Going Bananas For Cupcakes
Wednesday - April 02, 2008
Over the last 19 years, Patricia and Joe Guillermo have jointly owned and managed Windward Auto Body in Kaneohe. Patricia and Joe have been married for 15 years and really enjoy spending their working hours together. In their spare time, they enjoy deep-sea and surf fishing.
Some time back, Joe convinced Patricia to go deep-sea fishing. Since Joe didn’t expect to catch anything big, he didn’t put on his harness. Sure enough, he got the bite he’ll never forget and would have been carried overboard with his fishing pole if Patricia didn’t grab his pants from the back of his waist.
After what seemed like an eternity, they ended up catching a 320-pound ahi and were so exhausted, they fell on the floor and could hardly move. These days Patricia makes sure Joe always wears his harness when deep-sea fishing, and she rarely gets an argument.
This column is dedicated to the Guillermo family, whose lives are enriched by the pleasure they receive in helping Hawaii residents through their auto body and Max GXL businesses.
I think walnuts taste the best in these cupcakes, but you may substitute almonds, pecans or macadamia nuts with good results; if you don’t like nuts, just omit them.
Spraying the muffin tin will result in your cupcakes coming out of the pan easily: For fast cleanup, line pan with cupcake or muffin liners.
Bananas have three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose, which combined with fiber can give an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous hour-anda-half workout. Bananas also contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, which is said to promote relaxation, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
The banana has B vitamins, which help to control blood glucose levels and calm the nervous system. They are an excellent source of vitamin B6 and potassium, a vital mineral that helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance. They also contain fiber, which helps in the regular elimination of waste from the body, and are a source of vitamin C, riboflavin, folic acid and magnesium.
Fully ripe yellow bananas will have some brown spots, and should have no green. Bananas will ripen at room temperature, so buy some ripe and others with a bit of green on them.
In my house, there are always some ripe bananas around, and here is a way to make good use of them!
CHOCOLATE BANANA WALNUT CUPCAKES
* 1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
* 2 large egg whites, beaten until frothy
* 3 tablespoons canola oil
* 1 tablespoon applesauce
* 1/4 cup nonfat milk
* 2 medium ripe bananas (or enough to equal 1 cup mashed banana)
* 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat muffin tin with cooking spray.
Sift flour, sugar and baking powder into medium bowl. Add chocolate chips and mix until evenly disbursed.
In medium bowl, mix egg whites, oil, applesauce and milk until combined.
Mash bananas until there are no large lumps and add to wet mixture. Add flour mixture to wet mixture in small amounts, stirring until all ingredients are moistened, but do not over-beat. Batter should be slightly lumpy. Fill greased muffin tins 3/4 full. Sprinkle with walnuts, pressing the nuts in slightly. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched.
Makes 12 cupcakes.
Approximate Nutrition Information Per Cupcake:
Fat: 4 grams
Cholesterol: 10 milligrams
Sodium: 110 milligrams
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