arts, sciences, & banana muffins

15 Jun

I’ve never considered myself to be all that creative. Sure, hand me some kind of problem and I’ll probably come up with some “out-of-the-box” solution (remember my “oven mitt”?). But set a canvas and some paints in front of me and I’ll agonize for years and possibly come up with some deep philosophical justification about the blankness of my soul as portrayed on the blank canvas rather than paint anything. Or I’ll put smiley faces and hearts.

Even photography, which I do enjoy, can be a struggle when I have to fabricate some sort of scene or idea. Candids? Sure. Staged artistic pieces? Not so much. I tend to like working with something that already exists rather than “creating from nothing.”

Enter baking. Combining some semi-scientifically-precise amount of fat, flour, & leavening to yield hopefully-delicious results. Certainly not all of my flavor combinations are unconventional or unique, but there’s still something decidedly gratifying about making up a recipe on a whim and having it work perfectly. Obviously the actual writing of recipes is not exactly creative in and of itself; there are only so many ways to write “bake at 350 until lightly golden”.

So when I was feeling an itch to get a little creative, I found my way into the kitchen and started grabbing things. Banana. Almond extract. Sliced almonds. Whatever I could find in my pantry. The result? Not a particularly outstandingly unique concoction, but decidedly delicious nonetheless, and the perfect marriage of art, science, & sugar. Just my kind of mixture.

Banana-Almond Muffins
Created by moi :)
Makes 6 muffins 

1 over-ripe banana
1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (more if desired)
3/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons sliced almond (divided)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a muffin tin (if using a 12-cup tin, put a little bit of water in the empty tins to prevent warping)

In a medium bowl, mash banana and combine with almond milk, oil, almond extract, and sugar. In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients (except almonds). Make a well in the center and pour in wet ingredients; stir until just mixed. Gently stir in 2-3 tablespoons of sliced almonds. Divide batter between 6 muffin tins and top with remaining almonds.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until lightly golden on the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.

Enjoy!

What’s your favorite form of creativity? 

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20 Responses to “arts, sciences, & banana muffins”

  1. Sara June 15, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    oh god those look so good, and this is perfect because i have some black bananas to use up!
    i love all forms of creativity, be it fashion, film, fine art or baking! take a look at your photos, words&recipes, you’re much more creative than you are giving yourself credit for :]

  2. movesnmunchies June 16, 2011 at 1:22 am #

    LOVEEEEE THESE! anything with bananas! fav form creativity!?hmmm probs fashion.. when im NOT lazy i have a much better fashion sense that yall havent seen on the blog!

  3. Emily June 16, 2011 at 6:41 am #

    This is beautifully written!
    Favorite forms of creativity? Writing and anything in the kitchen. :)

  4. Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen) June 16, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    I LOOOOVEEE banana muffins, so these look perfect! :)
    I think you’re really creative in your writing! All of your posts are written a little bit differently and are SO much fun to read! Not everyone has that kind of talent. :) And all your cookie recipes?! You definitely have some creativity there too!
    My favorite forms of creativity are drawing, pastels, beading, and writing. And coming with strange food concoctions ;)

    <3 <3 <3

  5. Tara June 16, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    Love it!! Muffins are my favorite baked good ever.
    I appreciate your creativity because it brings us lots of awesome recipes! I actually have a hidden artistic talent. I used to be really into it, but I stopped taking art classes in school until this year. I took a graphic design class and got an award for my art, which was pretty exciting! I really want to get back into art now because of it.

  6. Stefanie @TheNewHealthy June 16, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    I actually love to decorate + draw + take photos – that’s been my favorite form of creativity as of late! But I’m thinking that baking is certainly the perfect blend of arts, sciences, and creativity. And judging by the fact that I was lucky enough to receive some of your delicious cookies, I’m certain these are amazing! :)

  7. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! June 16, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    I love the way these muffins look! The almond slices make them look so elegant!

  8. Amanda @ Running with Spoons June 16, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Baking is definitely the most delicious form of creativity. These look deeee-vine… anything banana and I’m sold :D My favorite form of creativity would probably be writing – just love letting the imagination run wild.

  9. jsh0608 June 16, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    I’m definitely going to have to ‘steal’ this recipe. Thanks for sharing. Those muffins look so delish. :0)

  10. namastegurl June 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    These look amazing, girl! SO fun that you have extra time now that you’re not in escuela to bake and relax :) I love banana muffins- especially with a hit of almonds and chocolate!
    Let’s get together soon when you’re back in CA- hit me up! xx

  11. Jess June 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    Those muffins look SO cute!! And delicious, of course ;)

  12. greekyogurte June 16, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    I wish I was as natural as you at baking! I don’t know proper proportions or anything… Maybe I just need more experience?! I’m not sure!

    When I want to be creative, I just make friendship bracelets, or “dance” (attempt to dance) around. Meh, I need new outlets!

  13. Kate (What Kate is Cooking) June 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    I’m not really creative at all, but I’ve made some crazy stuff in the kitchen! I love when I have a ton of ingredients and throw them together to create something delicious :)

  14. Katy (The Singing Runner) June 16, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    Mmmm these look delicious! I love baking! It allows me to be creative…however, that creativity can sometimes result in some epic fails. ;)

  15. Rach @ This Italian Family June 16, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    These are so cute! I love being creative in the kitchen. :)

  16. Lee Lee June 16, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    bueno photography

  17. cassidy June 22, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    Great recipe! Love the banana and nut combo. This was delicious. My kids loved the recipe and asked me to bake it again! For those of you who are vegna, try out this recipe: http://www.fourgreensteps.com/community/recipes/dessertsagoodies/almond-butter-banana-nut-muffins

  18. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli June 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    I LOVED this post girl! Cooking is SO artistic! These muffins look so tasty AND gorgeous! Great photography!!

    “But set a canvas and some paints in front of me and I’ll agonize for years and possibly come up with some deep philosophical justification about the blankness of my soul as portrayed on the blank canvas rather than paint anything.” <- Sorry, couldn't help but LOL at this!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. I MADE SOMETHING!? « Gran In Training - June 21, 2011

    […] RIPE bananers laying around so I thought I should look up some vegan banana muffins!! Enter Of Cookies & Carrots Banana Almond Muffins! I found her site though foodgawker, which if you have not taken a peek at you SHOULD! Some people […]

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