I have recently developed an obsession with pecans. I don’t remember liking nuts very much when I was a kid, but I have gradually come to appreciate them more and more, beginning with snacking, and now in baking and cooking. There are the standards: pecan pie and butter tarts, chocolate covered caramel clusters, hello dollies, and the crackers I posted about a few weeks ago. Then I have a recipe for mushroom burgers that uses pecans, which at first I didn’t think would be lacking if I ‘forgot’ to put them in, but now I would never make without. I’ve used them in salads, on top of pizza, as part of stuffed vegetables. All this to say that what I once tried to avoid, I now keep on hand and add in whenever possible!
My aunt and uncle came to visit a few weeks ago, and I thought it would be nice to make some muffins for breakfast. Of course I immediately wanted to make them with pecans. The beauty of muffins, like cookies, is that once you have a base recipe you can substitute or add any combination of nuts, seeds, and/or fruits. So I took a recipe I had for maple oatmeal muffins and substituted bananas for the apple sauce, and added toasted pecans. The result was a delicious breakfast muffin, one that I’d like to think everyone was nuts about!
- 1 c whole wheat flour
- 1 c unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 c old fashioned rolled oats
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 c buttermilk
- 3/4 c mashed banana
- 1/2 c pure maple syrup
- 1/2 c packed brown sugar
- 1/4 c vegetable oil, or melted butter
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 c toasted pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 400F. Combine flours, oats, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt in large bowl and stir to blend. Whisk together banana, syrup, sugar, oil, egg and vanilla until well blended. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Lightly stir in pecans.
Divide batter equally among greased muffins tins (batter will reach top of cups). Bake until muffin tops are golden brown and tester inserted into centre of muffins comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Makes 1 dozen good-sized muffins.