Caramelized Banana Oat Muffins

Oops. The blueberry muffins are all gone. Yes, they were that good. No, I'm not surprised. And NO, I'm not ashamed. Ok... Maybe I am. Just a little bit, though.

Moving on, no more blueberry muffins meant it was time to re-stock the house with another delicious baked good. Muffins were calling my name again, so in under an hour, a batch of freshly baked caramelized banana oat muffins were sitting on my kitchen counter.

Before you keep reading, just think about what I just said: caramelized banana in muffins. Mind-blowing, am I right? Bet you didn't think of doing that! I mean caramelized bananas in general are just pure deliciousness - on top of any breakfast-y thing mmmm. But baked into a muffin... now that's something! Ooey and gooey and all the natural sugars oozing out... If those descriptions don't do it for you, then I have no idea what will!

These sky-high muffins have a wonderful variety of textures from the oats in the batter, soft caramelized banana, and crunchy oat topping! They're everything you love about banana bread, but in muffin form, and taken to the next level because of the caramelized bananas.

The flavor of the cinnamon and nutmeg is very slight in these muffins, so if you're a big fan of strong spice flavors, go heavy on them. Another great addition would be chopped nuts (walnuts sound best to me), but I tend to avoid nuts because my sister has a few allergies and even the ones she's not allergic to, she's not a big fan of large chunks of nuts in baked goods. There's also minimal added sweetness in these muffins, because the bananas are more than sweet enough (make sure you use sweet, ripe bananas!).

Like many of my recipes, these are a perfect teatime snack, healthy post lunch dessert, or quick grab and go breakfast.

Makes 8 large muffins
For the muffins:
3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into large coins
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup baby oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 eggs
4 tbsp honey
1/4 cup greek yogurt
2 tbsp whole milk
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the oat topping:
1/3 cup baby oats
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp honey

Preheat the oven to 200 C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and place the banana coins on the sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes, flipping once in between and removing when the bananas have darkened slightly and are soft and mushy, but not falling apart. Transfer them to a bowl let them sit for 5 minutes. If the bananas release any juice, drain this. Then mash the bananas. I enjoy biting into chunks of soft banana, so I just mash the bananas until they have broken apart, not into the consistency of applesauce, but feel free to do what fits your bill!

Line a muffin tin with muffin liners and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 180 C.

Sift together the dry ingredients for the muffins and add in the oats, mixing to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, honey, greek yogurt, milk, coconut oil and vanilla extract until smooth.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet to the dry. Stir gently and mix until just combined. Please please please don't overmix as this will result in the muffins have a gummy and tough consistency. The batter may seem slightly dry at this point. But fear not! Finally fold in the mashed bananas, once again, until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin and place in the oven to bake (for 25-30 mins total).

Meanwhile, mix together the ingredients for the oat topping. Once the muffins have been baking for 12 minutes, pull them out and sprinkle each muffin top with some of the oat topping (do this quickly to avoid the muffins from falling). Place back in the oven for another 13-15 minutes or until tops are slightly crispy and golden brown and a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean.

Remove from the oven, cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

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