Banana Walnut Muffins

I despise banana-flavored candy. Laffy Taffy, Runts, popsicles, Lifesavers, Now and Laters, jelly beans, Dum Dums, Pez, Dubble Bubble, Starburst – I will ALWAYS toss out the banana flavored ones.

When I was a kid, my banana-flavor loathing prejudiced me to all things banana. I thought I hated bananas, and by extension, any foods baked with bananas. And so I turned up my nose at banana bread, banana cream pie, banana pudding, and sadly, banana muffins.

Thankfully, I came around to baked banana goodness on a family vacation to Toledo when my great grandma tricked me into eating zucchini bread. “Here, have a piece,” she said, with a sly smile. Wildly suspicious, my sister and I asked what was in it. “Oh, just try it. I promise you’ll like it.” And she was right – it was delicious.

Banana Muffin Batter in Tin

That zucchini was my gateway bread. The next morning when she offered me a piece of her freshly baked banana bread, I tried it without first scrutinizing the list of ingredients, and I finally realized what I’d been missing.

While I can’t imagine duplicating my great grandma’s magical banana bread, I think I’ve found a pretty darn good banana muffin recipe. I tried to make them a little more heart-healthy than your average muffin, subbing a bit of wheat flour for some of the AP, and a bit of heart-healthy spread for some of the butter. They came out delicious – sweet and moist and buttery – and they didn’t taste like health food at all.

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