Confession: I possess several idiosyncratic kitchenware attachments.
I could be referring to the sausage-making accessories for my Kitchen-Aid (which have yet to be opened; every time I feel the urge, I end up in giggles, thinking of the Seinfeld episode when Kramer takes over Jerry’s apartment to make heaps of sausage; here’s the video link of the clip: Seinfeld sausage). But I’m not. Rather, it’s my reluctance to abandon a select group of my cruddiest kitchen trappings.
What makes it worth mentioning is that I enjoy getting rid of things. Filling recycling bags, loading boxes full of outgrown and unworn clothes for Goodwill, giving the junk drawer a clean sweep—it all gives me a trifling, but pleasurable buzz.
Yet I still have and use my bent potato peeler, lopsided potato masher, and 13-year-old dented, stainless steel skillet. Ugly, cheap, and bent out of shape, they are barely fodder for a junk sale. But shucks, they do the job. They’re familiar and comfortable. And whether you cook, paraglide, garden, or golf, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s always a good feeling to use equipment that feels right, no matter how quirky, clumsy or unfashionable.
Propelling me on this tangent is banana almond meal muffins. This meant my dilapidated (but still functional!) muffin pan was put to use for roughly the thousandth time.
And, for roughly the thousandth time, it turned out some fantastic muffins!
I know you likely already have a favorite banana muffin recipe, but this one is quite different. Don’t worry, it’s not more complicated, just the opposite! What makes these muffins unique is that they contain no grains (and hence, no gluten, either) because they are made with almond meal.
Almond flour is made with blanched almonds and has a fine texture; almond meal is made with the skins of the almonds still intact. I love it in these muffins because it gives them a more hearty texture (like a whole wheat muffin in contrast to a white flour muffin).
To be accurate, these are not as simple to make as “regular” muffins; they are much easier! You do not have to worry about overbeating the batter (which makes glutinous muffins tough) because there is not gluten. Hence everything comes together in a single bowl.
One caveat: make sure that you use very ripe bananas (i.e., lots of brown spots on the peel). If they are not fully ripe, they will make the muffins less moist, less sweet and somewhat starchy.