Over the whirlwind few weeks of holiday-fuelled over-indulgence, I have neglected our fruit bowl.

I always have a huge, well-stocked fruit bowl on the counter for easy access, so my kids can grab an apple, orange or banana if they’re feeling peckish.

However, the last few weeks of December saw a serious influx of selection boxes, and my kids definitely prefer chocolate over fruit.

This has led to some sad-looking bananas.

I’m partly to blame. In my normal, everyday life, I have a banana every morning with some yoghurt for my breakfast. If I’m extra-hungry, I add a slice of toast to the mix.

Over Christmas, we’d been eating sausages, fried eggs, puddings, pancakes and omelettes galore – my bunch of bananas left to suffer.

No problem (even though they nearly turned black with neglect) – they are ideal for baking, and this is my favourite banana muffin recipe.

The recipe only calls for three bananas, but these muffins freeze really well, so I used the whole bunch and made a double batch. I keep them in separate freezer bags and take out a bag at a time. The muffins are sweet enough for my kids to enjoy, but wholesome enough to have for a quick breakfast or snack on school days.

Banana muffins

Makes 12

Even Janine's picky eaters love these sweet and satisfying banana muffins. \ Janine Kennedy

200g plain flour (or 150g plain flour and 50g wholemeal flour)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp ground mixed spice (optional)

3 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork

125g caster sugar

60g light brown sugar

1 large egg

50g melted butter

1 tsp vanilla

Demerara sugar, for sprinkling over the top

*Optional: fold in chopped walnuts or dark chocolate chips at the end


  • 1 Preheat your oven to 180°C. Spray a muffin tin with oil (or brush a light vegetable oil over the top, in case the muffin tops stick as they bake) and line with muffin liners. Set aside.
  • 2 In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and mixed spice. Set aside.
  • 3 In another bowl, add the mashed banana, caster sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and egg. Mix well with a hand mixer until everything is incorporated (about three minutes on high speed). Add in the butter and mix again.
  • 4 Add the dry ingredients and, using a spatula, fold them gently into the wet ingredients until everything is nicely combined.
  • 5 Spoon the batter into the lined muffin tin in equal amounts (I use a scoop for this) and sprinkle the tops with a bit of demerara sugar.
  • 6 Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes – they will be golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the centre of the muffin should come out clean. Cool completely and enjoy.
  • To freeze: place the cooled muffins into a ziplock back and freeze for up to three months.

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