - only butter spread. So I substituted vegetable oil for the butter. And I have to say, I could not tell the difference. The only ingredient that would have really helped was vanilla extract - but I had to omit that since well, there wasn't any in the house. Other additions that I feel would have been nice, had I had the benefit of my own kitchen were to sprinkle some cinnamon and nutmeg into the batter. But the finished product that I had was still good - I ate four of them when they were still warm from the oven! Without the added spices, this recipe produces a pure, unadulterated banana muffin.

Dairy-Free Banana Muffins
Adapted from Simply Recipes

3 ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg, beaten
Pinch of salt

In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Then mix in sugar, oil, and eggs. Sprinkle in salt and baking soda. Then slowly incorporate flour into the mixture until just combined. Spoon mixture into a muffin pan lined with muffin cups. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes about 16 small muffins, or 12 regular-sized muffins.
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