Bananas are a favorite of mine. I always buy more than I need so I can eat a few, and then bake with a few.
More often than not, I reach for a standard-issue banana walnut bread recipe from my grandmother’s recipe box. I’m not sure whose hand wrote out the recipe. Certainly not hers, because I can actually read it.
My grandmother’s handwriting was notoriously illegible. Reading anything she wrote was a great adventure that required moderate patience, a decent amount of eye-strain, and feelings of euphoria when you finally interpreted the message. “Learning shorthand ruined my handwriting!” she claimed.
Similar to that feeling of accomplishment, I also gain an interesting amount pleasure from seeing just how long I go before I actually have to step foot in a grocery store.
Like my Dad, who runs out of gas more often in a year than any one of us will in a lifetime, says: It’s amazing how far you can go if you just keep driving. It’s amazing how many lunches you can pack if you just keep reimagining leftovers.
That’s how I found myself staring at a pile of ripe bananas and a container of dates. Fortunately, soon thereafter I found myself staring at this banana, date, and peanut butter muffins recipe.
These are a nice change from the banana bread I’m used to, and the addition of dates and a few seeds shakes up more traditional banana peanut butter muffins. Not to mention, they are rather delicious. Enjoy!
Banana, Peanut Butter and Date Muffins
Yield 12-14 muffins
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds, plus extra for sprinkling
1 2/3 cups chopped dates
2 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large bananas)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through seeds) and set aside. Add the chopped dates, and toss to coat.
- In a large bowl, stir together the wet ingredients (bananas through vanilla).
- Add the dry flour mixture to the wet ingredients in the large bowl and stir until just combined.
- Divide the batter between the wells of a paper-lined muffin tin, filling nearly to the top. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with seeds, if desired.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops of the muffins are lightly browned.
Sadly, these muffins don’t keep long and don’t do well in the freezer. Try to enjoy them within a day or two of baking.
You can sub pepitas or use a mix of sunflower seeds and pepitas for the seeds.