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In changing wasteful habits, it only takes one … banana

In changing wasteful habits, it only takes one … banana

Four muffins are the result
In changing wasteful habits, it only takes one … banana
Four perfect one-banana muffins.
Photographer: caroline lee/for the daily gazette

I’m trying hard to reduce food waste, which is trickier than I thought.

Have you seen that commercial that suggests you can drop one grocery bag on the way to your car, because that’s the amount of food that you’ll throw away? It made me think — and squirm a bit.

I don’t want to waste food when some don’t have enough. And it’s throwing money away.

It started when husband Eric complained about the volume of garbage he carried to the curb weekly. “Why do we have so much waste?” he said.

We started thinking about paper goods. Aside from the newspapers and magazines we already recycled, we added clean packaging, junk mail, even old corrugated cat scratchy boxes. That helped.

Some foods, like whole pineapples, produce a lot of waste trimmings. If I’ve cooked chicken, there’s the packaging, paper towels and the bones, and if it’s a whole chicken, the carcass. Oranges, grapefruits and melons also produce a substantial amount of waste. So do carrot and potato peels, onion ends, apple skins and cores. It adds up, and we don’t compost. Yet.

So when facing down a single, fragrant banana that was way past its sell-by date, I went to the internet to see what could be done.

Sure enough, someone out there has a recipe that uses one banana to make four muffins.

Thanks to the internet for the bones of this recipe.

The muffins came out pretty good, and I thought I’d share it, just to show that it’s not that hard to use up leftover stuff once you get thinking about it.

Also, “These are delicious,” said Eric.

One-Banana Muffins
Makes four muffins.
1 large, very ripe banana
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch Kosher or sea salt

Prepare a muffin pan with four liners, or grease four cups. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mash banana in a medium bowl. Leave some lumps.

Add sugar, egg, oil and vanilla. Stir until just combined (mixture will be lumpy).

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to first mixture, stir until just combined.

Divide mixture between the four prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 18 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out mostly clean and the muffins look like they’re browning a bit.

Cool in pan a minute, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. If not using liners, give the muffins a few minutes to set up before removing.


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