What do I like to do with time off from clinic? Cook! And we did lots of family cooking this Columbus Day weekend.

Today when Babyboy wanted to watch television, I asked him if he’d rather help me make Banana bread instead. “I need someone to mash the bananas,” I tempted.

Sold. He’ll take any acceptable chance to smoosh things.

And I love an opportunity to use up past-its-prime produce, and sneak more healthy into the kids’ diet!

We’ve adapted this from a basic banana loaf recipe. It’s super- moist, and (slightly) more virtuous. Muffins are way better than loaves for serving and portion control, as well as kids’ sensibilities.

We had alot of bananas, so we ended up making thirty or so muffins. We’ve gotten good reviews so far, but these are going to the office with me tomorrow, so we’ll see what the real food critics think!

Banana muffins:

6 overripe bananas (you know you can freeze them until you have a chance to use them)

1 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 eggs

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup honey

3 cups of flour

1 cup quick oats

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Streusel topping

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup quick oats

1 tablespoon canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put your paper liners in your muffins tins. Get two good-sized mixing bowls and one smaller bowl out, a wooden spoon, and something for smashing bananas. Go crazy with that. Babyboy insisted on working from the countertop!

You only need a wooden spoon here, no electric gadgets. Mix together all of the wet ingredients (everything up to the flour) really well. In the separate bowl, mix together your dry ingredients really well. Add the dry to the wet, but only mix until everything is just moistened.

Make your streusel topping by throwing those three ingredients into a small bowl. With a small measuring cup or ladle, pour batter into each cup to about 3/4 way up. Then, sprinkle a small amount of streusel crumble over each.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately twenty minutes. These are very moist, and you can err on the side of overcooking. How to tell when they’re done? The wooden skewer or knife trick won’t work here; when you can press very gently down on the top and it springs back, leaving no indentation, they are done.

Babyboy ate two right off the bat, and without butter!

These ARE pretty tasty, if I do say so myself. Could healthier substitutions be made? I’m sure. Maybe apple butter for oil, higher-protein flour or nut flour for white flour, molasses for brown sugar. I enjoy messing with recipes, and no doubt some variation will end up at the office sooner or later!