by Dana R. Arevalo,
P.O.V. Contributing Writer
Everyone loves great comfort food. Comfort food to me is a favorite childhood dish or dishes that you remember well and crave from time to time. Food that you can pass on to your own children or cook, allowing it to remain a family tradition. I happen to have some wonderful comfort food in my family. My mother used to make for me and my sister banana and zucchini bread. Honestly, I love anything banana. Fall arrived this past Saturday, Sept. 22. On Sunday morning, I decided to make my children, and myself, some banana muffins.
At first, I was nervous because I did not have butter and did not want to drag my children to the supermarket. I decided to search for a butter substitute. I learned different ingredients that could be used in place of butter: peanut butter, vegetable oil, buttermilk, applesauce and plain low-fat yogurt. Of those choices, the plain low-fat yogurt or natural peanut butter would be the healthiest choices. Unfortunately, I ran out of those items as well so I used vegetable oil. Please note, that it is always best to try and make a recipe healthier. I generally leave out the salt when baking and also cut the sugar by one-quarter or even one-half. Once you become familiar with cooking or baking you will feel comfortable with substitution and adding and eliminating ingredients. Be creative!
I would like to share the recipe used for the muffins. The recipe comes from a blog titled Gourmet Baking. I eliminated the salt, the nuts and the chocolate chips. When the muffin batter was in the muffin pan, I sprinkled some brown sugar on top of half. While the brown sugar melted into the muffin, it gave them a distinct flavor. The muffins were truly delicious, all were finished in the same day.
Banana Muffins (Modified Recipe)
Yield: 12 standard muffin cups
3 overripe bananas (the more ripe the tastier)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1.5 cups flour (wheat flour can be substituted)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt (Salt not needed)
Preheat the oven to 350 F
Combine the dry and wet ingredients into separate bowls
Mix the dry into the wet and mix until just combined (do not over-mix)
Divide the batter into 12 standard muffin cups
Sprinkle cinnamon or brown sugar on-top of the muffins prior to baking, as desired
Put it into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown on top
Great baking tip: Use an ice cream scoop to place the batter into the muffin pans. This method is less messy and the muffins will be equal in size.
I also love beef stew and meatloaf during the fall. What is your favorite comfort food for fall?