“She went bananas” Not yet folks, they haven’t checked me into the loony bin. There are days when I think any minute. But where did that saying come from? How did bananas get a bad reputation, or more a crazy one? They look pretty sane to me. I don’t like them, and one thing that annoys me is “banana flavored” stuff. If that is what flavoring is, I am good, thanks. But I bake banana bread or muffins frequently it seems, because one spot of brown in this house, and Mad moves on. So here are some banana muffins with streusel topping. Oh and I used vanilla salt to kick it up a notch.
Banana muffins with streusel topping
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Combine all ingredients into a bowl, cutting up butter with a pastry cutter, fork or your hands. Set aside
Preheat oven to 375. Line muffin tins with liners and set aside
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (i use vanilla sea salt or sea salt for more texture. table salt is fine)
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Mash bananas, then add oil, egg, and vanilla. Add banana mixture to dry ingredients and stir until combined (do not overmix)
Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full with muffin batter, and sprinkle streusel topping on each muffin
Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean in middle of the muffin. Depending on your oven, muffins could take up to 20 minutes.
Let cool in muffin tins for 15 minutes
Cool on cooling rack or serve warm
*Makes about a dozen muffins
Now let’s talk spices. Yep, I am all over the place, so go ahead and call the blog authorities if you want, but I do what I like. How long should you keep them? Good question, and thank you Terry for asking me. I keep them unopened for about six months. After that, we have to break up. Now things like cinnamon and ginger I go through quickly, but I only buy the smaller jars because I want to make certain I don’t keep them too long. And yes there are spices I will buy only the good stuff. Anyone who has been to a Penzey’s knows what I am talking about. It’s a spice paradise. I buy the 1 oz jars, which aren’t any more expensive than your grocery store. People get overwhelmed or worried about price, but in fact it’s a better quality spice and the cost is reasonable. Because I bake more than cook, I have cinnamon (I do get the big Costco one, this does last quite awhile with no problems) ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves, allspice, etc. I do have about four types of cinnamon and nutmeg, but you don’t have to be “bananas” like me unless you want to. I am pretty swell, but I digress. Other essential spices are chili powder, ground mustard, pizza seasoning, pepper, cumin, peppercorns, and bay leaves. I also like seasonal spices like pumpkin pie spices.
Dried vs fresh-always use fresh if you can, but if you are using dried, always use a little less. So if a recipe calls for ½ tsp, go with ¼ dried.
So six months is my rule of thumb. Go forth, spice it up, live your life spicy and a bit crazy. It’s much more fun here