Laura Rennie

a muffin tale

Laura R.1 Comment
It happened one lazy, sticky Monday afternoon in June. The girl was frustrated at herself for watching several episodes of Design Star on Hulu. Her feet had fallen asleep. Her back ached from being curled on the couch. The dog dozed in the corner, letting out occasional puffs of gas and filling the air with a vomit-inducing stench. This cannot be good, the girl decided. I can't spend all afternoon sitting in a room of fart. This is not how I intended on spending my days off. She contemplated her options. Clean? The house is spotless. Read? I need a break, I think I've overdosed on reading. Shop? What for? I don't want to spend money today. Exercise? I already lifted weights while watching Design Star...that should count. Besides, it's too hot to go outside. Bake? What? Bake? Bake! MUFFINS! The girl clicked out of Hulu and immediately began researching. She made a mental inventory of her pantry and decided on whole wheat banana muffins with honey. The day was looking up.

Once on her feet and in the kitchen, the girl began lining up the ingredients alongside measuring cups and spoons. She decided to halve the original recipe based on her limited amount of flour, banana and eggs. Mashing the bananas was satisfying, but when a large glop flew out of the bowl and slid down the side of the refrigerator, the girl began to lose it. You've got to be kidding me. What if we get ants? Do mice like bananas? I don't want to get mice. Ugh. She took a breath and moved on to her next task. Half a cup of honey seems like an awful lot, she mused. She measured a quarter cup of honey and realized as she began stirring the batter that she had never taken notice of the actual directions. Whoops. Well, who cares. I doubt it really matters. OK, what else can I add... applesauce, cinnamon, nutmeg, walnuts, raisins...WHAT THE!!! The girl leaned forward and peered into the mixing bowl. Somehow, while adding raisins, the plastic bag inside the raisin box slipped out and nose-dived into the batter. She fished out the bag, now covered in goop, and threw the whole thing into the trash. She spooned the batter into the tin as calmly as possible and placed the muffins in the oven.

Why did I even bother? I can't do anything right. I should be organizing something, or on the elliptical at the gym, or sipping an iced coffee and reading at Barnes and Noble. Why am I making such a mess out of things? I really wish I hadn't thrown out the whole bag of raisins.

The girl didn't want to think anymore. She put on Incubus and did the dishes and sponged up batter goop and putzed around until the timer went off and worked on her short story while the muffins cooled. Then she scooped one out and took a bite.


Laura's Whole Wheat Naturally Sweetened Muffins

makes 1 dozen muffins.
preheat oven to 325.

1 and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (I used an individual container, they are 4oz)
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup hot water
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 cup raisins (trust me: they won't be hard and chewy, they'll be little puffs of sweetness)
1/8 cup walnuts

Bake for 20 minutes. Test muffins and if they aren't ready, turn oven down to 300 and bake for at least 5 additional minutes. This kept my muffins from becoming too dark.

Normally I would suggest following a recipe's directions, but I didn't even follow the ingredients so naturally I didn't follow directions. I literally dumped everything into one mixing bowl, whisked it all together and called it a day.

They were perfectly sweet-- I think the added raisins made up for the 1/4 cup of honey I didn't use. I loved how the raisins puffed up from the moisture inside the muffins. I love my banana nut muffins with chocolate chips, which you can check out here, but these are MUCH healthier and just as satisfying. Try them. Tell me what you think.