I don’t update this blog much anymore, and I’ve been thinking about why not.
My first thought was that as time goes by, my standards grow higher, which means I don’t want to share recipes or photos or words when I’m just so-so about any aspect. This content output is very different than the early days of this blog when, much to my present chagrin, I would post anything and everything.
My next thought was that it’s noisy out here.
We have websites and blogs and social media and email and television and probably things I don’t even know about yet pushing out content all day, every day. There are so many places you can go for content – especially good food content – that unless I have something I really want to share, I probably shouldn’t ask you to spend your energy on it. Perhaps like this bit of rambling, which I’m excusing because I brought muffins. Good muffins.
My final thought was that I’m wrestling with existential crisis called food blogging.
I first heard the word “existential” when I was a social work student. “Hope I never wield that jargon,” I thought. Well, here I am, wielding it.
What happened was I sat down to unwind in front of the television. Netflix was advertising it’s Academy Award Winner The White Helmets. I pressed play. Whoo boy. I’m not one to have extreme emotional reactions to much of anything, but I literally sat on my couch holding my head in my hands to steady myself. Then 60 Minutes ran a story about the incredible humanitarian mess that seems will forever be a part of South Sudan, and I couldn’t do much more than sit and think.
People are hurting. People are starving. And I’m spending a lot of time rolling around in thoughts of I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT.
Let’s be real. The world holds a lot of beauty and wonder. It also makes space for a lot of atrocities. I think a part of me has always struggled to reconcile the good fortune of one with the tragedy of another. Recall the aforementioned social work. And maybe read this post.
At the end of the day, I do like this hobby, even though the food world can sometimes feel a bit silly and elitist. Sharing here brings me a little bit of joy, and I think that’s okay as long as I never lose the feeling of gratitude I have for the opportunity to spend time on something other than my own survival. I’m not better than anyone else, but I am a hell of a lot luckier.
So, about those muffins. I made these twice in two weeks I enjoyed them so much. They are not the healthiest recipe in the world – cue the brown sugar – but they have their redeeming qualities – see whole wheat flour and flax seeds. Plus, they are a nice alternative the banana nut bread I often bake when I’ve got overripe bananas on hand.
Go ahead and enjoy. Count your blessings. Say grace.
Banana Blueberry Muffins
- Dry Ingredients
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Wet Ingredients
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 bananas)
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- oats for sprinkling on top
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through salt) and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the wet ingredients (bananas through vanilla).
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Fold in the blueberries.
- Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spoon the batter nearly to the top of each.
- Bake at 400 degrees F until the muffins are light brown and toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15-17 minutes.
- Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the muffins and place them on a wire rack to continue cooling.
These muffins are best the day they are made. If you can't go through them in a day or two, wrap them up and store them in the freezer. They will thaw within an hour or two when you take them out. The original vegan recipe called for soy or almond milk. It also suggested grapeseed oil. And yes, brown sugar is technically a dry ingredient, but I included it in the group of wet ingredients for ease of writing here.