Banana (Grape) Nut Muffins

My great grandmother's banana bread recipe is simple, but amazingly good. It's a rich holiday treat, not an everyday quick bread. I had started to adapt it for my son's food allergies, but had put it aside until finally prompted to finish it by the Banana Bread Bake Off hosted by Not Quite Nigella. If you have nice flexible arteries and are not allergic to any of the ingredients, I urge you to try the original, seen here as written out by my aunt.
Olive Emmeline Tackel was born August 23rd, 1892, in Verschoyle, Ontario, the youngest of almost a dozen children born to Gideon Tackel, an English immigrant, and Amanda Thompkins. After her mother's death, she went to keep house for her uncle, Manoah Tackel, in Bay City, Michigan, where she met and married another English immigrant. They had two sons: the elder was my grandfather, the younger was shot down over Germany in World War II. She never really recovered from his loss.

When I first tried to adapt this recipe, I stayed as close to the original as possible, directly substituting egg replacer and dairy free margarine without changing any of the proportions. I also decided to try using Grape Nut Cereal instead of tree nuts. It made a boring, concave loaf. I tweaked the proportions a little, but it still didn't rise or approach the original for flavor.
For the second attempt, I switched to muffins to reduce the load that needed to rise. The Grape Nuts absorbed moisture without contributing flavor, so I increased the banana and added sesame oil and vanilla extract to the cereal to give it a little more nuttiness. The result is really nice.
Wet Ingredients:
1/2 C dairy free margarine

1 C sugar

2 ripe bananas (about 2 Cups)

1 Tbs Ener-G Egg Replacer + 1/4 C warm water
Dry Ingredients:

1 3/4 C all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

Nut Substitute:

1 C Grape Nut Cereal

1 Tbs sesame oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease standard muffin tin or fill with liners. Sift together dry ingredients and set aside. Measure cereal into a small bowl, drizzle sesame oil and extract onto it, stir, and set aside, as well. In a large mixing bowl, cream margarine until fluffy, then add sugar and continue to cream until completely integrated. Add bananas and continue to mix on a high speed. You may get a cottage cheese consistency, but just blend right through it Reduce speed and add the Ener-G mixture. Mix until smooth. Gradually mix in dry ingredients to make a light, foamy batter. Stir in Grape Nut mixture by hand.
Divide evenly into muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Wait a few hours to eat these, so that the Grape Nuts absorb some of the moisture and have a chance to soften!


Unknown said...

You have such a great blog! We only need to avoid the peanuts & nuts, so I don't need to do as many substitutions, but I do so enjoy reading your posts. And you take and select great photos too. Lots of good baking ideas to ponder. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Oh my! I'm so glad I found your blog via Holly of Phemomenon. We just found out our son has milk, egg, wheat and almond allergies. I'm so excited to peruse your blog!

Libby said...

jennifer b., thanks so much for the kind words! One of the side benefits of the blog is that photography has started to grow on me as a hobby.

kamaile, I'm so sorry to hear about the diagnosis! Please email me if there is anything I can help you with! We don't have the wheat allergy, but there are a lot of gluten free bloggers and resources online. You are most definitely not alone. Libby

Anonymous said...

Can I subtitute the sesame oil for something else? My daughter is allergic to sesame.