Back to school. Back to school for a while now. And more recently, back to traffic jams (even in Canberra!), homework, reluctant morning routines and packed lunches. And packed school lunches returned uneaten.
Big A has a mild problem with eating. He can’t chew properly. On the advice of a speech therapist (yes, they look after eating as well!) he is only to have soft foods: white bread over multi grain, bananas over apples etc. It doesn’t leave a lot of creativity in meals let alone school lunches, and getting enough healthy foods in the mix is a challenge. But he does love banana muffins, and he also likes chocolate.
Because bananas are one of the few (soft) fruit he will eat, we generally have a lot of over ripe bananas lying around. A tip I have learnt is to place the entire banana in the freezer, skin and all. It goes black and looks terrible, but once you slice it open the flesh is perfect for smoothies. Or else you can bake them straight away to make muffins.
This is simple and when I am semi organised I whack a batch in the oven on a Sunday night as I am cooking dinner. I wish I could say my boys helped make them but usually they aren’t interested enough. They do, however, like to help lick the beaters and the bowl afterwards. Once made I freeze them for during the week. They are quite moist and can survive in the fridge for several day if freezer space is an issue. And they certainly help to keep down the cost of school lunches – most processed snacks cost a fortune, yet these work out at 15c for a large one or around 8c for a small patty pan sized muffin.
2 ripe bananas, the older the better, mashed
170g white sugar
75g melted butter
225g self raising flour (I use white, but see if you can sneak some wholemeal in)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
dessicated coconut for topping (optional)
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan or in a microwave.
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in the egg and butter, then beat with electric mixers. Add the egg, then the flour and the cocoa. Continue to beat for several minutes or until smooth.
- Spoon into a muffin tin or into patty pan cases. Sprinkle with coconut (if used). Bake at 160C for around 15 to 20 minutes or until they have risen and are firm to touch.
Based on ALDI groceries:
Bananas: free, leftover
Self raising flour: 29c
Total: $1.78, makes a dozen large muffins at 15c each.