Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Some mornings, I wake up at 4:30 am, unable to sleep any more because my brain just knows that the fall semester starts in a week, and I still haven’t finalized my syllabi, despite (presumably) having the last “3 weeks off” since my summer course ended, and I have no choice but to get out of bed – rather cheerfully, for 4:30 am – make some espresso, and get to work. (That was yesterday.)

And then some mornings, I have to have a little conversation with myself while laying in bed, convincing myself that getting out of bed is really what needs to happen *pronto* because there’s still *tons* of work to do between now and next Wednesday, drag myself out of bed, take a few hours to get going, and eschew the work that prompted me to get out of bed in order to make some banana muffins. (That was today.)
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Anyway, y’all: I’m super proud of myself for making up, all by myself, this muffin recipe. It’s rare that I come up with things like this on my own. Usually I steal other people’s recipes and tweak them, or – like the rule-follower that I am – do exactly what they say. Not this time! Granola bars and biscuits are the only two other baked items for which I have invented my very own, original recipe – and those took months of disastrous experimenting. Today marks the third thing I’ve just invented on the fly, after reading a few recipes that did not give me exactly what I wanted. They turned out surprisingly well for such a renegade attempt. There’s actually no butter or milk here, so your lactose-intolerant friends can enjoy them as much as you will. 

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins 

(this yielded 21 muffins for me, but could be more or less depending on your pans & the amount of batter you pour in there)

Preheat oven to 350, and line two muffin tins with paper liners. Spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the following dry ingredients with a fork:

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup thick rolled oats

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

In another small bowl, mash together 3-ish bananas. (Only have 2 bananas? Use them; don’t run out to buy more. Have 4 and don’t want to just use 3? Use all 4. That’s why I said 3-ish. It’s flexible.) I used a fork to mash mine into a pulp, but if there happens to be a small child somewhere within yelling distance, I imagine they would take great pleasure in using their hands to smash the bananas without the help of a fork.

In another medium-sized bowl, combine the following wet ingredients:

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup natural peanut butter (if you use non-natural peanut butter, definitely cut back on the sugar content)

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing with a fork, just to combine. Then add your mashed bananas. Throw in a handful of chocolate chips and maybe some chopped walnuts or pecans if you feel so inclined.

Bake in lined muffin cups for 18 minutes.

I wouldn’t be offended if you decide to slather one with Nutella or more peanut butter (or both, depending on what kind of morning you’ve had) before chowing down, but these are dang tasty all by themselves. Like I do with almost all of my baked goods, I froze most of these. Zap a frozen one in the microwave for 30 seconds on your way out the door for a nice treat on your way to work.

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