Friday, June 25, 2010

Caribbean Banana Muffins - 101 Days of Summer Challenge Tip and Update


I read the recipe that Mary from ONE PERFECT BITE recently posted for her Hawaiian Banana Bread and knew I was going to make it. You all know Mary, she publishes daily, but better than just volume, ONE PERFECT BITE has amazing quality.  I have said it before... Of all the bloggers I read, Mary is most ready for the book deal.  Would be the easiest edit job the publisher ever tackled.

She is also among the most gracious of bloggers.  More than once, she has answered an email question of mine to get me through a rough spot on a project.  Today's post marks a turning point for me.  I made a comment on her post, wondering how her recipe would work with pineapple added.  She was nice enough to drop me a comment that advised against it, saying the pineapple would overpower the banana taste.

Mary, I am sorry, I ignored your advice.  First, I like pineapple.  Second, I only had two soft bananas (been making dirty banana drinks lately).  Third, I had about a third of a fresh pineapple left that had been in the fridge just a bit too long, and I needed to use it fast or toss it.

But, that doesn't mean I didn't listen.  Here's a challenge, go ahead and take a look at her recipe (click HERE) and compare it with what I did...

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 shot Pineapple Rum
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 mashed ripe bananas (just a bit less than a packed cup)

1/2 cup drained of juice, finely diced pineapple
3 tablespoons sour cream
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

I used Rum instead of Vanilla Extract.  I used walnuts instead of Macadamia Nuts.  Finally, instead of a third banana, I added the same amount of pineapple.

And I also made muffins instead of a loaf of bread.  Will get into that in a minute.

the Directions are pretty easy...

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. prepare a cupcake pan with liners.

2) Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. In another large bowl, cream butter with sugars with an electric mixer. When mixture is light and fluffy beat in rum, eggs, one at a time, zest, banana, pineapple and sour cream. Add flour mixture, beating batter until it is just combined. Stir in walnuts and coconut.
3) I put 2 rounded tsp of batter in each mold. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Remove from pans. Complete cooling on racks. Yield: 32 small muffins or normal size cupcakes.

I did dust with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

And the verdict is that BY FAR, THE BEST BANANA BREAD (muffins) I HAVE EVER EATEN.  The pineapple was not overpowering.  In the smaller amount, with the pineapple drained of juice, it flavored nicely without being the strongest taste.  I do wish I had access to affordable macadamia nuts, but I don't.  The walnuts were a terrific addition and added an extra crunch of texture.

But what really set this apart is the moistness.  I figured with the addition of the sour cream, it would be a bit more moist.  But these were REALLY moist.  I mean really really moist.

These were so good, I sent 15 of them to Jackie's office.  They were having an early morning meeting to solve the problems of the world.  So early morning that nothing was going to be open for them to have breakfast (Jackie was the only worker smart enough to bring her own cook to the island).  6 people, 15 muffins and all were gone in very short order.  One other fellow brought a box of doughnuts (pre-made, imported from the states, so fresh was an illusion).  9 of the 12 doughnuts were left.

Thanks for the recipe Mary, thanks for the idea, the advice and thanks for making my wife look good!

Summertime when the Living is CHALLENGING 

And now it's time for my 101 days of Summer update.  It is a little tough for me to update.  I am not using weight as a measurement, instead I am using my waistline (really, my ass, but I digress) as my goal.  I am planning to drop a pant size during the challenge. 

But, during my recent visit back to Kansas, I was able to raid my wardrobe.  We all keep that box of clothes that we hope to one day fit back into.  I keep mine in the back of my closet.  Sure enough, I had 2 pairs of shorts size 38 (my goal).  Nervously, I tried them on.  Now, I am not saying they fit, not saying that I didn't talk an octave higher while wearing them.  And I for sure am not saying that I didn't have a little too much muffin top hanging over the edges.But, I am saying that I could wear them if I wanted... Just not comfortably.  They fit just about the same way they fit when I put them in the box and admitted that I needed to wear size 40's.  Truth is, they fit maybe a little better than when I went to 40's.  My 40's are a little lose.  My 38's are a little tight.  I would guess that I am right where I should be at the end of the first month of the challenge.I will continue to walk every day.I will continue to eat my 4 servings of fruit and veggies.And I will continue to use portion control when I eat more high calorie foods.  And let's use this recipe, this post as an example of that.  I certainly could have made this as a loaf of bread.  I could easily have sent a loaf with Jackie and had her slice the bread for her "save the world for Democracy" meeting.  Instead, I made muffins.  In fact, while they are not the tiny mini-muffins, they are small muffins.  Small enough that I could eat two, and still not have the same volume of serving if I made them into a loaf and served as slices. I made 32 muffins with this recipe.  If I made 2 loafs instead, I am sure I could not get 16 slices from one loaf.  And probably not 8 slices.Sure, it's a trick.  But it works for me.  Eat one muffin.  Eat it slow.  Always eat with a drink (coffee).  Chew your food.  If after a few minutes and you are still hungry, go ahead, eat a second one.  Eat it slow, Drink a cup of coffee while you eat it, chew slowly (taste those flavors, look for those flavors in your mouth).  Enjoy your food.1 is plenty for me.  Especially after eating a banana for breakfast, and knowing that this is my mi morning snack, and lunch is coming.Seems to be working for me... Last year at this time, I wore tight size 44 pants.  Now I am comfortable in 40's, and have my sights on 38's.  


  1. Dropping from a 44 to a 40 is awesome! That's about 20 pounds of weight seeing as how a pants size is usually about 10 pounds. Amazing! You are doing so well Dave and showing the world that you can still eat good delicious food AND lose weight. Everything in moderation.

    These muffins sound amazing. I love that you added the pineapple...I don't think they would really be Hawaiian without it. And I wish I could find good affordable Macadamian nuts as well. Maybe if I move to Australia.

  2. The incredients and the process of making Brekfast Recipe is fantastic.There are lots of Breakfast Recipes in which is nice.

  3. Sounds like you are right on track to fit in those 38s! The muffins look delightful.

  4. Dave! Not only have you dropped the weight, but you are getting fit and learning to eat differently. That's the key... Lifestyle change!

    take care there


  5. Hi Dave...sorry I haven't commented. I can't open your blog at crashes my poor little here i am at work. (don't tell the boss LOL). I still read your posts through my reader tho.
    anyways...your muffins sounds wonderful!
    I can't read your update...for some reason as soon as I get to that part of your post...each letter is on a seperate line so it
    like that LOL...but It seems congrats are in order! :)

  6. Kudos on your new healthy lifestyle, cher! These muffins look killer! Have a great weekend!

  7. LOL when I read Mary's recipe I thought all it needed was a little pineapple and lo and behold you read my mind and made an awesome looking muffin! Congrats on the weight!!!