You can find 1000+ of my kitchen-tested recipes using the Recipes tab, watch nearly 100 of my Kitchen Encounters/WHVL-TV segments using the TV Videos tab, join the discussion about all of my creations using the Facebook tab, or Email your questions and comments directly to me--none go unanswered. Have fun!


~ Summer Strawberry and Banana Breakfast Muffins ~

IMG_9571I rarely drink coffee, but when I do, a muffin is involved.  The humbly-crumbly and not-too-sweet muffin is the perfect accompaniment to my steaming hot cup of caffeine laced with cream.  In my muffin world, muffins are to be consumed for breakfast or brunch, bigger does not equate to better, mini-muffins miss the entire touchy-feely point, and, muffins containing chunks of fresh or dried fruit and/or toasted nuts are amongst my favorites -- even the most magnificent Chocolate-Chip Muffin top can't woo me away from an Apple, Raisin & Pecan Streusel Muffin.  As a gal who considers a banana a great breakfast all-by-its-lonesome-self and Special K without strawberries a crime, pairing the two in a muffin recipe didn't require me to wear my thinking cap.

IMG_9553No frosting on these muffins please, save it for your cupcakes.  

A cupcake is a cup-sized cake with a light, soft texture, and, a muffin is a cup-sized loaf of "quick-bread" (a quick-to-mix-together bread leavened with baking powder and/or baking soda rather than yeast) with a denser, crumbier texture.  A cupcake is sweeter than a muffin and a muffin is sweeter than a traditional loaf of bread with one caveat:  a muffin can be savory too, a cupcake cannot.  Cupcakes are usually piped or slathered with frosting, while muffins get nothing at all, a sprinkling of sparkling, coarse-textured sugar, and/or, a crumbly streusel sprinkled on their tops -- sometimes they have a thin glaze too, but, that's not my cup-of-tea.  Cupcakes are, in fact: dessert.  Muffins can be dessert, but, they are generally considered a breakfast or brunch treat.  

To proclaim that muffins are inherently healthier than a fully-frosted cupcake is a misconception -- the muffins at any local bakery, coffeeshop or Starbucks can contain as many as 600+ calories.

IMG_0810When baking banana bread or banana muffins:  If the bananas can't be easily mashed w/a fork, they are not ripe enough.

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c8cbeab9970bI eat a pretty yellow banana almost every morning -- I've been doing it all my life.  Pretty yellow: that is my favorite stage of ripeness for eating this fruit and it's one of my favorite ways to start a busy day.  I only buy bananas 2-3 at a time because I won't eat them past pretty yellow.

That said, when I know I'm going to be baking banana muffins or bread, I purchase my bananas about week a week in advance. The bananas in this photo took a full 8 days to get to perfect banana-muffin ripeness. Over-ripe bananas, are incredibly fragrant, sweet and flavorful -- a lot more than the pretty yellow ones.

When adding strawberries to quick bread or muffins:  Use firm, ever-so-slightly-underripe to ripe, at-their-prime berries.  

IMG_4762firm strawberries + soft bananas = marvelous muffins 

IMG_94581/2  cup salted butter, at room temperature, very soft (1 stick)

1  cup granulated sugar

2  large eggs, preferably at room temperature

1  teaspoon each: pure banana, strawberry and vanilla extract

1 1/2  cups mashed bananas (12 ounces banana after peeling, about 3 large bananas)

2  cups unbleached, all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup additional flour, for prepping strawberries as directed in ~ Step 5.

1  teaspoon baking powder

1/2  teaspoon baking soda

1/2  teaspoon sea salt

1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2  cups 1/2" diced strawberries (8-10 ounces diced strawberries)

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing muffin tins

IMG_9463 IMG_9463 IMG_9463 IMG_9463~Step 1.  In a large bowl, place softened butter.  Microwave for 10-12 seconds, long enough to melt, without turning greasy.  Using a large rubber spatula add and stir the sugar into the butter.

IMG_9473 IMG_9473 IMG_9473 IMG_9473 IMG_9483 IMG_9483~Step 2.  In a small bowl, use a fork to vigorously whisk the eggs.  Add and use the spatula to fold the eggs into the butter/sugar mixture.  Add and thoroughly fold in the three flavor-boosting extracts (banana, strawberry and vanilla).

IMG_9487 IMG_9487 IMG_9487~ Step 3.  In a 2-cup measuring container, use the fork to mash the fruit from three bananas, stopping when you've reached 2 1/2 cups of mashed bananas.  Got more than 2 1/2 cups?  Use it at your own risk.

IMG_9501 IMG_9501 IMG_9501~ Step 4.  Add and fold the dry ingredients (the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and ground cinnamon) into the chunky banana mixture, until all ingredients are just moistened -- some lumps and clumps are just fine.

IMG_9495 IMG_9495 IMG_9508 IMG_9508~Step 5.  In a medium bowl, take a moment to fold the diced strawberries into the flour.  This will keep the strawberries from sticking together when stirred into the batter, and, prevent them from sinking to the bottom as the muffins bake.  Add and fold coated strawberries into banana batter.

IMG_9518 IMG_9518 IMG_9518~ Step 6.  Using a 2 1/2" ice-cream scoop as a measure, distribute batter into each of 12 muffin cups whose tins have been lightly sprayed with no-stick cooking spray.  There will be some batter left in the bowl.  Use a tablespoon to distribute and dollop/mound a bit of additional batter into the center of each cup.

IMG_9529 IMG_9529 IMG_9529~ Step 7.  Bake muffins, all at once, on center rack of preheated 350° oven, until puffed up, golden, and, a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25-28 minutes.  Remove from oven to cool, in pans, on a wire rack for 30 minutes.  To remove muffins from tins, use a sharp paring knife to carefully and gently loosen the edges, invert the pan and give it a gentle shake.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Muffin(s) going into oven to bake in 350° oven, 25-28 minutes:

IMG_9525Muffin(s) out of oven, cooling in pans, 30 minutes:

IMG_9536Muffin(s) out of pans & on a rack to cool completely:

IMG_9545Pick one up, pull it apart & have a great start to your day:

IMG_9599Summer Strawberry and Banana Breakfast Muffins:  Recipe yields 1 dozen standard-sized muffins.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; large rubber spatula; fork; 2-cup measuring container; standard-size muffin tins, enough for 2 dozen muffins; 2 1/2" ice-cream scoop; cake tester or toothpick; wire cooling rack; sharp paring knife

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d2575387970cCook's Note:  I enjoy a lot of treats unembellished  -- cake doughnuts, cream cakes,  crumb cakes and coffeecakes -- even plain cheesecake.   That said, for those who prefer their muffins chocked-full of goodies, having a basic muffin batter recipe in your back pocket takes the guess and stress out of making all sorts of muffins exactly the way you like them by adding a cup or two of this or that and a pinch of spice and other things nice. Here's ~ A Plain, All-Purpose, No-Nonsense Muffin Recipe ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2018)


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment