I put my energy into making dinner at home. Breakfast and lunch are very simple. I am getting better about eating breakfasts. Aurelia gets the same options each morning: fried or scrambled egg, greek yogurt, waffles (mini, whole grain, frozen), whole grain cheerios, oatmeal, and whatever fruit is on hand. She eats a bit, but this is more of me feeling better about offering her food in case she is hungry and partly giving myself 10 minutes to do my make up in peace. Breakfasts are a far cry from our bonding, sit down, well made dinners.
Lunch is leftovers on a good day. Salad, soup, sandwich, rice and veggies. Again, simple. Aurelia eats a(nother) breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack at school where they provide food, so she is mostly spared my shoddy lunch planning. I try to pack my lunch to work, but will often just drink a green smoothie, protein shake, or walk down to the coffee shop for a greek yogurt with blueberries and granola.
I’m focused on making great food on the weekends and striding ahead to prepare for the week’s dinners, but lately, I’ve been making more breakfast foods on the weekends too. Take these banana bran muffins. I made them on Sunday and ate one for breakfast that day, Monday, and today. I’ve been working out more, so the added calories get my metabolism working early. I will admit to worrying about eating all day when I have breakfast because it makes me hungrier sooner. With the extra gym time, that concern is actually a benefit.
So, exercise and eat muffins! Life will be wonderful and impossibly delicious. This recipe is not your run-of-the-mill bran muffin and it tasted as wonderful this morning as it did two days ago.
Banana Bran Muffins
adapted from Ina Garten
1 cup unprocessed oat bran
1 cup buttermilk (shaken)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 free range eggs, at room temperature
scant 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut (if using sweetened, reduce sugar to 3 Tbs)
2 ripe bananas, large-diced (don’t mash!)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper liners into a regular size 12-cup muffin tin or a large 6-cup muffin tin, like I used.
Combine the bran and buttermilk and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, 1 at a time. Scrape the bowl and then add the molasses and vanilla. (The mixture will look curdled.) Add the bran/buttermilk mixture and combine.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the batter just until combined. Don’t overmix it! Fold in the coconut, bananas and walnuts with a rubber spatula.
With an ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill the muffin cups to the top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (35-40 for large muffins), until a cake tester comes out clean.