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Lockdown 1.0. The rise of banana bread – so much so, I imagine you’re thinking “no, not another banana bread recipe”? Ok, bear with me. This isn’t just any banana bread muffin. This is the kind of muffin you’d want to eat first thing in the morning with your cup of coffee. The muffin that you’d most likely pick to enjoy with a friend at 4pm on the sofa, or after a cold blustery autumn walk. This is THE muffin you guys.

These are hearty and wholesome, but not heavy in any way or too sweet. The wholemeal flour makes them perfect as a breakfast food and I love the addition of walnuts to provide a bit of bite. The crumble topping is a combination of sweet, creamy oats mirrored with flaky sea salt providing the perfect balance to what could otherwise be a dense and sickly bake. Using regular plain flour would also be fine but in my opinion, it’s the wholemeal flour that makes these. A source of unrefined complex carbohydrates, wholegrain flour contains lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that its white counterpart wouldn’t. It’s also full of dietary fibre and is a rich source of bioactive phytochemicals – which are all hugely beneficial for the body.

I especially love these fresh out of the oven, served with steaming mugs of coffee over brunch, or for a rainy day when all you want to do is curl up on the sofa and stay inside. You can keep them in Tupperware for a few days, but I’d recommend popping them back in the oven for 5-10 minutes to “crisp up” the crumble topping again. The moisture from the bananas will cause it to go a little soggy if you don’t demolish them straight away. It’s also possible to bake and freeze them the day they were baked – but again you’ll need to bake them in your oven for about 15-20mins from frozen {perfect for a quick weekend breakfast}.

Banana Walnut Muffins with a Salty Crumble Topping

Makes approx. 9 muffins

Ingredients

For the muffins
275g wholemeal flour
113g butter, softened
100g dark brown muscavado sugar
100g light brown sugar 
3 large mashed bananas
1tsp bicarbonate of soda 
1/2tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp freshly ground nutmeg 
Pinch of fine sea salt
125g walnuts, roughly chopped
2 eggs, whisked
4tbsp / 60ml kefir natural yoghurt (I like The Collective Dairy)
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp cider vinegar 

For the crumble topping
30g plain or wholemeal flour
25g jumbo oats
2tbsp ground almonds
25g granulated sugar
55g dark brown muscovado sugar
1/2tsp cinnamon
35g cold unsalted butter
Sprinkle of flaky sea salt 

  1. Preheat your oven to 325F/160C, then fill a muffin tin with nine liners. 
  2. Using an electric whisk, put the butter and the sugars into a large bowl and cream until pale in colour, and smooth in texture. This should take about five minutes.
  3. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a separate bowl. Add a good pinch of fine sea salt and then mix to combine.
  4. Mash your bananas into a third bowl and add your eggs (which should already be whisked together), vanilla extract, kefir natural yoghurt and cider vinegar. Mix together.
  5. Add this liquid mixture to your creamed butter and sugar, and whisk again until evenly combined.
  6. Slowly add your bowl of flour in thirds, whisking after each addition and scraping down the sides of your bowl with a spatula as you go. Repeat until you’ve added all the flour, and whisk so everything has been properly incorporated.
  7. You can now add the chopped walnuts. Mix with a spoon.
  8. Divide the batter between your muffin tins (approx 130g per case).
  9. To make the topping, put all the dry ingredients (apart from the flaky sea salt) into a bowl and mix to combine. Add your cubed cold butter and using your fingertips, rub the mixture between your thumb and index finger to create a breadcrumb-like texture. You want it to look like a crumble topping, where the butter is barely incorporated and you still have some blobs. 
  10. Sprinkle a heaped tablespoon of this mixture over the top of each muffin and bake in the oven for 25mins. 
  11. Once baked, make sure a wooden skewer comes out of the centre without any batter sticking to it (you just want a few crumbs clinging to your skewers to make sure they’re baked) and leave to cool completely in the tin. 
  12. Eat within three days. 
September 10, 2020

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