"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Banana Date Muffins

I love dates - especially Medjool dates. Like all fruits that naturally have a pit, dates taste much better if you purchase them with the pit still intact. Can you imagine buying a pitted avocado or a pitted peach? It wouldn't taste very good. Buy your dates with the pit and always sample before purchasing. Dates can look sweet and juicy on the outside and be raw and dry and on the inside. At the Sunday Farmer's Market in front of the civic center on Market and 7th, there is a woman who sells a variety of dates. I usually sample one of each variety and I always buy the Medjool ones. I guess I just feel I have to sample the others in case I am surprised to discover that they suddenly taste superior. Keep your dates refrigerated for up to two weeks. Otherwise freeze them. Dates are nature's energy snack. Add them to bananas and yogurt in a smoothie. Add them to bitter green salads with goat cheese. Add them to a bowl of oatmeal, a banana and peanut butter sandwich. Dates - the food and the activity - are versatile, so have fun with them. I bought a huge bag recently and when we had some super ripe bananas, I decided it was time to bake dates in the muffins. Because dates have so much natural sweetness, you can omit all other sugar.

Banana Date Muffins :)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup flax meal
3/4 cup oat bran

1 cup chopped walnuts
3 heaping tablespoons peanut butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps cinnamon
3 ripe bananas
2 cups Medjool dates, chopped
1  cup dried cranberries
1 cup soy milk
2 eggs
1 tsp almond extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, butter two loaf pans.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, flax meal, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl mash the bananas, add in the mango chunks, dried cranberries, soy milk, eggs and almond extract. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until incorporated.
4. Spread the batter evenly into the loaf pans.
5. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

No comments: