So it’s the year of baking banana bread. But my brain can only take so much typical, normal, basic boring banana bread before it thinks of how to upgrade things.
My brain has a mind of its own.
It does this with more things than banana bread. Things that aren’t as fun and happy and easy to cope with while I’m trying to live life, keep kinda sorta positive, and sleep at night.
But we’re thankfully here to talk about banana bread.
Actually banana muffins. You could definitely bake this into a loaf, or perhaps a cake topped with cream cheese frosting. Just sayin’. Garnish with some crushed pink peppercorns to take things up a level. Oh, yeah, this needs to be a cake.
But for now let’s focus on muffins.
These caramelized banana pink peppercorn jam muffins were inspired by bananas foster bread. You’re probably wondering how one turned into the other. Really, though, bananas foster is a lot like banana jam. Bananas sautéed until melty and caramelly. Instead of adding rum, though you could definitely add rum, and definitely still eat them for breakfast, because any hour is happy hour, I added pink peppercorns.
They have a slightly floral flavor especially in the pink skin and a noticeable hit of spice in the actual peppercorn. Bananas are so sweet that the addition really just gave my taste buds something to get excited about.
The muffins themselves were super moist and rich on the inside, caramelized on the outside, and enhanced by the crunch of toasted pecans. And I made it all paleo without losing a bit of flavor.
I’m pretty glad I didn’t rest easy on regular old banana bread because with cooking experiments great things can result.Print
6–7 medium bananas, sliced
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pink peppercorns, crushed
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup coconut sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups banana jam
1 ½ cups paleo flour blend (2 cups almond flour, 1 ½ cups tapioca flour, ¾ cup coconut flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup toasted pecans
Make the banana jam. In a large skillet over medium high heat, place the sliced bananas, maple syrup, pink peppercorns, vanilla bean seeds and pod, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently until beginning to caramelize. The bananas should be broken down and the liquid reduced. This should take 10-15 minutes.
Pour jam into a bowl to cool to room temperature. Jam may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Make the muffins. Oil the wells in a muffin tin. In a large bowl, stir together oil and sugar until well combined. Beat in the eggs and the jam. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon until just combined. Stir in the pecans until distributed.
Divide batter evenly among wells in the tin, filling almost to the top. Bake 23-27 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs. Serve warm or cool completely in the pan. Muffins may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute.
Recipe adapted from Love and Olive Oil