Does anyone else have a banana obsession? I have a habit of buying way too many of them all the time. As soon as I walk into a grocery store I can’t pass the produce section without adding a bunch of bananas to my basket whether I need them or not. Oh and I just don’t walk past and grab a bunch but, I have to examine them all, I have to look to see which ones are perfectly yellow with a few brown spots. I avoid the green ones they just take too long to ripen. Walk past the small tiny ones sense I would have to use twice as much in my smoothies or on my toast. Stroll around looking at them all again, pick up a bunch carefully hold them up looking for any bruises or mushy spots and put those down. Glare at the person who walks over to take a bunch for themselves seeing if they took the good ones. Then I spot a perfect bunch, not to big not to small, the right color of yellow with a hint of brown spots and no mushy bruises so they are coming home with me.
I get home and add them all to my already existing pile of bananas. I even have a coffee cup stand to hang them all on because a banana hook just didn’t hold enough, it works perfectly. Even though there is never a shortage of bananas in my house, occasionally some do start to look a little sad and a bit overripe. When the brown spots are no longer brown spots and have turned to an entire shade of brown and have become something where most people would look at them with an ewww squinty look on their face, the look when you see something that has been sitting in the back of your refrigerator that is no longer recognizable to what it once was, not wanting to touch it to throw it out. But to me these bananas are perfect for making some delicious sweet baked treats.
So, why do you ask are these brown ugly bananas better for baking? Why do most recipes call for over ripe bananas? They are much easier to mash because they are more mushy and are much sweeter sense all the starch in them have converted to sugar. Also, they have more of a banana flavor in baked goods. However, if you don’t have over ripe bananas all is not lost, you won’t have to wait days and days for them to turn brown to make something delicious, yellow will work as well I have used not so overripe ones before. However, I have found that the flavor is a little sweeter with overripe ones. So, I see I have a few that have turned really ripe and brown. I perhaps bought way too many to keep up with, and think what can I make with these?
I decided to make these deliciously super moist giant banana walnut chocolate chip muffins. I made one batch and they were gone in the same day. I brought a couple to work and my husband brought a couple to work. Everyone loved them so much that I had to make more. Good thing I buy a ton of bananas! I am on my 3rd batch now so I decided to share the recipe. So try using both over ripe bananas and not so ripe ones and see how they come out if there is a difference or which ones you prefer.
Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins
Yields: 6 muffins
Time: 45 minutes total – 20-23 minutes cook time / 15 minutes prep