Lucky Roasted Banana Muffins & Cherry Blossoms

If you haven't gone to see the Cherry Blossoms in DC- get on it. This was my first year seeing them up close and in full bloom. It was worth the wait.

Getting there was a bit of an adventure. Had to pick up the boy from the metro. Ended up working late and forgot the ol' cell phone at home. No bueno. Swear to God, that entire "survival of the fittest" idea does not apply. If this was the primal days of the Serengeti, Darwin would have taken my @ss out a long time ago.

That's why there's 2 of us. Two bodies. One brain. A semi-functional being that enjoys picture snapping, dancing, and food. Watch out WhiteOnRice couple. We are MixedOnMixed couple!

Take some time to bask in the beauty of nature. It's good for the soul. The parking situation in DC.... not so much. Especially with the ridiculous cost for metered parking. Try to take the metro. Bring a hoodie and blanket. Pack a little picnic. Sneak in a small bottle of wine. And some of these Lucky Banana Muffins.

There were three bananas on the verge of death. I wanted to make the Roasted Banana-Pumpkin Loaf but was lacking ingredients. So, took a gamble and made these up. Hence, why they're so lucky! They came out really good!

The muffin is fluffy and moist. Love the texture, it's not heavy but it's not as fluffy as a cake. The banana flavor is subtle and natural. Added some unsweetened coconut milk and honey to give it some love.

In an effort to keep it healthy, there is no sugary crumble top like most muffins. I slightly modified Teenie Cake's pepita (pumpkin seeds) topping instead. Oh, some lessons were learned.

The directions say to coat the pan with non-stick spray. That. Failed. They stuck like glue. Plus, the cooking time was wayyyy too long. Keep an eye on it and use your common sense. I could taste the yummyness in the one's that didn't get bbq'd. When you make these seeds- I beg of you- line the pan with parchment paper.

Muffins are great. Let's roll!

Lucky Roasted Banana Muffins

3 large ripe bananas, unpeeled
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
4 tablespoons butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
Pepita Crunch Topping (optional- see recipe below; make this first if you're going to use it)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line large muffin tins (makes 12 small muffins).

Place the bananas on a cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes, or until the skins are black and they have started to seep. Remove from the oven , set aside, and let cool.

Meanwhile, toast the pumpkin seeds (this is optional). I did it on the stove at a medium temperature for about 5 minutes. Continually stir the seeds so they get a nice even color. Be careful not to burn them!

In a small sauce pan, stir the coconut milk and butter on a low heat just till the butter melts. Do not overheat. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate bowl, mash the cooled bananas with sugar, coconut milk/butter combo, honey, and egg. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry. Stir in the toasted pumpkin seeds (optional).

Fill muffins tins to 2/3rd's full; top with pepita crunch (optional, see recipe below).

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Pepita Crunch
modified from Carole Walters

1 large egg white
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rimmed cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Add the pumpkin seeds, tossing to coat well with the egg/sugar mixture.

Pour into a lined cookie sheet and spread evenly in a single layer. Bake for 5 minutes, stir the pumpkin seeds with a fork and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir the pumpkin seeds, drizzle with 1 tablespoon honey, and bake for another 3 minutes. The coating should be a nice golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Break up any clusters with your fingertips and set aside.