These wholesome banana nut muffins were a lifesaver last week. The short story: we went to the US Embassy. The long story… well, that’s coming. If you’re all about the eats, I won’t judge if you scroll right on down to the recipe. The rest of you, sit tight and hold my hand through my family’s recent CRAZY embassy trip. If I ever needed a stress ball….We went to the US Embassy last week to pick up my baby’s passport. Seems like a ho-hum ordeal, but folks, there’s no place that makes my heart palpitate like a visit to the embassy, and this experience was no different.
The entire family packed into the ticketed waiting area hoping a clerk’s window would open up soon. Thankfully, my Husband’s a stellar toddler wrangler and the baby carrier kept my littlest content for the half hour wait. We witnessed passport cases denied, saw three blond curly-headed little girls’ parents raise their right hands and swear their submitted documentation was true, and made a trip to the loo before my number was finally called.
“I’m here to pickup my son’s passport and certificate of birth abroad.” I stated.
The woman behind the counter turned and bent over to sift through a few drawers of files.
“Not here,” she said.
“Sorry, the system shows the passport was picked up on February 19th,” she informed me, matter of factly.
COME AGAIN?? How on earth was my baby’s passport not there? She looked again and came up with the certificate of birth abroad. Only slight relief.
“Maybe your husband came to pick it up,” she suggested.
My husband was sitting behind me.
“Do you have the signature of the person who picked it up?” I ask.
“No.” Turns out nobody has to sign to pick up documents.
At this point she begins to look a little frazzled, an expression I’m not at all used to seeing among the typically intimidating foreign service officers and embassy staff. She turns her back to me once more and flips through the drawer of passport envelopes again, this time taking each one out to read the name. Nada. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
My mind begins to whirl…
What if someone came and stole my son’s passport? What if another baby was flying first class to Aruba under my son’s assumed identity? How would we pay for and would it be possible to apply for another passport? They don’t come cheap!
Three more officers join Agent Frazzled in the hunt. Five minutes pass.
FINALLY, a smile breaks out on another agent’s face as he proudly waves the passport over his head. He’s found it.
Cue dramatic sigh of relief…
It turns out that my husband and I waited so long to pick up the passport once it had been issued (though we’d never been notified that it was available) that the US Embassy had packaged it up in a mailer to return to the U.S. Praise God, we went probably days before it was sent stateside. I’m absolutely certain it would’ve taken legions of emails and rebuttals
and complaints to locate the passport once it left the Embassy here in Costa Rica.And then we went home. And I NEEDED muffins. And coffee. And more muffins. Okay, and probably a cardio kickboxing workout to pump out the frustration.
Are your counters always swamped with bananas? Some ripe, some spotted, my kitchen is banana central year-round. Yes, living in a country who exports tons of bananas has probably got a lot to do with it, but this happens to you too, right?
- You see bananas.
- Bananas are too ripe to peel and eat.
- You’re tired of smoothies.
What to do? Muffins, baby! Wholesome banana nut muffins with chia and some pretty candy striped baking cups just for flair!
It’s true, there are bazillions of banana bread recipes floating around. I’ve posted my fair share too. Remember the blueberry banana muffins and banana crumb muffins? Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I wouldn’t waste your time with just any banana muffin.
The crumb of these muffins is moist and light, think of it as cupcake-meets-banana bread texture. Heavenly.
These muffins are healthy. They’re moistened by gobs of mashed sweet bananas in the batter, not fats. We aren’t adding any oil or butter. The 15-muffin batch is jam-packed with creamy, sweet banana flavor and the earthy crunch of walnuts. We’ll even sprinkle in a teaspoon of chia seeds for nutrition’s sake. Like most banana breads, these muffins are satisfying right out of the oven and get even tastier the next day when the flavors have melded into a sweet union. The muffin papers peel off a whole lot more easily after 24 hours too, I’m not gonna lie.
Okay, enough gab, let’s bake!
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. chia seeds (optional)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1½ cups mashed banana (about 3 bananas)
- 1 c. chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with 15 liners.
- Whisk together flours, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, chia, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. In another bowl combine eggs, buttermilk,vanilla, and bananas.
- Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until combined. Gently stir in most of the nuts, keeping out a few tablespoons to sprinkle on top of the muffins. Divide into lined muffin tins and top with remaining nuts.
- Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted removes clean. Remove muffins from tin to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for 2 days unrefrigerated or for up to 4 days chilled.
Tell me: What’s your favorite way to destress after a crazy hectic day? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll definitely be adding it to my
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